“My Detroit” Postcard Photo Contest Winners Announced for 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale

DETROIT, February 25, 2016 -- Today the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale U.S. Pavilion exhibition announced the winners of the “My Detroit” Postcard Photo Contest. Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon, co-curators of The Architectural Imagination, the U.S. exhibition for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, revealed the winning photographs at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit (MOCAD) during a talk about the exhibition, which presents twelve new speculative projects for Detroit.   

Twenty images by 18 individuals were selected as winners. The 463 entries were reviewed by photographer and sociologist Camilo José Vergara, who has photographed Detroit since 1985, and Davidson.They looked for photos that were individually striking but, when grouped with the other winning images, helped tell a larger story about Detroit today.

The winning photos in the “My Detroit” contest will be printed as postcards and distributed at the 2016 Venice Biennale, May 28 – November 27, 2016.

“The twenty photographs to be printed as postcards will help us tell the exhibition visitor short stories about life in Detroit,” Davidson said. “These views of the city will complement the work of the architects at the U.S. Pavilion in Venice.”

Ten of the eighteen winners are Detroit-area residents. Winners will receive a prize of $100 for each winning photo. The postcard photos will also be published in the exhibition catalog and shared and credited on The Architectural Imagination website.

The Architectural Imagination “My Detroit” Photo Contest Winners:

Sara Jane Boyers, Santa Monica, CA
Derek Chang, New York, NY
Jon DeBoer, Royal Oak, MI
DelVillano Family, Detroit, MI
Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Reno, NV
Geoff George, Detroit, MI
Erik Herrmann, Ann Arbor, MI
Julie Huff, Detroit, MI
William McGraw, Dearborn, MI
Ayana T. Miller, Detroit, MI
Ben Nowak, Oak Park, MI
Kevin Robishaw, Detroit, MI
Salvador Rodriguez, Saint Clair Shores, MI
Harrell Scarcello, Southfield, MI
Sue Shoemaker, Brown City, MI
John Sobczak, Bloomfield, MI
Cigdem Talu, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Corine Vermeulen, Hamtramck, MI

The U.S. Department of State selected University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to organize the exhibition of the U.S. Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.  Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon are the U.S. Pavilion co-curators.

For more information about the postcard selection process: www.thearchitecturalimagination.org/mydetroit

For more information about The Architectural Imagination:

Curator Cynthia Davidson to speak at AIA Grassroots Leadership Event in Detroit, February 24, 2016

Curator Cynthia Davidson to speak at AIA Grassroots Leadership Event in Detroit, February 24, 2016 (http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab107430.pdf)

More about the panel:

Wednesday, February 24, 2016: 12:30–1:30pm Renaissance Ballroom,  Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Five Waterfronts/Five Solutions

Moderator: Cynthia Davidson, Co-Curator, US Pavilion Exhibition, Venice Architecture Biennale

Columbus: Andrew Overbeck, Principal, MKSK

Detroit:  Mark Wallace, President and CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

San Antonio:  Roberto Treviño, AIA, San Antonio City Council, District 1

Seattle: Peter Steinbrueck, FAIA, Principal and Founder, Steinbrueck Urban Strategies

Washington, DC: Scott Kratz, Executive Director, 11th Street Bridge Park

The U.S. Department of State selected University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to organize the exhibition of the U.S. Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.  Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon are the U.S. Pavilion co-curators.

Curators Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon to speak at MOCAD, Detroit, on February 25, 2016 at 7pm.

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit: LECTURE
The Architectural Imagination with Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon
Thursday, February 25, 2016, 7pm
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)

Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon, the co-curators of the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, introduce a conversation designed to establish dialogue, discussion, and debate. The exhibition for the US Pavilion, entitled The Architectural Imagination, will speculate possible architecture projects for four sites in Detroit with an eye for application internationally. It will open to the public in the US Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, and MOCAD will present The Architectural Imagination in Detroit in 2017.

The exhibition will emphasize the importance and value of the architectural imagination in shaping forms and spaces into exciting future possibilities. The birthplace of the automobile industry, the free-span factory floor, the concrete paved road, and Motown and techno music, Detroit was once a center of American imagination, not only for the products it made but also for its modern architecture and modern lifestyle, which captivated audiences worldwide. Like many postindustrial cities, Detroit is coping with a changed urban core that for decades 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 have selected twelve visionary American architectural practices to produce new work that demonstrates the creativity and resourcefulness of architecture to address the social and environmental issues of the 21st century.

The U.S. Department of State selected University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to organize the exhibition of the U.S. Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.  Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon are the U.S. Pavilion co-curators.

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Round Table 4: Packard Plant

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GREG LYNN, Greg Lynn FORM, Venice, CA
Greg Lynn FORM has been at the cutting edge of design in the field of architecture when it comes to the use of computer-aided design. The projects, publications, teachings and writings associated with the office have been influential in the acceptance and use of advanced technology for design and fabrication. Greg Lynn FORM was established in 1994 in Hoboken, NJ and relocated to Venice, California in 1998 to take advantage of the knowledge and technology resources in both the manufacturing and entertainment industries of Southern California. The office is a design forward team that combines a unique specialization in exotic form and a creative ease and expertise with cutting edge design, manufacturing and construction techniques germane to the aeronautic, automobile and film industries of Southern California.

STAN ALLEN, SAA/Stan Allen Architect
SAA/Stan Allen Architect is a small, agile practice capable of working at a wide range of scales. Responding to the complexity of the modern city in creative ways, SAA has developed an extensive catalogue of innovative design strategies, in particular looking at art, field theory, ecology and landscape architecture as models to revitalize the practice of architecture. The office has realized buildings and urban projects in the United States, South America and Asia. Stan Allen holds degrees from Brown University, The Cooper Union and Princeton. After working for Richard Meier in New York and Rafael Moneo in Madrid, he established his independent practice in 1990. From 1999 - 2003, he worked in collaboration with James Corner/Field Operations, during which time they won competitions for the French Embassy Garden in New York and the reuse of the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island. From 2002 to 2012 Allen served as Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University where he is currently the George Dutton ’27 Professor of Architecture.

T+E+A+M is a collective of four young, internationally recognized designers with extensive experience in practice and teaching. We have been invited to exhibit work at the 2012 Venice Biennale, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Boston Society of Architects, Van Alen Institute, Center for Architecture, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Architectural Association, the A+D Gallery, the Beijing Biennale, the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Biennale and Art Prize Grand Rapids. We hold professional licensure and have completed numerous residential and hospitality interiors in New York, Virginia, and Michigan as well as full-scale installations in Chicago, New York, Detroit and Venice. Our work has been published in theJournal of Architectural Education, MONU, Triple Canopy, Project Journal, Pidgin, Thresholds, Scapegoat: Architecture, Landscape, and Political Economy, and ARPA Journal.

Round Table 3: Post Office

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KELLY BAIR AND KRISTY BALLIET, BairBalliet, Chicago, IL and Columbus, OH
BairBalliet is a joint design venture invested in architectural research in the form of both speculative and built projects. Based in Columbus, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois BairBalliet sees opportunity in the synthesis between events and the physical world in which those events take place. Their work examines the potential to place architectural figures in direct dialog with its viewers through volumetric expansion, spatial layering and projective imagery. In addition to their professional work, BairBalliet are engaged in innovative thinking and making through the academy with respective positions at two institutions: Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture and The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture. Bair and Balliet are co-founders (with Adam Fure and Kyle Miller) of Possible Mediums, a collective of fellow architects interested in shaking up the context and format in which architecture is produced and engaged.

Present Future is a research and design team based at Rice University School of Architecture, in Houston, Texas. Its current mid and long term project is the development of an urban model that unites architecture with an explicit urban project. The team’s current approach is to operate at all scales of the built environment with the aim of developing a new model of density that is commensurate with the drastic and imminent reductions of carbon emissions. The team’s previous expertise includes sustained research on contemporary urban forms such as spine-based urbanism, extensive experience in the redevelopment of inner city areas, studies on carbon sequestration through urban forestry and innovative applications of mass timber construction to the housing market. Through writing and exhibitions, the team puts great emphasis on working within an explicit architectural and urban theory. With regards to the hot  topic of Detroit, the city is uniquely positioned to become a laboratory for many urban transformations that are yet to come. Its wrenching experiences during the retreat of the auto industry has prepared the city to confront the challenges that other cities will soon face during the adjustment to the new carbon economy.

PRESTON SCOTT COHEN, Preston Scott Cohen, Inc., Cambridge, MA
Preston Scott Cohen, Inc., based in Cambridge, MA, is an internationally recognized architectural practice distinguished by its designs for cultural and educational institutions. The firm is renowned for its innovative development of combinatory geometries, its new approach to integrating buildings with their urban environments and for its interior spaces of architectural exceptiion. Preston Scott Cohen has developed a lexicon of architectural forms and organizational principles suited to the particular circumstances, desires and aspirations of private owners, institutions, government agencies and corporations. Many of his designs have involved historically and socially contested sites. The firm includes two registered architects and a team of six experienced designers working under the design leadership of Harvard Professor Preston Scott Cohen. The organization of the practice is structured to ensure his personal involvement on a daily basis in all matters of client and consultant collaboration, program development, conceptual design, technical development, material specification and detailing. The range of services the firm provides includes architectural design, construction documentation, and construction administration. Its facilities are occasionally extended during periods of research by access to Harvard Design School’s manifold computer technologies, including 3-D printing, prototyping, visualization technologies, milling and multi-frame structural analysis programs.

Round Table 2: Mexicantown

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Both Florencia Pita and Jackilin Hah Bloom have extensive work and teaching experience. While together at Greg Lynn FORM, they were team leaders on the World Trade Center Design competition. While Jackilin continued at Greg Lynn FORM to design and build the Bloom House, Florencia has designed and executed several full-scale installations of her own. Their shared sensibilities and research interests brought them together in 2010 and have since produced a body of work that focuses on the cohesion of form and color.

MARCELO LOPEZ-DINARDI AND V. MITCH McEWEN, A(n) Office, Detroit, MI and New York, NY
A(n) Office partners come from culturally and disciplinary multiple backgrounds. Latin America, the Caribbean and North America are all physical locations where they have actively engaged. Both Latin American and African-American cultures are also at the center of their concerns; as well as issues of migration and democracy. Political economy, urban design, architecture, exhibition, curatorial and installation work are all part of their disciplinary framework. A(n) Office partners collectively have more than twenty years of intense experience in the design field and have developed as well an academic career during the same period. They have worked in a variety of formats, including architectural firms, public and municipal institutions, not-for-profit organizations, academia, and independently as entrepreneurs. These multi-platformed experiences have increased their capacity to consider and produce multi-disciplinary collaborative work. Both partners have professional architecture degrees, as well as graduate-level studies in conceptual and curatorial practices and undergraduate studies in political economy from Columbia and Harvard, respectively.

MACK SCOGIN & MERRILL ELAM, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, Atlanta, GA
Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, founded in 1984 as Parker and Scogin, later as Scogin Elam and Bray, was formed in order to take full advantage of the complementary skills and talents of the two principal architects, Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam. The work of the firm is organized in such a manner that ensures the involvement of the principal architects in the day-to-day development of each project. This keeps the work personal and directed, and brings the best of the firm’s collective knowledge and experience to each client. Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects’ clients expect innovative design with a mature approach to the practical constraints of architecture. They have an innate desire for architecture that goes beyond mere problem solving to architecture that addresses their curiosity surrounding the role of architecture in society. The firm has had the privilege to work with some of the most respected clients in the world including: Herman Miller, Inc; The High Museum of Art; The Committee for Olympic Development in Atlanta; Tishman Speyer Properties; Corning Enterprises, Inc., and The Coca Cola Company, the following city governments: Atlanta, Cincinnati, New York; as well as the following universities: Arizona State, University of California at Berkeley, Clark-Atlanta, Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Harvard, The Ohio State, Tulane, Syracuse, and Yale.


McLain Clutter, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Amy Kulper, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Round Table 1: Dequindre Cut

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MARSHALL BROWN, Marshall Brown Projects, Inc., Chicago, IL
Marshall Brown Projects is a versatile architecture studio based in Chicago, specialising in visionary projects for urban environments. Marshall Brown is a licensed architect and urban designer who has worked on several notable projects including the Navy Pier redevelopment , a master plan for Washington Park, and a new pavilion for the Arts Club in Chicago. Brown received Masters degrees in both Architecture and Urban Design from Harvard University where he won the Druker Fellowship for urban design. He is an Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Architectural Education, is a board member of the Arts Club of Chicago, and has lectured at the Chicago Humanities Festival, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, the Graham Foundation, Auburn University, and the University of Toronto. His projects and essays have appeared in several books and journals, including Metropolis, The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Record, Crain’s, The New York Daily News, Art Papers, The Believer, and New Directions in Sustainable Design. Marshall Brown is also a founder of NEW PROJECTS, the urbanism, art and culture think tank, in collaboration with curator Stephanie Smith. And he was director of the Yards Development WorkShop, designers of the UNITY Plan for the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn New York. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Western Exhibitions in Chicago

ANDREW ZAGO AND LAURA BOUWMAN, Zago Architecture, Los Angeles, CA
Zago Architecture is based in Los Angeles. With completedprojects in the US and Korea, its work has appeared inter-nationally in exhibitions, books, professional journals, and reviews. Notable projects include the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Fine Venture Office Tower in Seoul, a design studio facility for Cornell University’s School of Engineering, and Arup’s downtown Los Angeles office. In 2011 Zago Architecture was selected to participate in “Foreclosed:Rehousing the American Dream,” a workshop and exhibition at MoMA.
In addition to the “Foreclosed” project, the firm’s urban projects include the German Federal government complex in Berlin, and the Clean Tech Corridor study for Los Angeles. As part-ner in AKS RUNO, Zago developed Metapolis, an urban plan for central Los Angeles, for the Mayor’s West Coast GatewayCommittee. Architectural works in Detroit include the Detroit Community Pavilion (with Mark Anderson), the Greening of Detroit Pavilion, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), and proposals for new buildings in Capitol Park. Additionally, the firm produced XYT: Detroit Streets, whichdeveloped a novel representational technique, and Detroit Corner Banks which cataloged all extant examples of that building type.

MICHAEL MEREDITH, MOS Architects, New York, NY
MOS Architects is a New York based architecture and designoffice founded by principals Michael Meredith and HilarySample. Recent MOS projects include the KrabbesholmHøjskole in Skive, Denmark, the Element House and Visitor Center in Star Axis, New Mexico, and Lali Gurans, an orphanage and community center in Kathmandu, Nepal. MOS has participated in many exhibitions and short-term events, including Legible Pompeii as part of Monditalia for the 2014 Venice Biennale, the 2013 Oslo Architecture Triennial, Aesthetics/Anesthetics at the Storefront for Art andArchitecture (2012), Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream at the Museum of Modern Art (2011), and the MoMAPS1 Young Architects Program (2009). MOS’s works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Artin New York, SFMOMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, and theYale University Art Gallery. MOS’s work has been publishedextensively, including Everything All at Once: The Software,Videos and Architecture of MOS, through the Princeton Architectural Press, Beginnings: MOS, through buffallo BOOKS,and the forthcoming MOS: Selected Works, through the Princeton Architectural Press.


McLain Clutter, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Amy Kulper, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Lecture: Robert Fishman, "Detroit and the Acceleration of History"

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Robert Fishman, professor of architecture and urban planning, teaches in the urban design, architecture, and urban planning programs at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. and A.M. in history from Harvard and his A.B. in history from Stanford University. An internationally recognized expert in the areas of urban history and urban policy and planning, he has authored several books regarded as seminal texts on the history of cities and urbanism including Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia (1987) and Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century: Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier (1977). His honors include the 2009 Laurence Gerckens Prize for lifetime achievement of the Society for City and Regional Planning History; the Walker Ames Lectureship, the University of Washington, Seattle, 2010; the Emil Lorch Professorship at the Taubman College, 2006-2009; Public Policy Scholar, the Wilson Center, Washington, D.C., 1999; the Cass Gilbert Professorship at the University of Minnesota, 1998; and visiting professorships at the University of Paris, Nanterre; the University of Pennsylvania; and Columbia University. He is currently working on a history of sustainability.

Lecture: Maurice Cox, "Portraits of Resilience: New Orleans/Detroit"

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Maurice Cox, newly appointed Planning Director for the City of Detroit is an urban designer, architectural educator and former mayor of the City of Charlottesville, VA. He most recently served as Associate Dean for Community Engagement at Tulane University, School of Architecture and Director of the Tulane City Center, a university-affiliated practice operating at the intersection of design, urban research and civic engagement throughout the New Orleans community. Cox has taught at Syracuse University, the University of Virginia and Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. His experience merging architecture, politics and design education led to his being named one of “20 Masters of Design” in 2004 by Fast Company Business Magazine. He served as Design Director of the National Endowment for the Arts from 2007-2010 where he led the NEA’s Your Town Rural Institute, the Governor’s Institute on Community Design, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and oversaw direct design grants to the design community across the U.S. In 2013, Cox was named one of the Most Admired Design Educators in America in the annual ranking of Design Intelligence.