Community Kitchen

Intersection/Interspace- Vertical Design Studio Sponsored by DCDC

Student: Kamila Momot

Instructors: Christina Heximer, Dan Pitera, Krista Wilson



This Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) sponsored studio is rooted in the mission of the office which is to provide quality design services through community-based design. Through this lens, the studio considered physical strategies for spaces and places around, within and between the blocks of Avis and Falcon in Southwest Detroit.  Students developed a multi-layered strategy for the site(s), both urban and architectural, by turning  research, mapping, community priorities and analysis into the driving forces of design.

Three projects of varying scales were completed over the semester:
1. Artist Prosthetic- designing the line between the human and activity. This project challenged the students to communicate and work with an artist to learn what type of device would help the artist. The project was a two week project. At the end of the two weeks, a full scale model of the appature was to be built.

2. Urban Analysis and Design for the lot at Avis and Elsmere.
Through a community workshop and feedback sessions, students learned what the community would like to see on a vacant lot on the block of TAP.  Each student took the information learned and developed their own strategy for the lot.

3. Architectural Intervention for 9101 Avis.
Adjacent to the vacant lot was an under utilized building. The students were to come up with a scheme for the building that would compliment what is happening with TAP Gallery and be an asset to the community.

Project Description:

Artist Prosthetic – The solution improves the life of an artist who works at or around TAP. A mural is a piece of art, but also it is a way to send an artist’s message to the world.  The design is to simply hold  a cellphone in place and snap a picture. The picture is then shared through social media – sending the message further. This design also provides the opportunity to create a scavenger hunt with others out of the pictures taken, in order to interest and engage people in TAP Gallery.

Urban Analysis and Design – A three dimensional space was created for the community through the empty lot, building and street between both, open and active space which people go through. The street is raised to the level of the sidewalks to slow down car traffic and gives the feeling of entering the space. Movable furnishing on the empty lot are made of wooden pallets – simple and accessible. Through a guide rail system, the modules are easily moveable to provide a variety of spaces for the community’s needs.

Architectural Intervention for 9101 Avis – The building design is a result of collaboration with the community, workshops, research and analysis. The main goal of design was to respond the community’s needs by connecting all of the features that appeared during the design process and collaboration process- food, plants and art were just a few of the needs that were brought to the surface. Bringing these three ideas together, a community Kitchen was proposed as the main program of the building. The Community Kitchen is a space where people can come together, share skills and socialize. Green walls supply food and create a green environment inside as well.  Portions of the glass walls are designed to be sandblasted, on which murals can remains and provide art and a sense of the TAP culture.