Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Surreal Estate

Check out the "field dispatch" on the Archinect website by Wes Janz, author of the forthcoming book One Small Project, and colleague Olon Dotson as they undertake what they called the "Midwest Distress Tour."

"Detroit, Flint, Gary, Chicago, East St. Louis, and Cincinnati are worlds where most if not everything we know as architects is wrong, or useless. Everything we know, all architectural knowledge, becomes secondary, or disproved, or of little or no use. From almost any perspective—sociological, economic, political, and architectural—these are abnormal places that are now normal. There are problems so deep, lives so destroyed, neighborhoods so defunct, buildings so deteriorated, that one comes to understand that nothing can be done. Nothing. And this is normal."

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Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.