It has been such a full and eye-opening year of exploring Detroit. There is continuously so much to learn and experience and there are so many hidden gems. Whatever you may be looking for (or maybe not even looking for), you may come across some store, exhibit, person or experience that is exactly what you needed. Finding hidden treasures requires that special, often hidden map.  Maps reveal secrets and tell stories that might not otherwise be told. The amount of maps that could be made about everything in Detroit could not all be read in a whole life time – there will always be more to discover. One area of discovery in Detroit that I’ve always had a particular fascination with is the incredible old homes woven throughout the city. Each one has a history and a story to share. That is why for my last project, I am so thrilled to have partnered with Brick + Beam Detroit, an organization that is dedicated to supporting those in the city who want to keep these houses’ histories alive. Through this project, we sought to create a Supply Atlas by determining the best means of collecting and sharing local supply and tool resources for home rehabbers in Detroit for their projects.

Andrea Sevonty-Sevonty Restoration

Marc Wolf-Altas Plumbing Supply

These projects often require hard to find items for unique homes at independent shops off the beaten path.  To begin this one-of-a-kind atlas, I spoke with shop owners, rehabbers, local craftsmen and other stakeholders to figure out where and how people learn about and share this information. These conversations all led to a single source of information sharing:  Word of Mouth. This concept was applied to the Supply Atlas project by uncovering ways to physically connect rehabbers to each other and to resources through non-physical methods of “word-of-mouth” communication and interactive digital spaces. As a result, the atlas shares information through one-pagers for workshops, interactive maps for the Brick + Beam website, a working list of both local and online shops, as well as a strategy guide with ideas and suggestions that promote future opportunities for the home rehab community in Detroit to share information. For a city that has seen and continues to see much change, simple conversations continue to be key to sharing information and the Supply Atlas provides one layer to this infinite map to inspire the continuation of those conversations and discoveries.

Do you have a home rehab project or just like to geek about homes like me? Check out more at Brick + Beam Detroit’s website!

Keep on discovering Detroit 🙂