The Power House Project is an architectural experminent taking place within a neighborhood in Detroit. The interesting thing about doing an experiment in a neighborhood is that it automatically becomes a social experiment. Anyways, this design duo, purhchased a house and the two vacant lots next to it for $4,900 – Their vision is to transform the house and surrounding yard to create a sustainable housing model for under $99,000.
“By taking advantage of today’s housing crisis, the Power House Project can become a model for rethinking the city’s aged housing stock which is rundown, undervalued, and ill-equipped for its climate.The Power house Project is first and foremost designed to stimulate communication and action within an otherwise challenging, albeit unique Detroit neighborhood by way of mining out the existing positive and productive aspects of the neighborhood.”
The team has garnered a lot of press lately, and it’s easy to see why. It’s interesting to see how people react to the current state of things; I see two different camps emerging. One camp, resigns to a complaint of not having enough, panic stricken, and overwhelmed with fear – The other camp, see’s all of this as an opportunity, thus their role is to inspire the first camp out of complaint and in to action. Creativity trumps Complaint! Artists, poets, and even missionaries, have understood this principle for a long time and I think more attention will be given to those are using resources more creatively and sustainably. The Power House project is (re)building a house using free materials! Hello!
And speaking of the creative class, and the rise of it, it will be nice to see a day when there isn’t this classification. The creative class should be every class because it could be every class. It’s interesting how the three R’s (recycle, reduce, reuse) are spurgeoned forth by the fourth R (recession).
Let’s not forget, the root word of Recession is Recess!
And Recess means time to play!
Mitch Cope, who is one half of the Power House project was quoted on Michigan radio saying the same thing. “People who have been in the neighborhood for a long time talk about how great the neighborhood used to be, how you didn’t have to lock your doors,” explains Cope. And it’s like “what are you doing now? Ok, so it’s gotten worse, yeah I can see that. But now what? Let’s do something. Let’s have fun.”
Like, why not paint stripes on the side of your house?
I think my favorite thing about this project and their website is the Flash Cards page where they show you the other houses that are for sale in their neighborhood. Wanna buy a house for $1500??? Move to Detroit.
Take some time to read about the Power House Project – and maybe I’ll organize a field trip out there to do some building/helping…