THE DETROIT STUDIO
2990 WEST GRAND BOULEVARD
DETROIT, MI 48202
The MISSION of The Detroit Studio is educational: to provide students with an enriched educational experience through community-based architectural, urban design and community development projects; and to offer accessible and useful programs and information to the public, the design profession, municipal officials and the business community.
Background and Goals
The Detroit Studio is an off-campus studio facility founded in 1999 by the college of Architecture & Design at Lawrence Technological University and located in the New Center area of Detroit. Its location in central Detroit creates a unique educational setting for students, and its long-term commitment to working with Detroit neighborhoods distinguishes it from the program of other local universities. The Detroit Studio is committed to serving communities in Detroit, Wayne County and Southeastern Michigan as part of the mission of a local university through Service Learning projects that utilize interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork to address real needs, problems and potentials.
The Detroit Studio was founded to fill an important niche in architectural education at the College of Architecture and Design. There is a long tradition of community-based projects at the College of Architecture and Design and a recognition that students that participate in Service Learning projects often subsequently bring a valuable perspective to the program as a whole. Projects conducted at The Detroit Studio area often shared with the entire student body through exhibitions, lectures, field trips and publications. Additionally, the educational programs at the student provide a significant bridge to the profession in a way that is complimentary, not competitive.
Benefits to Students
The Detroit Studio broadens opportunities for students through its use as an urban-based facility for design and research projects. It also provides the setting for graduate students to fulfill the requirements for the Area of Concentration in Collaborative Urban Design.
Benefits to the Community
Projects undertaken at The Detroit Studio serve communities in Southeastern Michigan in area of Urban Design, Planning, and community Development. It establishes partnerships with municipalities, design professionals, professional organizations, community organizations, business leaders, and local schools and universities.
Benefits to the Profession
Projects conducted at The Detroit studio often include significant involvement from local practitioners and serve to initiate subsequent design development by professionals. Its public outreach results in increased public awareness and appreciation of the value of architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, and planning.
Initial support for The Detroit Studio was provided by the General Motors Corporation and The New Center Council. Additionally, individual projects are funded by community organizations.
Project Selection Criteria and Guidelines
Organizations interested in working with students and faculty at The Detroit Studio should submit a letter if interest that describes the project and the sponsoring organization(s).
The project selection criteria is as follows:
- The project should fit the educational standards and mission of The Detroit Studio
- The sponsoring organization should be a non-profit and tax-exempt under the IRS designation
- There should be evidence of civic and community support for the proposed project. The project should clearly establish the financial need for service. Projects which benefit distressed and economically disadvantaged communities are preferred and may include: planning and urban design, housing, business and economic development, parks and natural habitats, and historic preservation
- There should be the desire and ability to work collaboratively in a process that invites community participation
- For funded projects, the budget should be clearly established and funding in place before the beginning of the project
- Projects budgets fund materials, publication costs, a contribution to The Detroit Studio fun, and honoraria for guest critics and project director
- The project needs to fit into The Detroit Studio's academic schedule.
THE DETROIT STUDIO Fund
The Detroit Studio Fund is used to fund educational activities and initiatives associated with The Detroit Studio. These may include publications, lectures, outreach and scholarships.
The Detroit Studio is run by a Coordinator who is a full-time faculty member and reports to the Dean and Chair of the college of Architecture and Design. The Detroit Studio is guided by an Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from the city, county, profession and academia and by the College's Advisory Council to Architecture.
The Detroit Studio provides facilities for 34 Junior, Senior and Graduate students. The studio is fully equipped with dedicated workstations, two in-studio computer labs, meeting and classroom spaces, an exhibition area, and a darkroom. Six full and part-time faculty are based in the studio. Courses offered at The Detroit Studio include: Integrated Design Studios 3&4 (a Junior year, team -taught studio comprising architectural design, urban planning, and landscape architecture); the collaborative Design Studio (a Senior-Graduate urban design studio); and photography. Courses completed there satisfy requirements for the Area of Concentration in Collaborative Urban Design, and thesis students may also utilize the facilities.