The studio takes an interest in the library conceived as an institution that is iterative and experimental. Part of a relational and intersubjective web of community members, collections of things, spaces, and practices of sharing. Composed of structures and kits of parts with varying durations and lifespans, where new services and means of service can be incubated and tested. A cultural actor and social infrastructure that is both situated in place and distributed in time and space.

The studio operates via paradigms of radical reuse, multifunction, and abberent material ecologies to propose an adaptation and expansion of the Bowen Branch Library in Detroit’s Mexicantown. Closed since the start of the pandemic, this historic building and allied urban spaces will be re-imagined and re-imaged, re-programmed and re-coded, re-energized and re-formulated.

The ethos and working methodology of the studio is to embrace collective knowledge production, sharing, borrowing, and lending. The studio began with collecting precedents on local library buildings, nonstandard libraries, and critical spatial practices. The site and building were explored by collectively mapping local actors, networks, and assemblages. Students developed their own program for the expanded Bowen Branch starting with the development of a Charter+Code of Relations that define and script the relationships, practices, possibilities, and architectural approaches.




…is not only a book repository, rather operates as center for communal engagement, resource sharing, & a safe haven. The library acts as a factory for innovation & creation, becoming a place where occupants can escape within their own territory, exploring a sense self-inventiveness. The building becomes a collaborative artifact that brings together elements of nature, culture, technology, health, play, etc. Elements are situated within a series of neighborhoods which blend & transform as one moves throughout the space. The library encourages continuous communal interactions, spreading knowledge, fostering relationships, & evoking empathy within the community.

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