When characterizing mobility in Detroit, America’s Motor City, the auto industry and networks of transportation are often first to mind. The idea of movement, to, from, and within the city dates back to early European settlers and traders, through the surge of Southerners seeking work in the mid-twentieth century, to the recent migration of young creatives in search of what has been called the last American frontier. However, expanded ideas of mobility, and also, stability, are not tied strictly to the reality of physical movement.
With an understanding of the city’s explosive growth, followed by its continued decline, mobility can also be understood as social, political, and economic. Each of these areas also face the realities of immobility, which can be seen as the limitations and constraints set by the city’s current conditions. It is through this lens and in employing creative thinking and innovative practice that initiatives in Detroit shape the metropolis’ culture, values and potential. Design is everywhere in Detroit.
Curated by Elizabeth Cummings + Morgan Walsh.