This book provides a compelling and insightful portrait of ten female architects, artists, and designers who explored unique approaches to teaching, practice, and research in the postindustrial city of Detroit. These women explored the phenomenon of a new “ecological urbanism” through their own work in art, architecture, design, planning, landscape architecture, and installation as well as the work of their students.

Teaching and Designing in Detroit provides an eighteen-year snapshot of this work, how it affected the women’s practice, how they influenced student relationships to design and community development, and how their visions are now being carried out in Detroit. This book is organized into sections that group stories according to their focus on practice, pedagogy, and community engagement.

Included in the book is a foreword by Leslie Kanes Weisman, the only female architecture professor at the University of Detroit Mercy in the 1970s, and an afterword by Sharon Egretta Sutton reflecting on how working and practicing in Detroit foreshadowed the future vision now being carried out in the rebounding city of Detroit. An intriguing read for students and professionals, this book will illustrate how these lessons learned can be applied by universities and communities in other postindustrial cities.

chapter |4 pages

Introduction: Ten Women Designers in Detroit

ByStephen Vogel, Libby Balter Blume

chapter 1|9 pages

The Search for a New Hybrid Landscape

ByStephen Vogel

chapter 2|11 pages

Feminist Theory in the Practice and Pedagogy of Architecture and Design

ByLibby Balter Blume

part 1|45 pages


chapter 3|16 pages

Making in Detroit

Finding a Way to Act
ByRonit Eisenbach

chapter 4|15 pages

What Can We Co-Create That We Can’t Create on Our Own?

ByChristina Bechstein

chapter 5|12 pages

When Life Gives You Lemons

ByKaren Swanson

part 2|56 pages


chapter 6|14 pages


From Student to Person and From Self-Centered Learning to Civic Engagement
ByClaudia Bernasconi

chapter 7|14 pages

Experimental Pedagogy

The Connection Between Teaching and Social Impact
ByAmy Green Deines

chapter 8|12 pages

Save-As Detroit

Design Process, Storytelling, and Engagement With Place
ByAllegra Pitera

chapter 9|14 pages

Detroit, My Teacher

ByJanine Debanné

part 3|47 pages


chapter 10|14 pages

Shifting to an Equitable Development Framework

ByChristina Heximer

chapter 11|16 pages

Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Detroit’s Shifting Paradigm
ByVirginia Stanard

chapter 12|15 pages

Reframing and Revealing Detroit

ByJulie Ju-Youn Kim

chapter |3 pages


ByJulie Ju-Youn Kim, Stephen Vogel