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The Student  The Proposal  

This blog is an archive of my thoughts, work, travel, conversations, and overall experiences in my final year at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
For anyone still following, I compiled all of my thesis work into one book — from research to proposal to conclusions. You can view/buy the book at   http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3466533. Money paid goes to the actual cost of printing and shipping the book. I do not receive any profits. Thank you to all for all of your help!

For anyone still following, I compiled all of my thesis work into one book — from research to proposal to conclusions. You can view/buy the book at   http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3466533. Money paid goes to the actual cost of printing and shipping the book. I do not receive any profits. Thank you to all for all of your help!

2 years ago
3 notes
Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, more chicken scratch sketches.

Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, more chicken scratch sketches.

2 years ago
0 notes
Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, screenshot.

Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, screenshot.

2 years ago
0 notes
Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, more thought-jotting.

Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, more thought-jotting.

2 years ago
2 notes
Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, screenshot.

Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, screenshot.

2 years ago
0 notes
Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, final presentation boards.
I’ll post more about the final presentation soon!

Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, final presentation boards.

I’ll post more about the final presentation soon!

2 years ago
0 notes

Article: My One Word for Detroit: Unite

Well said. Read below for an article from the Huffington Post.

My One Word for Detroit: Unite

Posted: 05/ 1/2012 1:38 pm

Columnist Neil Rubin recently wrote a response to the former communications chief for Mayor Bing, Karen Dumas’s, call out to describe Detroit in one word. His response included a list of words from metro Detroiters that varied from “crumbling” to “rebuilding.” Neil put out a call for more words.

My one-word response to Rubin, Dumas, and anyone else is “unite.” Instead of focusing on what is, let’s focus on what can be.

Groups like Detroit4Detroit are helping to build the vital connections between what would seem to be disparate entities: suburbanites and disadvantaged city residents, hipsters and oldsters, haves and have-nots, and in many cases have-not-so-much with have-nothing.

In the metro Detroit community, each of us can greatly enhance the various government efforts and in some cases move the needle faster. How? By putting the pointing fingers down. It’s no secret that metro Detroit — city and suburbs alike — has a long and fractured history.

Detroit’s divisive ways go all the back to World War I according to Reynolds Farley and Harry J. Holzer the authors of Detroit Divided. Farley and Holzer, sociologist from the University of Michigan and an economist at Michigan State University, respectively, did an extensive research project on the rise and fall of Detroit. Based on interviews with city residents they determined one of the area’s key economic challenges is due to its polarization and lack of unity. According to Farley and Holzer, unity and collaboration between the ring of suburbs, the city, and amongst city residents themselves are key success drivers of other thriving metropolitan areas like Miami, Atlanta, and Chicago.

Instead of taking sides or placing blame, reach out and help a fellow metro Detroiter with a job, a hand up, or a meal. Because while the details of the consent agreement are being hammered out, many people living in Detroit are struggling to put food on the table and find a job. Gilbert buying buildings, light rail, or Twitter coming to Detroit are not going to change this reality in the near future. If you are going hungry and/or unable to find a job, all the very positive news doesn’t make a difference now.

Especially in light of the fact that the consent agreement will result in an estimated 1,000 City of Detroit employees losing their jobs. Many service providers to the city and businesses are already bracing themselves for the hit they will take from the proposed budget cuts and the trickle down effects. What will we do as a community when push comes to shove and the situation gets worse before it gets better?

As an old Ethiopian proverb advises, when spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.

Developers are raising hammers to turn buildings like the Old Ponchatrain and Madison Building into vibrant places of business. And, it’s also “Hammer Time” on a personal level for the citizens of metro Detroit.

It doesn’t matter where you live or who you are. Pick up your own hammer and contribute to rebuilding the city in your own way — hire a local, foster young entrepreneurs, or help with a project.

Do you want to help make metro Detroit better, but don’t know how? Take a look at this, or come to agrassroots event that will put real hammers in the hands of some people who really want to work, have job offers, but can’t accept the job because they literally don’t have a hammer.

The event is on May 11 at Bookies Bar & Grille at 7 p.m. All dollars raised — EVERY cent — will go towardspurchasing tools so the program graduates of Youthbuild can get a job.

YouthBuild is an initiative that helps 18-24 year-old highschool dropouts from low-income families obtain a GED and learn construction skills. Many of the students receive job offers, but some can’t accept them because they lack their own personal construction tools.

Like the stories that Police Chief Ralph Godbee shared in his testimony to Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, many of these students don’t have a stable home environment or enough food to eat either.

Giving people the skills and means to get a job helps address the root causes of violence. So come on May 11; build your own connections over good food and music and help more students. We have already raised enough money to buy tools for eight of the 56 students.

Rebuild Detroit the sustainable way — build and connect the people. Unite.

2 years ago
3 notes

Article: Is Detroit ready for white mayor?

Seriously? In my opinion, it really baffles me that we are all still so racially charged. Why can’t the best person for the job just DO the job, regardless if he’s black, white, or whatever? As long as ethics, morals, and values are in the right place, then let the person make some positive change happen! - especially for Detroit. This is an interesting article posted in the Opinion Section of The Detroit News this morning. Read it below:

———-

April 29, 2012

Column: Is Detroit ready for a white mayor?

Nolan Finley

Mike Duggan is moving into his new Palmer Woods home this week, raising the question: Why is the Detroit Medical Center chairman forsaking his Livonia roots and political base to take up urban living?

Duggan is answering that question in private conversations with local political players. He’s thinking about running for mayor of Detroit.

It is a bodacious roll. Duggan is white and from the suburbs.

Detroit hasn’t had a white mayor since 1973, when Coleman Young became the fulfillment of the African-American majority’s dream of black power. Given the demographic trends of the city, which today is nearly 90 percent black, the chance of a serious white contender ever again appearing on the mayoral ballot seemed remote.

But surprisingly, nobody seems to be counting Duggan out based on race.

"The right white mayor can win in Detroit," says radio host Mildred Gaddis, who stopped short of saying Duggan is that candidate. "I think he is masterful, he has a reputation as a go-to guy, and he’s skillful at locking down community support. He’s made a lot of friends in Detroit."

At the barber shop Friday, I ran into state Rep. Phillip Cavanagh, whose father, the late Jerome Cavanagh, was Detroit’s next-to-last white mayor. He likes Duggan’s chances, saying his presence in the race will discourage many other would-be mayoral hopefuls.

"He’s a force to be reckoned with," says Cavanagh, whose Redford Township district was redrawn deeply into Detroit. "He’s got the reputation of being a turnaround expert, and that’s what Detroiters are looking for. And he certainly knows how to put together a political organization."

That’s for sure. Duggan was the underboss of the Ed McNamara political machine in Wayne County, and orchestrated his own election as county prosecutor. The outfit produced former Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former Attorney General Mike Cox. But it also gave us Kwame Kilpatrick and Azzam Elder.

When Duggan left politics to head the DMC, he took the guts of the machine with him. So it’s intact andavailable to help move him into City Hall.

Duggan has a bit of a Teflon coating, never getting tagged with the shenanigans of the McNamara band. He also is considered an executive wizard, despite the DMC’s financial struggles before its acquisition by Vanguard. So he starts the race with very few negatives, beyond his skin color.

The wild card is whether Duggan is willing to challenge Mayor Dave Bing, should he decide to run for re-election.

It’s no secret that Bing’s business backers are hoping the mayor retires, but are they willing to push him aside in favor of Duggan?

If Bing does opt out, bet on Duggan getting in. And don’t bet against him winning.

"I would not rule it out," says Sheila Cockrel, the last white member of the City Council. "My sense of people in Detroit, white, black or Hispanic, is that they are looking for someone who can make the city work."

nfinley@detnews.com

(313 )222-2064

Nolan Finley is on Twitter @NolanFinleyDN.

2 years ago
3 notes
Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, my desk

Photo Credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, my desk

2 years ago
0 notes
Photo credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, screenshot.
Here’s some more thesis work! I’m definitely in “intense working-mode” right now trying to make sure these numbers pencil out in time for finals on May 15. Here we go!

Photo credits: Catherine Tang, Spring 2012, screenshot.

Here’s some more thesis work! I’m definitely in “intense working-mode” right now trying to make sure these numbers pencil out in time for finals on May 15. Here we go!

2 years ago
0 notes