Category Archives: Research

PLATFORM D: Detroit Station for the Arts



RogueHAA recently participated in the “Detroit Station for the Arts” competition. It was intended to rehabilitate the abandoned Detroit’s central station to transform it into a hybrid building full of life, a center for the Arts. Detroit’s legacy was built on the consummation of art and imagination with technical ingenuity. The foresight and craft of Detroit’s past is resurfacing, and has found its arena. By activating Michigan Central Station, this proposal aims to cultivate an industry which is endemic to the city’s being.

Platform D is envisioned as an adaptive reuse development which converts the vacant train station into a hub of creative production. Hotel and residential units fill the ends of the building, while the central corridors are used for art/innovation studios. The 4th-6th floors are flexible use spaces which can host performances, over-sized installations or exhibits. The façade treatment on this floor is transparent, allowing the spaces’ program to be viewed from the street. The upper floors remain loosely programmed with a restaurant overlooking a garden and plaza along the central corridor. The iconic large arched windows remain without glazing to maintain the magnetism of its current condition. The station’s platforms are repurposed into a plaza which can be adapted to different uses. Modified boxcars can be used as art installation spaces and can be rolled into different locations. The plaza terminates in the return of the Amtrak Station.

A culture of production and creation is known globally as a symbol of Detroit, and has arrived at its new home, on PLATFORM D.

Tagged , , ,

The Accidental Playground: A Talk with Daniel Campo

Daniel Campo Lecture (2)

The Accidental Playground explores the remarkable landscape created by individuals and small groups who occupied and rebuilt an abandoned Brooklyn waterfront. While local residents, activists, garbage haulers, real estate developers, speculators, and two city administrations fought over the fate of the former Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal (BEDT), others simply took to this decaying edge, transforming it into a unique venue for leisure, creative, and everyday practices. These occupiers and do-it-yourself builders created their own waterfront parks and civic spaces absent every resource needed for successful urban development, including plans, designs, capital, professional assistance, consensus, and permission from the waterfront’s owners. Amid trash, ruins, weeds, homeless encampments, and the operation of an active garbage transfer station, they inadvertently created the “Brooklyn Riviera” and made this waterfront a destination that offered much more than its panoramic vistas of the Manhattan skyline. The terminal evolved into the home turf for unusual and sometimes spectacular recreational, social, and creative subcultures, including the skateboarders who built a short-lived but nationally renowned skatepark, a twenty-five-piece “public” marching band, fire performance troupes, artists, photographers, and filmmakers. At the same time it served the basic recreational needs of local residents. Collapsing piers became great places to catch fish, sunbathe, or take in the views; the foundation of a demolished warehouse became an ideal place to picnic, practice music, or do an art project; rubble-strewn earth became a compelling setting for film and fashion shoots; a broken bulkhead became a beach; and thick patches of weeds dotted by ailanthus trees became a jungle. These reclamations, all but ignored by city and state governments and property interests that were set to transform this waterfront, momentarily added to the distinctive cultural landscape of the city’s most bohemian and rapidly changing neighborhood.

Drawing on a rich mix of documentary strategies, including observation, ethnography, photography, and first-person narrative, Daniel Campo probes this accidental playground, allowing those who created it to share and examine their own narratives, perspectives, and conflicts. The multiple constituencies of this waterfront were surprisingly diverse, their stories colorful and provocative. When taken together, Campo argues, they suggest a radical reimagining of urban parks and public spaces, and the practices by which they are created and maintained.

The Accidental Playground, which treats readers to an utterly compelling story, is an exciting and distinctive contribution to the growing literature on unplanned spaces and practices in cities today.

RSVP HERE

2013 Detroit Design Festival

 

After a brief hiatus, RogueHAA is back in action for the 2013 Detroit Design Festival. Our installation seeks to activate an empty pocket parking lot in Detroit’s North End with a series of grass terraces combined with blank writing walls. Rather than a creating static object to be viewed from a distance, we propose a literal platform for conversation and reflection. Each section of the installation wall will include a different provocation as a means to catalyze and frame a conversation about the city.

Throughout the festival, visitors will be encouraged to write their ideas, thoughts, challenges, and pictures on the walls of the installation. These will be collected and curated as part of an online gallery to promote engagement with a larger audience, and longevity beyond the festival itself.

The installation will located at 2871 E. Grand Blvd and will open Saturday September 21, at noon. Be sure to check out the rest of the the Festival Happenings here

Tagged , ,

the ArchiCULTURAL SHIFT – Panel Discussion, SPACEBUSTER by Raumlabor Installation, and Exhibition for Detroit Design Festival

rogueHAA is pleased to announce their next event, The archiCULTURAL SHIFT.  As an integral component to the Detroit Design Festival, this event is comprised of an exhibition, panel discussion, and SPACEBUSTER by Raumlabor installation.  All components seek to address the following issues and aim to foster creative relationships between the architectural and informational technology design communities.

Historically, architecture has been understood, practiced, and theorized as the discipline of space – the designed manipulation and configuration of form, material and structure.  Evolving throughout the millennia, architecture has also been employed to identify and solve social conditions through the use of materials and spatial arrangements. 

In the last few decades, numerous design and architectural critics and theorists have identified cultural shifts within technological societies – from space-centered institutions to time-centered institutions, from material-based economies to information-based economies.

The expansion of publicly available information and the compression of time have affected all design practices, but none more so than the architectural profession.  Compared with other design fields, the prevalent architectural process – project creation, conceptual design, design development, construction documentation, permitting, construction coordination – appears extremely sluggish.  As practicing professionals, we have taken notice.  More importantly, the public and our clients have taken notice.  Our society continues to desire results in shorter amounts of time, often to the detriment of the design process and final product.  As our technological culture continues to shift toward accelerated means of production, will The Architect, one who practices a traditional space-based profession, become increasingly minimized?  Has the Architecture-of-Space become temporal, immaterial, and marginalized?  How can Architecture infiltrate the current information-driven social conditions prevalent within today’s society?  Are we on the precipice of an archiCULTURAL SHIFT?

All events will occur at The MIES Storefront,  1565 East Lafayette, Detroit.
A breakdown of the three day event is as follows: Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

THE VERTICAL URBAN FACTORY: A REVIEW

The Vertical Urban Factory.  Currently on display at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, The Vertical Urban Factory is an independent research project and exhibition curated by architectural historian and critic Nina Rappaport. This traveling display explores historic and modern concepts for the design, structure, mechanization, and socioeconomics of multi-storied factories that are both urban—integrated into cities—and vertical—integrated floor by floor according to programmed manufacturing processes. Divided into three separate zones, the exhibition investigates significant architectural precedents, both built and unbuilt; makes a geo-spatial comparison between Detroit and New York’s (post) industrial inventory; and displays alternative contemporary models that demonstrate the potential environmental, social, and economic benefits from the reintegration of well-programmed vertical factories. Rappaport further suggests that industrialists and urban planners should reconsider the potential for building vertically in cities: “This, in turn, would reinforce and reinvest in the cycles of making, consuming, and recycling as a part of a natural feedback loop in a new sustainable urban spatial paradigm.”

Rappaport’s paradigm combines the desired altruistic 21st century industrial traits: clean, green, light, networked industry spatialized within different vertical, sustainable forms.  The thesis is clear, the research is powerful, and the selected contemporary projects are beautiful, suggesting a myriad of innovative architectural approaches to the vertical manufacturing process. However, one must still question whether verticality is an appropriate industrial paradigm for all urban fabrics. Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

THE URBAN PLAYGROUND

THE WOODWARD CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT.  Downtown Detroit has authentic character, scale, and intangible intrigue that have captivated national and international audiences for decades.  Most recently, Downtown Detroit completed the Greater Downtown TOD Strategy – a solid plan built upon proven urban principles of mixed use, walkability and transit. High vacancies, along with a small, but growing number of successful independent businesses begin to offer an initial glimpse of the District’s Consumer. The TOD Strategy defines three simple user profiles: Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

A BRIEF HISTORY OF DETROIT’S BLACK BOTTOM NEIGHBORHOOD

BLACK BOTTOM_rogueHAA

As co-curator of the INSIDE LAFAYETTE PARK exhibition, rogueHAA designed an installation and timeline highlighting the contrast of current life in the urban renewal development both to its architecture and its contentious past.  The timeline, BRIEF CHRONOLOGY OF BLACK BOTTOM, also featured the “Detroit Stories” video interview with Bernice Jamerson, a former Black Bottom resident.

1920s.  The site of Lafayette Park has a long, controversial history that precedes the modernist urban development.  Centuries before Lafayette Park was built, French settlers farmed the area and named it “Black Bottom” for its dark, fertile soil and low elevation.  In the twentieth century, Black Bottom became one of the most vibrant African American districts in Detroit. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,