Lifecycle_Lifestyle by bboss1
March.4.2009, 11:53 pm
Filed under: Theory

Group, I am attempting to put into words our idea as it relates to lifecycle. Maria has read this already and thinks it is headed in the right direction but that it needs, in her words, “real work”. She suggested that I review it with the site team to rework the deffinition of Detroit and school. Any comments are welcomed.


The scope of our project is twofold; it investigates the lifecycle of an elementary school and a city. As the competition brief states, “The problem of urban growth and decay is greater than the individual building.” Detroit is a collapsing city.

A ‘node’ in the global auto network.

In a network society, when an industry changes or suffers, all nodes of that network can begin to suffer regardless of scale. In the 20th century global economy, Detroit as the leading manufacturer of vehicles in America is now seeing astronomical economic decline resulting in the symptomatic decay of its urban core. This caused many citizens to lose employment and flee the city or live a life of poverty. Some planners and other public intellectuals have proposed the notion of urban farming as a means of rehabilitating Detroit’s urban fabric. This is the concept of interjecting agricultural areas into the inner city. This idea allows a city’s inhabitants to grow their own produce or even sell it for profit. Considering the chain of historical events that has lead to the development of Detroit, the concept of urban farming begins to paint a pretty clear picture of the life cycle that this city is experiencing.

In order for improvement to take place, a real change must be made in the way Detroit’s inhabitants live, work, and think. Our group is proposing a building that will act as an elementary school and a community learning center. The school grounds will be:

1 An “eco-blot” which will be used to cultivate natural produce and indigenous plant life. The “eco-blot” which will be maintained by hired agriculturists will give the students an opportunity to witness and understand the lifecycle of plant ecology from the planting stage through harvesting. It will also serve the larger community as a place to come in order to learn about ways to create and maintain their own urban farm. A new lifestyle then begins to emerge for the citizens of Detroit.

2 The building itself will be constructed as a weaved steel structure composed of customized steel members produced in the factories which once produced only automobiles in a robotic assembly line. As the lifestyle catalyzed by our building begins to take hold of the greater community, our method of weaving structure through existing buildings in decay will begin to spread across the city inhabiting old abandoned buildings in a parasitic manor, whereby creating

3 a symbiotic effect between existing structure and urban growth. This will divert the destruction of many of Detroit’s abandoned buildings while at the same time saving the automobile factories and putting people back to work, thereby igniting the next phase in the lifecycle of Detroit.


4 Comments so far
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it seems to me that more importantly than having a short term effect on the automobile industry, for later it may be that there are no automobiles as they exist today, we have a greater impact on the future generations of those growing up in detroit, who will in turn possibly change detroit in some unforseen manner. the “new model” of open ended education system will be teaching children not to have “factory” worker (common labor) mindsets, but rather the self-programmable (castells).

with that said, i like the text and the bullets at the bottom, however i do wonder how much emphasis we really put on the automobile factories. it should be mentioned as these are the places in which the structures are fabricated. im not sure if the intentions is that this is the rough draft of the narrative going with the boards? if im not mistaken the competition calls for one page of text ONLY can be submitted with the boards (program team help me out?). we need to really pick out what is the major topic of discussion we want to emphasize, and with titles leaning towards ‘nervous system’ figure out a way to talk about the nervous system…. [Mi] NervouSystem… My nervous system + MIchigan nervous system. A tale of two nervous systems and the weaving of the two…

Comment by jonbailey

Thanks for the input Jon. I did not intend to imply that the auto factories are rescued for the sake of producing automobiles. Only that the factories themselves are not abondoned, but re-utilized for a new purpose of fabricating our building components. Your comment makes me realize that my point was not clear.
I’m not nessesarily writing this with the intention of using it as THE narrative for the boards. It is mainly to solidify with the entire team, what it is exactly that we are trying to say our idea is. There seams to be a little confusion amongst the group as to what we are trying to achieve as the end goal. Hopefully this essay and the discussion that follows will get us to he place we need to be in order to write a clearly focused board narrative.
-keep the comments coming…

Comment by bboss1

i think we need to add some discussion of a pedagogic lifecycle in terms of historic to contemporary (then historic/contemporary hybrid) modes of information transmission as is being developed in the timeline…..

otherwise i think this begins to help clarify

Comment by Jason

dude bro bennett it think this is a great start as well. good work with the eco-blot and one thing to add i don’t know if this matters or if needs to be mentioned but the auto industry did not really ruin detroit initially, it was more the race riots of the 1960’s and “white flight.” we know the auto industry boomed during the 1970’s and on and now in the last few years is beginning to fold. just some feedback like i said i think its a great start and great clarifier.

Comment by lowder

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