Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chronicle 9: CDS in the Detroit Community

M.L. King, Jr, Senior High School
The City of Detroit is very near and dear to Centric Design Studio - we're from here, work here, and play here. We have consciously decided to locate our offices in the city; Midtown to be exact, a vibrant section of Detroit, contributing to the revitalization efforts of the entire city.

So when it comes to encouraging young people to consider architecture, design and construction as professions and using their skills to build sustainable communities, CDS is available. Here are a couple of events we've participated in the last two months:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School Tour

photo via
Led by Margaret Matta, Green Schools Committee Chair, the Detroit Regional Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) sponsored a tour of Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School in July. The newly constructed LEED Silver facility replaced a 49-year old structure on Lafayette Street and emphasizes a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

CDS' Saundra Little sat on the panel of practitioners who gladly introduced their green building-related careers to students from a program sponsored by Americorps and W.A.R.M. Training Center, an organization with which CDS has partnered to provide computer-aided drafting (CAD) training. Saundra fielded a multitude of questions on the architecture profession:

"How much math did you have to take?"

"Why did you have to be licensed?"
Saundra Little (far left) discusses careers in sustainability
with students
"What's a typical salary?"

 ... and many more.

Saundra and the others on the panel - environmental systems specialists, the sustainability architect for the Detroit Public Schools, a representative from a neighborhood revitalization organization, and students from the University of Michigan - all stressed to students the importance of education and entering a field that they love.

NOMA Legacy Project Design Charette
Centric Design Studio employees are active members of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). Traditionally, as part of its annual conference, NOMA completes a design and construction project to be left as a legacy in the host city. NOMA's 2012 conference will be held in Detroit in October 2012, and the legacy project will be a new mobile demonstration center for W.A.R.M. Training Center, a non-profit organization that promotes the development of healthy homes and communities.

CDS, along with high school and college design students, W.A.R.M. Training employees and volunteers, and  NOMA members, participated in the charrette. The existing display space for building products and materials, tools, photos, brochures and other educational materials was to be redesigned as 10' x 10' or 3' x 6'  flexible mobile units for display in the community or at conferences and trade shows.

Below are photos from the existing display space, charrette, and designs for the new mobile units:
WARM Training wall displays
WARM Training brochure display rack

Chris Bruner of CDS presents at the charrette

Stephen Lentini, CDS intern, explains a design
Team Interlock, clockwise from left: Robert Smiley and
CDS' Chris Bruner, Damon Thomas and Stephen Lentini

Model from Team Interlock

Model from Team Interlock

Model from Team Mobile

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