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Saving For a Space Ship

Turning Ghettos Into Art Environments In Detroit

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OK, enough gloom, let’s get it all into perspective. If you need to understand that apocalypse could still be fun then you need go no further than the Heidelberg Project in Black Bottom (seriously!), one of the famously derelict suburbs of Detroit..

....Strictly speaking the Heidelberg Project is not adaptive reuse, well maybe in part, but it shows why adaptive reuse may be far more important than it seems. What attracts us to adaptive reuse is that even when it is most serious it can still be play, the type of play that demonstrates how resourceful and resilient humans can be, how they can adapt and reframe a situation and how they can even make something great using the impossible raw materials left over from a disaster...

...And it’s hard to think of less promising raw materials than the derelict gang ridden suburbs of Detroit. If you want to see the future, after climate change has decimated the deluded industrial nations of the world then Detroit is definitely Tomorrowland. And this is how its creator Tyree Guyton found it:

The Heidelberg Project is, in part, a political protest, as Tyree Guyton’s childhood neighborhood began to deteriorate after the 1967 riots. Following his stint in the Army, Tyree Guyton described coming back to Heidelberg Street and the surrounding neighborhood as if “a bomb went off”.

At first, the project consisted of a series of houses on Detroit’s Heidelberg Street, painted with bright dots of many colors in conjunction with salvaged items being attached to the houses. It was a constantly evolving work that transformed a hard-core inner city neighborhood where people were afraid to walk, even in daytime, into one in which neighbors took pride and where visitors were many and welcomed.

Tyree Guyton worked on The Heidelberg Project every day with the children on the block. He and director, Jenenne Whitfield, gave lectures and workshops around the country. Their main goal was to develop The Heidelberg Project into the city’s first indoor and outdoor museum; complete with an artist colony, creative art center, community garden, amphitheater, and more.

Now, it has over 250,000 visitors a year and is one of Detroit’s major tourist attractions, despite City Hall expressing its disapproval by partial demolition (talk about declutter!).

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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  • 292 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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