8Mile Baseline

Project Team:
Rania Ghosn
Omar Ali, Brian Barber, Alexandra Chen, Ciera Clayborne, Linnea Cook, Brianne DuRoss, Kate Flynn, Safei Gu, Ya Suo, Robyn Wolochow

Catapulted into the national media through local rapper Eminem’s film 8-Mile, the road has long served as the de facto dividing line in the most segregated American metropolitan region. It separates the dispossessed African-American urban core from the more affluent, predominantly white northern suburbs in Macomb, Oakland, and Livingston counties. What do we learn from addressing the city’s growth and demise and that to inform and reform the urban social contract in America?

The 8Mile Baseline formulates a political-aesthetic project on the division line between the city of Detroit and its suburbs. The research critiques the territorial condition of unevenness and exclusion embedded in the metropolitan spatial organization. The proposed projects aspire to lay bare urban truths we somehow relate to, almost instinctively. They reify the splintering forces of the metropolis – conditions that might otherwise remain ungraspable – and turn them into architectural form.