Week 1 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 1

Dear Brandon,

The first few days of working at EcoWorks have gone well; my colleagues are friendly and helpful, and everyone here seems incredibly passionate about creating a sustainable future for Detroit. I hope that I will soon share this enthusiasm and will be able to do my part to improve the quality of this great city. While I have yet to be assigned a specific project because my supervisor hasn’t been able to make it to work yet, I hope that regardless of what I do, my presence will allow EcoWorks to do work that they otherwise would not have been able to do without me. Whether that means taking on a small project independently, or doing important yet tedious work for the common good.

Personally, I hope that this program allows me to have an understanding of the components that go into making cheap, yet clean sustainable housing. The more time that I spend working with Ecoworks, the more I begin to understand the connection between clean energy planning and architecture. As someone who is passionate about preserving the environment, creating architecture that isn’t based off clean, energy efficient systems seems hypocritical. As a result, I’d like to learn what goes into a “green structure” so that I can incorporate those ideas into my own designs as I continue my architectural career. Furthermore, I’d like to use this program to gain a better understanding of the social interactions in the professional world, such as understanding how to communicate effectively, how meetings are typically run, and overall how to present myself professionally.

While a majority of my time is spent in the EcoWorks building, I have also had the opportunity to see the city of Detroit a bit. Most notably was the historical, guided tour that we took on Tuesday. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and I appreciate that he seemed to tell the history of the city how it actually was, rather than how the city wanted to tell the story. For example, he discussed how many of the statues of individuals significant to the city were slave owners. The tour was also very interesting because we were able to see some of the beautiful architecture that Detroit is renowned for. One of the most notable buildings was the Meridian building pictured below. I was shocked by the massive overhang and huge windows that covered the front face. Overall, while I appreciate the beauty and culture that Detroit has to offer, I’m still a bit intimidated by such a large city. There are so many more people, cars, and buildings than I’m not used to, and I’m sure it will take a while for me to get adjusted. But I’m excited to see more of the city and explore what it has to offer.

Good Luck, Brandon


1 thought on “Week 1”

  1. Josephine Kate Graham

    I loved reading about your passion for architecture and how that coincides with what you are learning and observing this summer in Detroit!

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