The LOVE Building, located in Core City at 4731 Grand River Ave, is being transformed into a hub for social justice organizing and community gathering. Allied Media Projects [AMP] is working on the project in partnership with Sidewalk Detroit and the Oakland-based architecture and real estate development nonprofit Designing Justice + Designing Spaces.
Once completed, AMP will share space in the LOVE Building with Detroit Community Technology Project, Detroit Disability Power, Detroit Justice Center, Detroit Narrative Agency and Paradise Natural Foods. By sharing the space, the tenets will have more opportunities for collaborative social justice organizing, as well as serving as a resource for the surrounding neighborhood.
“The design of The LOVE Building reflects and supports the mission of the amazing organizations it houses through the space’s openness at every level for light, accessibility and collaboration,” said Deanna Van Buren,Executive Director and Design Director at Designing Justice +Designing Spaces. “The architecture of the space is reflective of the community cohesion that it will catalyze: the interior of the building will flow seamlessly into public space, facilitating a sense of coming together at a time when we so desperately need it. The LOVE Building will serve as a home for social justice organizations doing important work throughout the city, exemplifying the kind of restorative reinvestments that are greatly needed in our communities.”
During the course of the project, AMP will be working with Detroit street artist, Sintex, to recreate his mural, Our Land Till Death, which currently stands on a neighboring building slated for demolition. Stating in their press release that they hope to “preserve this important piece of art and disrupt the pattern of erasure that often accompanies development,” AMP will work with Sintex to recreate the mural at another site on the LOVE Building property.
The mural from Sintex honors lives lost to police and racist violence in Detroit while also highlighting the legacies of social justice movements, a mural fitting for the LOVE Building’s goal of becoming a social justice hub. The new mural will be worked on and created by a team of artists, activists and residents from the surrounding community.
The original mural will also be honored through an upcoming video from Aadizookaan (ADZKN), a multimedia production company which “works from ancestral indigenous-based knowledge systems.”
As development moves forward on the LOVE Building, the team is modeling it’s approach to accessibility to go above and beyond ADA compliance. The end goal being that the space is usable and welcoming to people with disabilities and others who are often excluded from social justice organizing. An advisory council focused on accessibility will guide interior design strategies that pertain to furniture, multi-sensory wayfinding, assistive technologies and other aspects.
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