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Small Package, Big Solution

In this studio, students researched the impact of the 1964 construction of I 375 through downtown Detroit with special attention being paid to the destruction of the predominantly African American communities of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley as a result of the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act of 1956. The students studied the effects of national policy on the city and the many other American cities that experienced devastating neighborhood destruction as a result of this Congressional program. Through significant research and study of the site and the adjacent neighborhoods, the students narrowed their focus of interest to the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood of Detroit. With the help of the McDougall-Hunt Neighborhood Sustainable Development Plan, researched and written by the Bailey Park Neighborhood Development Corporation, the students were able to identify key needs of the neighborhood that they believed could be addressed through design. “Building Networks: Infrastructure + Community,” attempts to directly address the needs of our time, acknowledge the mistakes of our past, and design for an unambiguously anti-racist future. Therefore, students were asked to embark on this project with humility and empathy and to remove all notions of “expert” embedded in traditional architectural education. We did not attempt to learn from the Bailey Park Neighborhood Development Corporation in order to replicate their work or enhance their work based on our perceptions, rather we approached the project as an effort to help the organization achieve what it is that they are setting out to do.
By centering the voices of those who are directly impacted by the outcomes of the design process, over the course of the semester, the studio has felt like a sea change in the architectural pedagogical approach.








Megan Crumrine

Currently in the Master of Architecture Graduate Program at Lawrence Tech, Megan plans on graduating spring of 2023. Megan is also working as a Project Manager for an architecture firm in Beaufort, South Carolina. Previous to LTU, she received her Business Management degree from Montana State University. She looks forward to bringing her professional and educational business experience to the architecture industry. Folding in knowledge gained from LTU, Megan works on an array of residential projects at work including: Habitat For Humanity developments, student housing, and custom single family residencies. As an architect she plans on finding new solutions to the housing crisis. She plans on achieving this not only through good design, but community involvement, public participation and leadership.

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