Reimagining the Civic Commons

Project title: Reimagining the Civic Commons
Course title: Community Design Studio
Professor/Instructor: Ceara O'Leary
Students: Amanda Gatto and Jason Tran

Course description: This Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) studio is rooted in the mission of the office which is to create sustainable spaces and communities through quality design and the collaborative process. This studio investigated what it means to design and facilitate a more public and community-minded “Civic Commons” by reimagining existing civic and cultural assets as well as the neighborhood network that connects them. This studio focused on the Southwest Detroit neighborhood adjacent to the intersection of Livernois Avenue and Michigan Avenue and investigated the cultural identity and community interests that can be augmented and celebrated through thoughtful “Civic Commons.” Students were charged with reimagining an existing asset as a more public program as well as the connective neighborhood. 

Student work description: Reimagine an existing neighborhood asset as a civic commons space that responds to local needs, conditions and human use as defined by neighborhood research. The final project will result in an indoor-outdoor hybrid building with hybrid programs that are emphatically public in nature and rethink conventional spaces as new opportunities for civic engagement. Your proposed civic commons will consider design implications for the transformed civic asset as well as surrounding streets, homes and community connections.

Jason Tran

Rendering of a building 1
Rendering of a park
Blueprints for a community building
Blueprints for a community building 2

Amanda Gatto

Rendering of a post office
Blueprints of a post office 1
Blueprints of a post office 2