Found Stories in Detroit

Teaching team

Mads Bay Møller, Thomas Clemmensen, Nacho Ruiz Allén, Katrina Wiberg


Unit 2/3B. 2017-2018. Aarhus School of Architecture


Library. Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark




In the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018, the students at Unit 2/3 B bachelor went on a study trip to Detroit. The purpose was to explore, analyze and document the different layers that overlap in the city today. They can be seen from multiple angles, making Detroit a perfect spot for urban storytelling.

Detroit’s uniqueness lies in the transmutation of the logic of architectural processes. Rather than grow, it decreases. Rather than build, it demolishes. Rather than occupy, it vanishes. Rather than remove voids, it expands them. Current guidelines and systems of thought have proven to be obsolete, making Detroit a laboratory for rethinking the city of tomorrow. Once the administration fails to restore its past condition, an unexpected number of local initiatives keep the city alive. Artists, entrepreneurs, social activists, and other urban tribes are rising in Detroit, considered by many the ideal place to test, experiment, and fuel alternative ways of inhabiting the contemporary city.

The aim of the exhibition is to share some of the material collected during the fieldwork and workshop performed in Detroit. A brief glimpse of the final projects made by the students is also shown. Their proposals add an extra layer to the narratives distilled in the city while projecting new stories towards the future.