From Vacancy to Vibrancy

This was the pitch we sent to the organizers of INCLUDE 2019:

“We will collectively transform an outdoor ground of broken concrete, weeds and trash into an outdoor gathering space for hands on work and relaxation through furniture designed and built on site.
Attendees will work with their hands with both inside and outside work options and should wear clothes that they do not mind getting dirty. We will have all tools and gloves.”

Include is a biennial international conference that focuses on issues central to inclusive and people-centered design. Include was hosted for the first time in America, by College for Creative Studies and Design Core Detroit and is produced by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art. The 2019 edition focussed on Detroit’s strategy as a UNESCO City of Design to use inclusive design to drive inclusive growth in the city.

Here was our outdoor lot a week ago:

A few details of note–the tress in the foreground are growing out of the Maker Space building. Nestled at the trunks are thick piles of used tires:

We were fortunate to have a core cleanup crew of 6th graders that was focussed and devoted to the challenge. We cut down the trees, hauled out the tires, used a snow shovel to load the trash into cans and raked.

accompanied on rake by DCH apparel co-founder and screen printer Brie McGee and BMS staff Sharanya Pai .

Our prep for the building portion of the workshop involved making a choice selection from the stacks of shipping palettes that we find up and down Burt Road and pre-cutting and priming the cladding for our furniture.

Gifted with a beautiful November day, and following a brief overview of the Brightmoor Maker Space for our visitors we set forth with what Maker Space co-founder Bart Eddy described as a design flash mob.

among the highlights of the day were conversations that happened at work and over snacks..

As we look ahead to some of our aspirations for the near future, this afternoon and its resulting constructions remind us of the potency of that building together builds not only objects and places but shared spaces of conversation and community. With great appreciation to everyone who was part of this transformation. Here’s to more….