This unique opportunity to re-imagine an entire urban neighborhood is an occasion to unearth and define what always was and jettison what need not remain. This cluster of institutions have the location and reputations to be a magnetic center that reflects the energy of the whole city. The wealth of resources, infrastructure and intent is abundant; however, it is the distribution of and access to this wealth that needs to be addressed.

This proposal breaks down barriers, physical and perceived. Through bold moves to dismantle existing divisive infrastructure, we can create an infrastructure that unites. By turning the buildings inside out, we can connect existing assets to new exterior programming that fosters collaboration, activates the site, and offers opportunities found nowhere else in Detroit. Through the creation of sensory gardens, we provide a ground that awakens the senses and inspires curiosity.


Location: Detroit, MI

Client: Detroit Institute of Arts, Midtown Detroit Inc.

Status: Complete, International Finalist

Area: 80 acres

Team: Ten x Ten, MASS Design Group
Wade Trim, Local Projects, HR&A Advisers, DMET Design, Craig Wilkins, Atelier Ten


Overall Site Plan.jpg


D.CONSTRUCT infrastructure to create common ground.

D.CIPHER by turning the institutions inside out.

D.LIGHT through sensory gardens.


Our approach de-constructs systemic and structural barriers, creating an urban deviation from “the way it has always been”. This new public realm provides a place to journey, to circumnavigate, to stop and explore.






A detour that goes over, around, through and under perceived and real barriers, to inspire inquiry and encourage engagement. d.tour is where Detroit starts, where its story can begin to define a more democratic realm.

The best Detroit has to offer is all in one place. You can see it, but you can also touch it, taste it, and hear it.