A segment of Monday's KCRW's To The Point
newsmagazine used the current negotiations between the Big Three and the UAW to begin a larger discussion on Detroit's architecture and urbanism. Andrew Zago is the owner of Zago Architecture
, which has offices in Detroit and Los Angeles (notable works include MOCAD
.) He says the auto industry and union's struggles play out in the city's physical condition (no surprise) and architectural history. The future, he says, lies in attracting projects that command a larger scale of urbanism than a single storefront could produce; while avoiding the massive RenCen types of projects that corrupt the city's character.
"There is this incredible sort of grassroots creativity. But somehow, it never kind of brings about ... it never can cohere into significant urbanism, and the top-down models tend to be too sterile. I think what Detroit really needs and where its future is, is to find a kind of middle ground. Projects that are real and true to Detroit, warts and all; but at the same time, can rise above the most minute scale of grassroots efforts -- and I think we're starting to see some of that."
Listen to the program here
(Zago speaks at minute 42).