An exhibition organized by
the School of Architecture


Cones, 2016

In the cultural imaginary of Detroit, vacant properties and their debris are synonymous with neglect, crime, economic hardship, and the fallout from the city’s postindustrial decline. Cones reimagines the piles of rubble from these disused sites as a resource for a new building material. Aggregate mixtures made from building debris are combined with granulated post-consumer plastic and thermo-formed into new structures. Much of the raw material for these conical objects, such as broken bricks, concrete chunks, and fragments of glass, was recovered from the Packard Plant, one of Detroit’s most iconic disused building sites. The new cast forms introduce a range of material qualities to the existing materials. Flecks of brick and concrete combine with less familiar colors and textures, such as milky translucency, chalky surfaces, and shiny smoothness. The project ascribes value to this detritus and transforms the city’s scarcity of resources into abundance.