Photo © 2011 Alexis Schneider
In October 2010, international ideas competition Griffintown Interrupted was launched, calling for temporary structures in one of Montréal’s most contentious districts. In response, forty-three teams of architects and designers from ten countries came forward to propose innovative temporary structures on five sites throughout Griffintown. These propositions were featured in an exhibition at the Fonderie Darling, which ran January 17-24, 2011. HTDSTUDIO’s winning Horsepalace scheme was part of this opening and exhibition.
Dan Phillips, co-founder of Phoenix Commotion gave a great presentation at TEDx Houston last fall. The Phoenix Commotion is a local building initiative created to prove that constructing homes with recycled and salvaged materials has a viable place in the building industry. This process uses only apprentice labor and teaches marketable skills to anyone with a work ethic who is willing to swing a hammer. By keeping labor costs low and using donated or found materials, the homes created are truly affordable. No two are alike due to the myriad of materials used, so there is an artistic element that makes Phoenix Commotion homes unique. The Phoenix Commotion targets single parents, artists, and families with low incomes. They require that the homeowner be involved with the planning and construction of their own home. The result is a person who is empowered, not only by the useful knowledge and building skills, but by the opportunity to become part of a community as a vested participant.
Chrysler seems to have tapped into to the energy and determination coursing the streets of Detroit. This is a good start for the company ‘s way back, and the rest of the country should take something from it.