Icon 186: Rebuilding Motor City 29.10.18

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Jarod Lew ICON 005Michigan-native Jared Lew photographs Detroit's decline and rebirth

In the new issue: rebuilding Detroit. A decade on from financial collapse a Unesco Design City rises. Plus: Inside the new and improved Centre Point, an homage to Robert Venturi, Álvaro Siza's new China Design Museum, and more


Discover how design is collapsing geographic divides, fighting urban decline and making sense of a world in disarray this month. Alongside our report from Istanbul Design Biennial, Zara Arshad has been to the China Design Museum in Hangzhou. Arshad had to reverse-hack the Great Firewall of China, using a VPN and get inside Xi Jinping’s censorship machine, to bring you details for that story.

197478970111098040China Design Museum in Hangzhou. Photo: Qian Yunfeng / Shi Zheng

In Detroit, Benoît Loiseau wandered through Downtown’s new souvenir shops, where t-shirts, caps and bum bags claim ‘Detroit is Back.’

Michigan-native Jared Lew has some perspective on that. His photo essay shows how history permeates Motor City’s resurgent present. Just days before the death of Robert Venturi, Edwin Heathcote was in Philadelphia to see Denise Scott Brown, and became reacquainted, after 30 years, with Venturi’s ghost houses. As the sky turned grey: ‘It felt eerily like a premonition of absence, which is exactly what it turned out to be.’

Detroit LeadThe outline of Cadillac Place looms over closed shops in Detroit's Woodward Avenue. Photo by: Ian Brown

Closer to home, Vicky Richardson was making a new discovery, in the form of Anni Albers’ essay on the relationship between architecture and weaving.

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