After years of being an afterthought to many around the world, views towards Detroit have been changing as of late. The latest to change their view of the city is the U.S. State Department who has chosen the city to be their main, and only, focus at the 2016 Venice Biennale, the world’s premier exhibition of architectural innovation.
From the Detroit Free Press article
“For us It was very important that Detroit be that city because of Detroit’s rich history of invention,” Ponce de Leon said. “And because of it’s rich history of invention it really has all the he right ingredients for architects to speculate about the city of the 21st century.”
Although Detroit has already been the focus of global attention in recent years, in many ways the city remains prey to cliches about Rust Belt failure and what can be done about it.
“One of our motivations is to break some of the Detroit stereotypes,” Ponce de Leon said. “Rather than having this approach of ‘fixing’ Detroit as if Detroit quote-unquote needs to be saved, we think the history, the experience, the reality of Detroit creates an important voice that can help generate models that are significant globally.”
Davidson said that the 12 teams are expected to offer imaginative solutions for how architecture can recreate urban sites, especially in the context of open space of which Detroit has so much and which is part of each of the four sites.
“We don’t want 12 new museums for Detroit. We want new ideas about what is a program in Detroit in the 21st century,” Davidson said.
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