2010 | Detroit | USA
The Power House Residency:
Model home and social art project.
The Power House Project is first and foremost designed to stimulate communication and action within an otherwise challenging and unique Detroit-neighborhood by way of mining out the existing positive and productive aspects of the neighborhood.
The Power House is designed to be a space where people feel comfortable to share ideas, knowledge and expertise about the fundamentals of neighborhood living, i.e., gardening, house work, new technologies, safety, and so on.
It is also designed to be a magnet for gathering neighborhood resources, energy, social change, story telling or simply a place to produce and view art & culture.
This residency is aimed at co-designing and co-constructing an ‘off the grid’ model home in Detroit, the Power house.
The point of departure is a typical suburban home in a working class neighborhood, the ambition is an alternative example home, which also function as an artist-in-residency.
The initial design will focus on the structural construction as well as developing a simple but innovative energy system for the heating and electricity for a kitchen, a living area, a studio room, a gallery space and a back room. In a second phase the focus will be on the interior design and after on the house as center of a social art project.
The property sale on Moran Street in 2008 initiated a rein-visioning of this depression era working class home through both high tech and low tech strategies toward the goal of establishing an artist residency/community arts center/meeting house.
The term “Power House” describes two functions.
First, the house is a power creator meaning it produces its own electricity from solar and wind power with the intention of powering an additional adjacent house – thus creating a localized power grid.
Second, the term implies a kind of taking control of ones own community by becoming an example of self reliance, sustainability and creative problem solving through education, communication and increased diversification of the neighborhood. In all a place that symbolizes hopefulness and curiosity by integrating a complex web of social and artistic ideas into a neighborhood that might otherwise end up into a typical cycle of decay and criminality.
Team: Césare Peeren, Frank Feder, Piero Medici, Erik Jutten