Occupying the Void

Student: Sami Al-Jureidini
Instructor: Prof. Will Wittig


All over America, cities are experiencing a shift in population, from the center to the outside peripheries. Known as decentralization, this phenomenon is most common in modern, post-industrial cities. Depopulation of the urban core has left these cities in a situation where vacancies of the landscape occur in great frequencies. These vacancies in the landscape, also known as urban voids, then become leftover, negative space of the urban fabric. No other city in America has experienced this decay in the urban fabric like Detroit. The occurrence of the void is so common in this city that the void has become a part of Detroit’s urban fabric.


This thesis is an exploration into how to occupy these urban vacancies in Detroit. This thesis will not offer a solution to Detroit’s urban problems, but will explore the possibilities of engaging the void in order to suggest an alternative use for these spaces.

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