IdeasCity Detroit took place April 25–30, 2016, and included an intensive week-long studio laboratory workshop with forty-one Fellows, culminating in a daylong public conference, featuring many internationally acclaimed speakers from the fields of art, architecture, design, policy-making, and urbanism. The conference, which was free and open to the public, took place on April 30, 2016, at the Jam Handy, a former film studio for car commercials.
IdeasCity Detroit launched the initiative’s first studio laboratory, which continued as a central feature of IdeasCity going forward. Fellows lived and worked in the Herman Kiefer Complex —a former hospital complex in Virginia Park and one of Detroit’s most iconic disused sites—transforming it into a hub of cultural activity. Led by Joseph Grima and organized in collaboration with Maurice Cox, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Detroit, this five-day workshop sought to address the opportunities and challenges of urban reconstruction, and brought together emerging practitioners working at the intersection of community activism, art, design, and technology in cities around the world. The workshop included site visits, lectures, and discussions with Fellows, local experts, and community members.
“IdeasCity Detroit gathered forty-one extraordinary individuals to tackle specific challenges facing the city. We’re incredibly excited to have had the opportunity to learn from Detroit, to deploy a collective intelligence model based on arts and culture, and to further exchange with the community. The city is in the process of reinventing itself and, once again, is on the verge of transforming our understanding of the modern metropolis. Detroit is a laboratory for a new paradigm of urbanity,” said Joseph Grima, Director of IdeasCity.