In 2018, we won the design build competition Design Center in a Box, hosted by the Detroit City Planning Department and Detroit Collaborative Design Center. In 2019, we won the design build competition Detroit City of Design hosted by Design Core Detroit. In 2019, we were commissioned artists for the 7th annual Sidewalk Festival.
Co-Production & Partnership
Our inclusive process centers marginalized people to ensure their safety, joy, and full expression of themselves. Public space in Detroit is for the leisure, enjoyment, and celebration of Detroiters; it is for small businesses and entrepreneurs to build their client base; for the gathering and sharing of knowledge and resources among Detroit communities; and lastly, it is an opportunity to invest in the creative capital of Detroit artists who are reimagining new futures for the city.
We view ourselves as partners in the activation of space, continuing to work with our stakeholders after construction. This furthers the exchange of design knowledge and creative capacity. And as designers, our continued involvement helps us learn how space is used, modified, and maintained.
We are dedicated to meaningful design that prioritizes the social and economic exchanges of the communities we serve. We do this by celebrating cultural expression and enhancing the creative capacity of communities, designing environments for everyone to connect to their most natural selves. We believe in the power of design to support participatory civic action, advocacy, and liberation.
Our expertise lies in improving operations, increasing connectivity, designing responsive environments, and adaptively reusing materials. Our firm brings a sense of joy, innovation, and accessibility that empowers people to live and move unhindered or impaired by the built environment.
|Detroit Planning and Development|
|Detroit Department of Public Works|
|Southwest Detroit Business Association|
|East Warren Development Corp|
|East Warren Farmers Market|
|Design Core Detroit|
|Plant Life CBD|
|Dandy Acres and Shelter Bay Animal Care|
|Jefferson East, Inc.|
|Dr Susan Steigerwalt|
(Artist as Developer)
Ujijji Davis of JIMA studio
(Eastern Market Streetscape)
Design Core Detroit
The Artist Village
Laura Walker is an architect and artist practicing in Detroit, Michigan. She is the recipient of the 2019 AIA Detroit Young Architect of the Year Award and featured in Crain’s 2020 Notable Women in Design. Laura is an Associate at SmithGroup Detroit and co-founding Principal of Other Work. Her 15 years of professional and academic experience range across all scales and typologies -- from small-scale design-build installations and commercial spaces to expansive higher education, workplace, and urban design.
As a White, queer woman, she is interested in power struggle and alliance building in racialized territories and traditionally gendered spaces. Her work reimagines how human bodies perform and interact with one another and their surroundings. Engaged in transdisciplinary and inclusive collaboration, she designs participatory environments that radically affirm and celebrate marginalized human identities, expressions, and desires -- queer, Black, Indegenous, (dis)abled folx and people of color.
Michael Styczynski is an architectural designer and city maker practicing in Detroit, Michigan. He is an adjunct faculty at Lawrence Technological University leading design studios focused on the spatial agency and role of the ‘Architect’ to construct social, cultural, and political change.
He is interested in revealing the complex mechanisms of city making that construct cultural, political, and economic spatial inequalities. His work envisions design as a tool for critical spatial discourse and change.