Detroit, MI

Welcome to Open Architecture Detroit! It is our mission to harness the knowledge and experience that resides in each Metro Detroit neighborhood in combination with our design expertise to promote sustainable projects that have a lasting impact on the community.

The Detroit Chapter was founded in 2013 by a small but dedicated group of design professionals, who wanted to make a positive and lasting change in the city. We are committed to: 1) Work with local non-profits and community organizations to provide design services to underserved neighborhoods. 2) Engage volunteers of all skill levels to support and participate in community design projects.

MEET OUR TEAM! Alex Derdelakos, Lisa Kulawczyk, Irsida Bejo, Stephen Lentini, Danielle Wilson, Josh Lipnik, Andrew Laszczyk, Grace Kulawczyk.

  • 2013

    Founded

  • 9

    Active Members

  • 13

    Total Projects

Photo by Danielle Wilson

Brightmoor Artisan's Center Community Kitchen and Retail Cafe. A community space for the many urban farmers in Detroit's Northwest neighborhood to collect, wash, prep, package and distribute their home grown goods.

  • 2015

    Design Package Completed

  • In-Progress (CDs)

    Project Status

  • Project Presentation

    Flickr

  • Brightmoor Artisans Community Kitchen (BAC)

    Facebook

Photo by Alex Derdelakos

Back Alley Bikes is a non-profit bicycle repair and education shop in Detroit's Cass Corridor. The program offers hands-on experience in building, maintaining, and restoring bicycles, offering kids and adults the opportunity to learn more about, exercise, craft, and their community. Having found an opportunity to expand their popular shop, Back Alley Bikes opened a design competition to the public to engage neighbors, students, and other organizations in defining Back Alley Bikes’ future spaces. Open Architecture Detroit and students from the University of Detroit Mercy's AIAS chapter teamed up to create a submission for the design competition, later selected as the winning entry.

  • August 2015

    Competition Date

  • In-Progress (CDs)

    Project Status

  • 13

    Number of Volunteers

Photo by Stephen Lentini

The Detroit Chapter was contacted by a homeowner in Metro Detroit that had been trapped in his house for months due to his disability. The chapter immediately put together a drawing set, received permits and began construction. In a matter of a few months of design and construction the homeowner was finally able to get out and about without much trouble.

  • 2015

    Project Date

  • Complete

    Project Status

  • 12

    Number of Volunteers

Photo by Alex Derdelakos

The Mt. Elliot Maker Space provides an opportunity for kids in late elementary school to high school with an afterschool learning space. The Maker Space offers a wood shop, bike repair shop, and computer training area where kids can learn life skills through interactive projects and get homework help with one on one mentors. Operating from a space within the Church of the Messiah on Detroit’s East side, the Makers sought to redesign their space in order to better serve the needs of their program. A collaborative design process with the Makers led to the creation of a prototype for the mobile partition units that make up a key component of the design.

  • 2015

    Project Date

  • 8

    Number of Volunteers

  • 1

    Prototype Built

Photo by Danielle Wilson

Thanks to a minigrant by DC3, we were able to design and construct DETROIT-O-POLIS::Play, Park, Learn [the city], a Detroit-based monopoly for kids of all ages. This playground/installation was done as part of Detroit Design Festival's Youth Day.

  • 2014

    Project Date

  • 11

    Number of Volunteers

Photo by Irsida Bejo

PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens activate metered parking spots as sites for creative experimentation, cultural expression, and spontaneous social interaction. We brought this powerful 'reclaim the city' movement back to Detroit as part of Detroit Design Festival's Light-up Livernois program. The project was supported by Revolve Detroit.

  • 2013

    Project Date

  • 4

    Number of Chapter Teams/Designs

Photo by Irsida Bejo