Parallel Projections International Competition
Honorable Mention
w/ Jason Butz
Site: Packard Motor Plant. Detroit, Michigan.

Prompt from the organizers:
[Our inaugural competition challenged designers to imagine a new future for the infamous Packard Automotive Plant in Detroit, MI. In response to the debilitating sprawl that contributed to the cities decline, entrants were charged to investigate and propose a new dynamic and adaptive urban node that will reinvigorate Detroit.  Rethink urban practices surrounding public transportation, sustainable systems, and spatial organization. The aim is to memorialize the Packard’s current ruined state, while simultaneously imagining a future that will heal Detroit technologically, socially and aesthetically.
This competition was an overwhelming success, receiving over 300 entries from 28 different countries. Results were covered in several architecture publications and select entries were presented to key developers and city officials.]

Augmented Chassis: Crowd-sourcing the Detroit Streetscape is an isolated experiment for recontextualizing Detroit's economic, cultural, capital, and spatial context. It redefines the Packard Automotive District into a spatial dialogue between diversified equity, innovation, productive nostalgia, and collective ownership. It addresses the primary reasons Detroit failed as the epitome of Industrial capitalism -- single-stream economy and sprawl - by suggesting a diversified economic and financing model, while increasing density. It challenges the role that industrial efficiency had in shaping the landscape of Detroit to include cultural, social, environmental and economic factors. This is done by soliciting a unique and diverse patronage that dictates the new composition of the streetscape, and creates decentralized zones of innovation, entertainment, services, farming, and transportation.

Augmented Reality plays a major role in simultaneously juxtaposing histories and futures. Through these parallel projections of past, present and potential futures, the streetscape is incrementally built by a new set of patrons -- both local and global.

Augmented Futures
Augmentation is simultaneously used to generate iterative futures of the existing chassis. The AR labs incubate research and development of environmental enhancements that re-envision the spatial products of global and local investments within the chassis, and the greater city of Detroit. Eventually, by lending this expertise to other cities, Detroit becomes the canvas on which other cities are tested.

Diversification of investment and ownership that is not reliant on the State is a critical component of alleviating Detroit’s bankruptcy. Space becomes a tradable commodity that seeks new patronage and investment. Voxels of space are unitized to become crowd-sourced equity and Real-Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). This financing model is exploded to attract global and local investors at various scales.

Augmented Museum
The project uses Augmented Reality to create a new museum of histories that simulates the assembly-line within the Packard Automotive plant. It reveals history in ways that is beyond nostalgic. This projection constructs productive narratives that allows visitors to observe the past layered onto the present.
The project privileges the bike and the e-bike for an automobile-independent experience. It challenges the nostalgic idea of the drive-thru, to suggest a more sustainable Bike-thru model to experience this streetscape. E-bikes are developed, produced, and deployed on site to create a new way of traversing the site. Rental bikes bridge the “last-mile” connection to the existing public transit system. On site, three separate bike paths dictate the pace at which the site is experienced -- ranging from a casual bike-thru to performance practice.

Media coverage:

Project Exhibited at the Detroit Future City Exhibition, Detroit, 2014 |
Organized by Parallel Projections, Innovative Design Competitions. Source: