Amazing Abandoned Ruins

How amazing are modern day abandoned ruins?  They are so mysterious.  I feel like when you look at the pictures of places like this, the movement that should be taking place wants to come to the foreground of the picture.  The eeriness of these places appear to come straight out of a horror film.  I will get to experience some of this when I visit Detroit in a couple of weeks.  I wonder how it will feel in person?

http://www.thecoolist.com/abandoned-places-10-creepy-beautiful-modern-ruins/

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Educate the People

EDUCATION IN AMERICA

In his book “Triumph of the City,” Edward Glaeser states,“While it may be wrong to attribute too much of these places’ problems to politics, political mismanagement was often a feature of Rust Belt decline.  Perhaps the most common error was thinking that these cities could build their way back to success with housing projects, grandiose office towers, or fanciful high-tech transit systems.  Those mistakes came out of the all-too-common error of confusing a city, which is really a mass of connected humanity, with its structures.

Reviving these cities requires shedding the old industrial model completely, like a snake soughing off its skin.  When a city reinvents itself successfully, the metamorphosis is often so complete that we forget that the place was once an industrial powerhouse.  As late as the 1950s, New York’s garment industry was the nation’s largest manufacturing cluster.  It employed 50 percent more workers than the auto industry did in Detroit.  America’s Industrial Revolution practically began in greater Boston, but now nobody associates smokestacks with that city.  These places have reinvented themselves by returning to their old, preindustrial roots of commerce, skills, and entrepreneurial innovation.

If Detroit and places like it are ever going to come back, they will do so by embracing the virtues of the great pre- and postindustrial cities: competition, connection, and human capital.  The Rust belt will be reborn only if it can break from its recent past, which has left it with a vast housing stock for which there is little demand, a single major industry that is dominated by a few major players, and problematic local politics.  Beneath these cities’ recent history lies an instructive older story of connection and creativity, which provide the basis for reinvention.  To understand Detroit’s predicament and its potential, we must compare the city’s great and tragic history with the story of other cities, like New York, that have successfully weathered industrial decline.”

A New Beginning

In the book “Triumph of the City,” by Edward Glaeser, he states that ” Detroit’s decline is extreme, but it’s hardly unique.  Eight of the ten largest U.S. cities in 1950 have lost at least a sixth of their poplulation since then.  Six of the sixteen of the largest cities in 1950 – Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis – have lost more than half their population since that year.  In Europe, cities like Liverpool, Glasgow, Rotterdam, Bremen, and Vilnius are all much smaller than they once were.  The age of the industrial city is over, at least in the West, and it will never return.  Some erstwhile manufacturing towns have manages to evolve from making goods to making ideas, but most continue their slow, inexorable declines.

Manufacturing in Detroit

MANUFACTURING IN DETROIT

Although Detroit is known as the home to America’s “Big Three,” it is home to many different manufacturing companies, including those outside of the automobile industry.  The landscape is dominated by the automobile industry, which has taken the city to its pinnacle and its grave.

Around the manufacturing prowess of the “Big Three,” sit many manufacturing companies that provide services, parts and tools for the automakers.   These companies include Delphi, Lear, Visteon, Borg Warner, and Penske, in addition to others.   It is the collaboration of these companies that made the American car so strong for so many years.  It is also the lack of progressive cooperation between these companies that have contributed to the fall of this great American city.  These companies along with the American automakers are what make Detroit the “Motor City.”

The city fabric demonstrates this nomenclature well, as the city is one of the largest cities in the country as far as land area.  The city was designed around the movement of vehicles and it served as one of the early testaments to mobile cities.

DESIGN INTENTIONS

What if Detroit were to become the next Silicon Valley? What if Detroit were to use its history in the automobile industry to be at the forefront of technological advancements? According to Edward Glaesner, the most important aspect for the future of manufacturing cities is the education of its people. The future for Detroit is to educate its people to provide the future to the world. Although so many things are manufactured oversees, so much is dreamed up in countries like the United States. Silicon Valley is vital to the success of the manufacturing processes oversees. San Jose provides the product that the world depends on it. Without the creativity, without the knowhow, without the perseverance, there may not be an Apple, or Intel, or Microsoft. It all starts here. What if the automobile industry started in Detroit?

The U.S. cannot compete in the assembly process of everyday manufacturing anymore. It is just too cheap in Asia. Why fight it? Move to something that no one else can provide. Train the people to do the job that makes all the other jobs. The chip fabrication (Fab) process is like an electronic assembly plant. This manufacturing process is used to create the integrated circuits that are present in everyday electrical and electronic devices. It is a multiple-step sequence of photolithographic and chemical processing steps during which electronic circuits are gradually created on a wafer made or pure semiconducting material. The facilities that house this process are called “fabs.” The fab provides a wide range of jobs, from high level engineers, to business people and testing and laboratory personnel.

The best example of a city like San Jose is Austin. Austin, known as Silicon Hills, provides a similar service to the world as San Jose, chip design and manufacturing. It provides much of the brain power and invention that technological companies need in order to produce product. If new product is not designed in San Jose, more than likely it was in Austin. A prime example of the work Austin has put into its vision came true in 2006, when Samsung opened a Fab in Austin. This is significant because this is only the second one they had opened. This gave jobs to Americans with a company founded in Korea. It is a wide range of jobs, from high level engineers, to business people and testing and laboratory personnel.

Detroit could become a fab for the automobile industries. Cars are becoming more electronic every day. Muscle cars are being replaced with hybrid. Cars that look like muscle cars, such as the Tesla, have a speaker system installed to make them sound like a muscle car instead of a Prius. Can you imagine seeing a Camero or Mustang driving down the road, but you couldn’t hear it? If the future is flying cars, doesn’t that mean more electronic parts? Sounds like the future is revving up in Detroit.

In order for Detroit to progress into the twenty-first century and garner some of the luster it once had, it will need to transcend its current analog environment and move into the digital age. This will require a complete transformation of the city and the fabric that has made it such a manufacturing genius. The infusion of digital technology into all aspects of the city culture, education, economy and lifestyle is the only way to keep up with the ever-changing world and reverse the effects of the recent economic crash in the United States.

This project will concentrate on the digital transcendence of the City of Detroit, particularly within the manufacturing community. The infusion of technology can occur at many different scales and this project will involve stitching the macro(world) to the micro(individual). Within each scale, there will be investigations and research into how Detroit can be digitally infused to once again compete in the global market. The transformations will center around technology and digital strategies that can help transition the analog manufacturing techniques used in within the city.

In order for Detroit to progress into the twenty-first century and garner some of the luster it once had, it will need to transcend its current analog environment and move into the digital age. This will require a complete transformation of the city and the fabric that has made it such a manufacturing genius. The infusion of digital technology into all aspects of the city culture, education, economy and lifestyle is the only way to keep up with the ever-changing world and reverse the effects of the recent economic crash in the United States.

This project will concentrate on the digital transcendence of the City of Detroit, particularly within the manufacturing community. The infusion of technology can occur at many different scales and this project will involve stitching the macro(world) to the micro(individual). Within each scale, there will be investigations and research into how Detroit can be digitally infused to once again compete in the global market. The transformations will center around technology and digital strategies that can help transition the analog manufacturing techniques used in within the city.

Stitching is the art of joining, mending, or fastening with or as if with stitches. In the case of this project, the digital technology is the thread that will stitch each one of these elements together. As in sewing, each stitch is critical to the overall success of the material being created. In order for Detroit to transcend into the digital age of manufacturing, each of these elements will have to work together seamlessly.

There are well known manufacturing cities all over the world. Each of these cities has seen its ups and downs over the last century. It is their ability to adapt to the changing world and market that allows them to maintain an edge in the global manufacturing sector.

China has been the biggest mover over the last couple of decades. This is well documented in the film Manufactured Landscapes, which illustrates through photography the effects manufacturing is having on the environment and people of China. Although the Chinese are at the front of the line at the moment, they will need to adapt over time to stay in this position.

Detroit needs to adapt its role in the global market. A digital infusion and diversification of manufacturing processes that interconnects to the world market will reposition the city in a different but familiar role in the future.

The “Rust Belt” bolsters the once king of manufacturing economies in the world. This region alone accounted for a large portion of the world’s manufacturing. Many of the cities in this region have already experienced transformations due to shifts in manufacturing needs. Pittsburgh and Chicago saw this happen in the 1950’s with steel manufacturing. At this moment, other cities like Cleveland and Buffalo are experiencing similar misfortunes as Detroit.

These cities are stitched together by more than just highways and infrastructure. They share many of the same waterways and rail lines as well as a similar demographic full of blue collar workers. Most importantly, they all have experienced moments of decline and can provide examples of successful strategies.

All these cities need each other, and it is when they are working together that they can be at their highest potential.

The City of Detroit has long relied on the manufacturing located throughout the city.  There are many different types of manufacturing that occur in and around the city, but its strongest sector has been automobiles.  Although many other companies and countries have come into the business over the years, the rich history lies within the walls of the automobile plants in Detroit.

Due to the economic collapse in the United States, many of the automobile manufacturers in the city have struggled or ceased to exist.  This fracturing has had a ripple effect on many of the other manufacturing processes located throughout the city.

The goal is to stitch the fractured city back together, and in order to do this each industry must be connected to make a stronger product.  They must be consolidated and woven into the fabric of the city, shrinking the overall footprint and bringing everyone closer together.

At the heart of the manufacturing process is the people that make everything happen.  Detroit has long relied on the blue collar workers that fill its buildings with movement and activity every day.

Edward Glaeser says in his book Triumph of the City, “To thrive, cities must attract smart people and enable them to work collaboratively.”  He argues that some old industrial cities like Detroit are dying because they fail to educate their population to reinvent the role of manufacturing in the city.  Boston has been able to do this several times, and thus has rebounded nicely from similar plights as the one Detroit is experiencing at the moment.