For our first year four Fellow Spotlight, we are checking in with Michael Paciero. He fills us in on what he enjoys most about Detroit, his host company, ROSSETTI, and what he is looking forward to most as a Challenge Detroit Fellow.
Tell us about living in Detroit. What neighborhood do you live in and what things make it unique and exciting?
I’ve been looking forward to living in the city for a while now. The best way I can describe it is that it’s convenient. Contrary to what others might think, most everything that I need on a day to day basis is here and I rarely have to leave. In addition, I can bike to nearly anywhere I need to go if it tends to be a little far. At most, I drive twice per week averaging about 50 miles. In fact, I may transition to being motor-less in the motor city in the next couple months.
I live Downtown in a six story, newly renovated, apartment building in a unit that overlooks Woodward Ave. So far it’s been a fantastic experience. I’ve worked downtown before. When I received the opportunity through Challenge Detroit to work downtown again I had a strong desire to move here. The primary reason for this was so I could walk to work. It is a 10 minute walk from my apartment door to the office. In addition, I can walk out my door and be at one of Downtown’s 155 bars and restaurants in less than 10 minutes. It’s also incredibly convenient to be so close to any of the downtown festivals and stadiums, the Detroit Riverwalk where I frequently go for runs, and Eastern Market where I buy most of my groceries. In the next month, I’m most excited about viewing the Thanksgiving Day Parade from my window. I’ve certainly done a lot of playing in Detroit since the move and I look forward to many more experiences down here and in other parts of the city.
What have you learned from Challenge Detroit so far?
I came into Challenge Detroit knowing a good amount about the city already since I’m from the area. I worked downtown for two years previously, participated in many Detroit events, and even own property in the city. Challenge Detroit has shown me there’s so much more to learn. I’ve heard so many exciting Detroit success stories through the program’s events and speakers, particularly through our first challenge with the City of Detroit where we collected stories of small businesses around the city. I’ve also learned much about myself through cultivating new friendships with my fellow fellows and learning how my strengths best fit within and serving the organization.
Tell us about your host company and your role in the organization.
My host company is ROSSETTI. ROSSETTI is an architectural design and planning firm with a global focus on sports and entertainment, and a community design focus in Detroit. The firm has designed many well-known sports venues across the country. At Rossetti, I am a designer assigned to the technical design team. The job has been particularly interesting because I am an engineer by trade working at an architecture only firm. This has been a great experience because it has tested the versatility of my Architectural Engineering degree. I am able to lean on my knowledge of mechanical, electrical, and structural engineering systems as they integrate with architecture. For this reason, a main part of my job is coordinating clashes of building elements between engineering consultants and Rossetti’s 3D models, as well as partaking in other engineering and technical related design tasks, research, and collaboration.
Here is what ROSSETTI is saying about Michael joining their team.
ROSSETTI is pleased to host Michael Paciero from the 2015-16 cohort of Challenge Detroit fellows. As a recent graduate of the inaugural class of LTU’s Architectural Engineering program, Michael’s background in mechanical engineering and building systems is being put to good use. Working with 3-D modeling tools Navisworks and Revit, Michael has been collaborating closely with members of ROSSETTI’s technical team on consultant coordination and clash detection efforts for architectural projects such as the L.A. Lakers Training Facility and Brigham Young University. He is also participating in a new facility operations initiative underway for Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA’s National Tennis Center. Michael notes that experiencing aspects of ROSSETTI’s QA/QC methodology has afforded him the opportunity to learn ways in which collaborative digital tools work together to improve design cohesion.
At Rossetti, in terms of architecture and design, I hope that I can provide a unique perspective and expertise on projects due to my engineering background in order to increase collaboration and coordination between us and the engineers/consultants we work with. I’d also like to build upon the fact that Rossetti is already an office that is Detroit conscious and continue to expose the office to as much Detroit news, events, and happenings as much as possible, as well as educate and keep them up to date on Challenge Detroit.
Within the city I intend to take advantage of various events, lectures, and social situations to network with and meet as many people as possible through this year long experience. Detroit is being built by so many different amazing people, and I hope to share their stories as I meet them to promote the city. I’d also like to see the work we produce through challenges create a lasting impact in those organizations. Lastly I want to find an avenue to promote deconstruction in the city over demolition to fight blight. This is a topic that is very close to my heart because I recently deconstructed a house built in 1888 on the east side and am currently completing new development at the site on top of the existing foundation. Material in these blighted, old houses should be reclaimed and not thrown in a landfill.
What are you looking forward to most about being a Challenge Detroit Fellow?
I’m looking forward to continuing to build relationships with the people in the program and network with others throughout the city. Detroit’s progress doesn’t rest on the shoulders of one person, but rather all of us. The more we are all interconnected in this big but small town the better the outcome will be. I’m also excited to explore areas of the city that I’ve never been to before. Whether that be places to eat, small businesses, parks, or art installations, I anticipate that Challenge Detroit will provide opportunities, both directly and indirectly, to be exposed to these things.