April 4, 2016

More than 150 architecture students gathered in Detroit, Michigan for the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Midwest Quad Conference March 11-13, 2016. Lawrence Technological University hosted the annual regional meeting themed Assembly Required: Exploring Detroit by Parts.

During the three-day event, students had the choice of eleven different activity paths, each of which were set in different districts of Detroit. These paths includes tours and workshops, along with design charrettes, and were focused on different facets of architecture. The students headed to areas of town such as Detroit’s Maker District for Crafting + Materials and Lafayette Park/Dequinder Cut for Urban Planning + Development.

Danielle Jones, who serves as the Midwest Quad Director, said the conference was an invigorating and inspirational experience that strengthened her passion for architecture. “While I have attended six other AIAS conferences aside from this, I have to say that my first quad conference with the Midwest Quad was by far one of the best,” said Jones.

Midwest Quad Conference Chair Richard Shafer said through the various tracks attendees were able to explore the city. “One of my goals was to get rid of the stigma of Detroit. A lot of people think of it as dirty,” said Shafer. At the end of the conference “a couple of people I talked to mentioned they want to move here, which I thought was really cool.”

Incoming 2016-2017 AIAS Midwest Quadrant Director Jeremy Gentile said he enjoyed  exploring a unique topic that was engrained within the Detroit architectural scene. “The planning team did an incredible job of showcasing the intricacies that make their city a unique and vibrant place. Their pride and love of Detroit shined through at every moment,” he said.

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