This project, a sub-component of the ongoing USA House Project, launched to the public with an exhibition and publication titled How to Buy a House in Detroit (for the Woman You Love). The exhibition and publication explore taboos of architectural experimentation (the paradigm of Autonomy having relegated architectural experimentation since the late twentieth century to form, abstract diagram, and geometry). The taboos implicated in How to Buy a House in Detroit (for the Woman You Love) include money, sentimentality, personal involvement, and the potential absence of form. A preliminary phase of the project, focused on buying and developing 25 square inches of property in Detroit, was published in the Fall 2011 “Last Round Ecology” issue of the annual Sustainable Living Urban Model Lab (S.L.U.M. Lab) journal by Urban Think Tank.
The exhibition, mounted by EIDIA House & Plato’s Cave, presents documentation of the ongoing process of the USA House Project in Detroit, including dialog with artists and community organizers in Southwest Detroit, financial support from a New York based collective of black artists, official documents from the Treasury of Wayne County, as well as tools and methods invented by neighborhood organizers in Southwest Detroit to supplement government services. Documentation of the house includes photos by Farrah Karapetian. All material, including the photos, have been redacted to enable both anonymity and full transparency. The EIDIA House exhibition space, itself, as a modified trailer outfitted with solar power and storage racks of archival content, becomes a point of reference as a tactic of re-use, adaptation, cross-programming and self-contained infrastructure.
Photos below courtesy of EIDIA House/ Plato’s Cave and McEwen Studio.