Detroit Collaborative Design Center

This campaign ends on June 30 at 11:59PM EDT

The Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture brings high-quality and community-engaged design to all neighborhoods in Detroit. We do this by engaging, educating and promoting equity in design processes and outcomes. We believe that community-engaged design is integrally linked to racial equity work that contributes to more equitable communities. We work with community partners citywide on a range of projects from architectural and landscape design to neighborhood urban design and planning. We prioritize community participation in the planning and design process with the belief that local expertise leads to the best ideas.

Two to four Detroit Mercy architecture students work on community-engaged design projects with DCDC every semester, alongside fulltime professional staff. This experience trains emerging architects in community-engaged design as they learn by doing and gain experience in all aspects of practice.

Donations to DCDC provide funding for professional staff and Detroit Mercy architecture students to work with community groups across the city of Detroit on community-based projects. This work partners with and benefits communities that would otherwise not have access to design services and ensures that Detroiters play a central role in the design decision making process that informs the physical quality of their neighborhoods

In 2019 DCDC worked on 28 projects across the city of Detroit and provided cooperative educational experiences (co-ops) for 6 Detroit Mercy architecture students. These projects ranged widely in scale and included participatory architectural design for youth programming with Urban Neighborhood Initiative’s Southwest Detroit youth leadership group, landscape design strategies for families and young children in collaboration with Brilliant Detroit, and resilient neighborhood planning with local leaders on the City’s eastside. Community partners included a range of inspiring nonprofit and community organizations across the city. For a full view of our work in 2019 please see our Annual Report.

DCDC continues to work with community groups in Detroit. In 2020, we have worked on over 22 projects and initiatives with 8 Detroit Mercy co-ops. We have also adapted our community engagement strategies to safely reach residents and other neighborhood stakeholders during COVID-19 to ensure that their vision and the design of their buildings, outdoor community spaces and neighborhoods.  

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Stephanie Harbin
Ronald L Grzesiak
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