Banner image: Detroit Industry Mural – Diego Rivera. South Wall at the Detroit Institute of Arts
The Architectural Imagination is an exhibition of new speculative architectural projects designed for specific sites in Detroit but with far-reaching applications for cities around the world. It first opened to the public in the U.S. Pavilion at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale, held May 28 – November 27, 2016, where it attracted a record-breaking 150,000 visitors to the pavilion.
After the 2016 Venice Biennale’s closing weekend, The Architectural Imagination traveled from Venice, Italy, to Detroit, where it opened to a large crowd at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) on Saturday, February 11, 2017. The exhibition was up in Detroit through April 16, 2017. Then it traveled to Los Angeles and was exhibited at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum on July 14 - November 5, 2017.
The exhibition emphasizes the importance and value of the architectural imagination in shaping forms and spaces into exciting future possibilities for all Detroit citizens. Detroit was once a center of American imagination, not only for the products it made – cars and music and much more – but also for its modern architecture and modern lifestyle, which captivated audiences worldwide. Now, like many postindustrial cities, Detroit is coping with a changed urban density and image that has generated much thinking in urban planning.
As advocates of the power of architecture to construct culture and catalyze cities, curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon selected twelve visionary American architectural practices to produce new work that demonstrates the creativity and resourcefulness of architecture to address the social and urban issues of Detroit in the 21st century.
The U.S. Department of State, sponsor of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice International Architecture Biennale, selected University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to organize the US exhibition for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Fore more about the Venice Biennale:
For more about the MOCAD run and ancillary events:
Cynthia Davidson is the Executive Director of New York based nonprofit Anyone Corporation and Editor of the international architecture journal, Log.
Monica Ponce de Leon, AIA, is the Dean of Princeton University School of Architecture and Founding Principal of MPdL Studio (Ann Arbor, Boston, and New York).
DETROIT ADVISORY BOARD
Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Executive Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
Maurice Cox, Planning Director, City of Detroit
Milton S.F. Curry, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Architecture, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
Julie Egan, Senior Advisor, US Department of State
Malik Goodwin, Goodwin Management Group, LLC
Toni L. Griffin, Professor and Director, J. Max Bond Center, Spitzer School of Architecture, The City College of New York
Dan Kinkead, Director of Projects, Detroit Future City
Oliver Ragsdale, President, The Carr Center
Thomas J. Sherry, AIA, Principal, 313Creative
Mark Wallace, President/CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy
Lawrence Williamson, Real Estate Manager, Midtown Detroit, Inc.
STUDENT EXHIBITION FELLOWS
Six Taubman College students were selected:
Kristen Gandy, Ramon Hernandez, Christopher Locke, Rubin Quarcoopome, Salam Rida, and Diana Tsai
Thank you to our sponsors: