Detroit Students to Present Vision for Islandview to City Officials

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AIA Detroit to Celebrate Conclusion of Grant-Winning K-8 Outreach Program

On Friday, February 2nd from 4:00-6:00pm at the Butzel Family Rec Center in Detroit’s Islandview Neighborhood, 50 Detroit students, ranging from 1st to 6th grade, will present their vision for their community to a host of public officials and members of the AEC industry, including representatives of the Planning & Development Department, the Mayor’s Office, the DEGC, and the Department of Neighborhoods. This presentation and reception will serve as the conclusion of the first iteration of AIA Detroit’s K-8 outreach program, titled Architecture Building Communities: Detroit, (ABC:D). The program is run in partnership with Cranbrook Art Museum and the Center for Success, and was supported as one of the inaugural recipients of the Architects’ Foundation / Armstrong World Industries Foundation K-8 Architecture and Design Education Grant.

Over the past 10 weeks, Educators from Cranbrook and volunteer mentors from AIA Detroit have been meeting with students at the Center for Success, an after-school program on Detroit’s east side. Two groups of students met with their instructors and mentors each week to learn about a real City of Detroit Planning & Development Department initiative, located just blocks away from the Center. After a group site visit to the Islandview neighborhood, mentors worked with students to illuminate the planning processes behind adaptive reuse, new construction, and urban redevelopment, and empowered them to craft their own visions for how they’d like to see their community evolve. The program seeks not only to encourage youth and community engagement in the planning process, but also to promote the value of STEM education and the many career opportunities in the AEC and design industries, particularly here in Detroit.

Following the student presentations, representatives of AIA Detroit, Cranbrook, and the Center for Success will share background on the formation of the new program, and highlight future plans for additional educational engagement aimed at fostering a more equitable and diverse pipeline into the AEC and design professions.