Teaching and Designing in Detroit : Ten Women on Pedagogy and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Teaching and Designing in Detroit
Ten Women on Pedagogy and Practice

ISBN 9781032085050
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
212 Pages 57 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book provides a compelling and insightful portrait of ten female architects, artists, and designers who explored unique approaches to teaching, practice, and research in the postindustrial city of Detroit. These women explored the phenomenon of a new “ecological urbanism” through their own work in art, architecture, design, planning, landscape architecture, and installation as well as the work of their students.

Teaching and Designing in Detroit provides an eighteen-year snapshot of this work, how it affected the women’s practice, how they influenced student relationships to design and community development, and how their visions are now being carried out in Detroit. This book is organized into sections that group stories according to their focus on practice, pedagogy, and community engagement.

Included in the book is a foreword by Leslie Kanes Weisman, the only female architecture professor at the University of Detroit Mercy in the 1970s, and an afterword by Sharon Egretta Sutton reflecting on how working and practicing in Detroit foreshadowed the future vision now being carried out in the rebounding city of Detroit. An intriguing read for students and professionals, this book will illustrate how these lessons learned can be applied by universities and communities in other postindustrial cities.

Table of Contents


List of Figures


Leslie Kanes Weisman

Introduction. Ten Women Designers in Detroit

Stephen Vogel and Libby Balter Blume

Chapter 1. The Search for a New Hybrid Landscape

Stephen Vogel

Chapter 2. Feminist Theory in the Practice and Pedagogy of Architecture and Design

Libby Balter Blume


Chapter 3. Making and Detroit: Finding a Way to Act

Ronit Eisenbach

Chapter 4. What Can We Co-Create That We Can’t Create On Our Own?

Christina Bechstein

Chapter 5. When Life Gives You Lemons

Karen Swanson


Chapter 6. Re-Centering: From Student to Person and From Self-Centered Learning to Civic Engagement

Claudia Bernasconi

Chapter 7. Experimental Pedagogy: The Connection between Teaching and Social Impact

Amy Green Deines

Chapter 8. Save-As Detroit: Design Process, Storytelling, and Engagement with Place

Allegra Pitera

Chapter 9. Detroit, My Teacher

Janine Debanné


Chapter 10. Shifting to an Equitable Development Framework

Christina Heximer

Chapter 11. Interdisciplinary Collaborations: Detroit’s Shifting Paradigm

Virginia Stanard

Chapter 12. Reclaiming and Revealing Detroit: A City Disrupted

Julie Ju-Youn Kim


Julie Ju-Youn Kim and Stephen Vogel


Sharon Egretta Sutton



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Stephen Vogel is Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Dean Emeritus of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. He is past president of the Detroit and Michigan Chapters of the American Institute of Architects and has received the AIA Detroit and Michigan Gold Medals. Vogel was inducted into the College of Fellows of the AIA in 1994, and is a national AIA Richard Upjohn Fellow and Louise Blanchard Bethune Fellow.

Libby Balter Blume is Professor Emerita of Psychology and Architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy. She has a Ph.D. in Human Development, M.A. in Creative Arts Education, and B.A. in Studio Art. Blume is a Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations and received the University’s Faculty Excellence Award in 2015 and the Women and Gender Studies Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.


"In this provocative collection of essays by influential women architects and educators, the post-industrial challenges of Detroit, and innovative programs at the School of Architecture at the University of Detroit Mercy to engage them, are compellingly told. Throughout, critiques of, and much-needed changes to, the academy and profession, are illustrated, and a more hopeful, diverse, and inclusive future envisioned." 
 - Thomas Barrie AIA, DPACSA, Professor of Architecture, NC State University