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make [it] DETROIT

progressive | ae

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Mic Higanweaetxdyvaydzcwq, progressive | ae

Project Name

make [it] DETROIT


Hudson's site, Detroit, MI

Project Status

Concept Proposal

Year Completed



Opportunity Detroit / Rock Ventures, LLC

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Project Description

Detroit is a city of makers that created the middle class and fueled the industrialization of the world.

Hudson’s was known as a world class place for commerce and entertainment--a community destination.

Our vision for Detroit is to give rise to a “maker” movement to fuel the new industrial revolution grounded in the fundamentals of rapid making, social innovation and artistry. It will be an innovation zone for locally inspired commerce.

“Routine is the enemy of innovation.” We have formed our proposal on the requirements of Makerspace with improvisation.

make[it]DETROIT will generate the experience of space to:
Create, produce, sell, live, play
[creativity is the drug I cannot live without]

Makerspace: [verb] The desktop changes everything. An active, collaborative digital environment feeding fab labs, cutting, milling, routing and printing everything. It empowers individual innovation with open source collaboration. Often it is a sustainable additive process.

It will be artisanal at the heart, empowering the unique and capturing the pirate in everyone.

Chris Anderson stated in the book “Makers”
“The idea of factory is changing. Just as the web democratized innovation in bits, a new class of rapid prototyping technologies, from 3D printers to laser cutters, is democratizing innovation in atoms. We have experienced an explosion of innovation and effects : when you connect people and ideas, they grow. It’s a virtual circle- more people combined create more value…………”


The urban condition, form, use and patterns informed the planning of make[it]Detroit. Fronting Woodward avenue is the makerspace program. The height and depth of the architecture match that of Compuware’s construct, creating an urban street edge with a harmonic scale. The live/play program is placed along Farmer, generating a presence respectful of the existing context. Utilizing a lower pedestrian scale and responding to the mass of the district enriches the activity and experience of residential life.

Continuing the reinforcement of place, we created a transparent protected entry level. Memory of absence: reflects the 15 years of open space and inspires connectivity and engagement, forming vistas and pulling movement through the ground level activities. The transparency diminishes the impenetrable edge of most urban structures and promotes pedestrian movement on the streets of Detroit.


Makerspace modules provide flexibility in size, form, and volume combining the fluid customization of 3D printing into the building and development process. This variability provides the framework for organic ebb and flow over time. “Make it when you need it,” like a honeycomb. As the honeycomb; the module based form emphasizes each piece as part of a whole, while eroding the large planar scale of urban constructs.

The structural frame has the same maker integrity. It is also cellular, inspired by the cross section of a human bone; hard outer shell with strength given the density of the cells. The frame organically grows from the existing structure of the parking garage creating a triangulating web of support.
The figure ground pattern of Detroit is reflected in the vegetated and glass “Blanket that drapes over the east and west blocks. The glass is layered with photovoltaic cells to harness the energy of the sun, fueling the maker revolution [making, living, playing] that will be make[it]DETROIT.
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