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Detroit Future City Panel

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Detroit Future City: Design for Rapid Change

Please join the University of Washington’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Professional Advisory Committee, ARCADE, the UW Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, and UW Department of Urban Design and Planning at the Frye Art Museum for a panel discussion on Detroit with thought leaders who are at the heart of the city’s transformation and revival.

Detroit provides a means to study fundamental urban transformation and innovation that comes from both the top down and the grassroots level. The renewal happening in the city presents a ripe opportunity to evaluate and test civic strategies with the goal of understanding how to maximize a city’s resiliency in the service of rapid positive change in the future. Indeed, the seeds of what’s happening in Detroit exist in all cities, though to lesser degrees.

***UPDATE!  Maximum Capacity reached.  Live Stream for this popular event will also take place in Gould Court, or you can view it on your own device: Link to Live Stream.  

Dan Pitera will also be giving a talk entitled: Syncopating the Urban Landscape, on Friday 1/23 at Noon in Architecture Hall 147.  

Please email for further inquiries.  

Date:  Thursday January 22, 2015

Location:  Frye Art Museum Auditorium and Gould Court (Live Stream)

Time:  5:00 – 7:00pm

Detroit Reading References (PDF)

About the Panel

Rainy Hamilton Jr., President and Principal-in-Charge of Architecture, Hamilton Anderson Associates; Detroit Michigan.

Rainy Hamilton, Jr. is a native Detroiter and graduate of the University of Detroit­Mercy School of Architecture. Rainy established his own Detroit­based architectural firm as a solo practitioner in 1993. Since that time, Hamilton Anderson Associates (HAA) has grown to include partner, Kent Anderson, landscape architect, and over 50 full­time employees. Hamilton Anderson’s mission is to contribute to the positive evolution of urban environments and progressive social cultures. The firm has been active in the rebuilding of the economic and physical fabric of Detroit, working on such projects as the Detroit / Wayne County Port Authority, the Orleans Landing Riverfront Development, MGM Grand Detroit Casino, the Detroit School of Arts, and M1 Light Rail and the Detroit Future City Plan.

In 2012, Rainy was elevated to Fellow by the American Institute of Architects, and in 2013 he received the AIA Detroit Gold Medal award. Rainy served as President of the Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2001, the first African American to serve in this position. Rainy has been active with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), he spearheaded the formation of the Detroit chapter, serving as its President in 2012, and hosted the 40th National Conference and Expo. Rainy’s community involvement also includes serving as a board member for several community based organizations


Eric Becker, Founder of We Are Shouting; Fellow, University of Washington Runstad Center.

Eric Becker is Texas-­bred, Yale-­Educated, Emmy Award-winning redneck. His love of filmmaking and photography is matched only by his love of beer, pickles, and motorcycles. As a member of the 2013 Runstad Affiliate Fellowship, he co­created a live film exploring the shifting nature of urban space titled Place Capital. He most recently directed two episodes of MTV’s Rebel Music, and has been creating branded content for through his production company We Are Shouting. His work can be found online, on TV, and in festivals. When not traveling the globe loaded down with camera gear, he can be found deep in the woods, shotgunning kombucha, and strumming Willie Nelson songs to his bubbling moonshine still.


Dan Pitera, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Detroit Mercy; Director, Detroit Collaborative Design Center.

Dan Pitera is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is presently the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. Mr. Pitera holds the position that the future and sustainability of any neighborhood lies in the hands of its residents and local organizations. Mr. Pitera co-led the Civic Engagement process for the Detroit Works Long Term Planning initiated by Mayor Bing in 2010. On January 9, 2013, Long Term Planning team released its decision-making framework titled: Detroit Future City. Mr. Pitera was a 2004-2005 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. He was a finalist for both the 2008-2009 Rafael Vinoly Architects Grants in Architecture and the 2006-2007 James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City. Under his direction since 2000, the Design Center won the 2011 and 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize and was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 and 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture. The Center was awarded the 2011 and 2014 SEED Award and the 2009 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Design Excellence for the St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans. The Design Center was the recipient of the NCARB Prize in 2002 and 2009 and was included in the international exhibit/conference ArchiLab in 2001 and 2004 in Orleans, France. Mr. Pitera was a resource member for the 40th and 43rd Mayor’s Institute for City Design (MICD) and a facilitator for the MICD 25th anniversary in 2011. In 1998, Mr. Pitera was the Hyde Chair of Excellence at the University of Nebraska. He has lectured and taught extensively throughout the North America, South America, and Europe. He likes “fallout shelter” yellow.


Moderator:  Lisa Picard, Executive Vice President, Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc. Fellow, University of Washington Runstad Center.

Lisa Picard’s extensive 20-year development portfolio as the leader of Skanska’s West Coast Commercial Development operations, combines large-scale real estate projects, including office, residential, mixed-use, hotel and resorts. Prior to her work with Skanska USA Inc., Ms. Picard founded Muse Development in Seattle, serving as managing partner, and developed nearly one million square feet of commercial office projects with Hines.

With two masters’ degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one in real estate development and finance, and a second in urban planning, Lisa is also an active Board Member for the University of Washington’s Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies, and Institute of Noetic Sciences. She is passionate about pursuing new ideas and novel solutions that have the potential to invigorate markets and communities. “Expanding the collaborative effort between developers, residents and governments in an ongoing, open and lively conversation about the kinds of places we want to call home,” said Ms. Picard, as its “precisely what is needed to be truly diverse and successful.”



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