CCS Students Document Transformation of Ford’s New Corktown Campus

May 20, 2019

Interior of an abandoned and graffitied theatre.Visual Storytelling of the Neighborhood

Students from CCS are working to capture the transformation of Michigan Central Station and the surrounding neighborhoods in photographs, paintings, video and other media.
Nine students from various academic disciplines have spent the past 15 weeks working on the project. They’ve created paintings, taken architectural photographs, recorded oral and visual histories and created short stories. A couple of students created an app that allows the user to impose himself or herself against a backdrop of historic buildings and street scenes.

Ford has partnered with CCS on the project that will run for three years; the goal is to not only help tell the story of Ford’s presence in Corktown as it restores the long-vacant train station, but also to preserve aspects of the neighborhood’s past and present.

“As the oldest neighborhood in Detroit, Corktown has a rich and fabled history,” said Matt Chung, manager of Corporate and Community for CCS. “There’s so many stories to share about the residents and businesses that have been here over the years, personal narratives, passionate characters, artistic expressions and iconic locations.”

The project has drawn a lot of interest from CCS students, who are closely following Detroit’s resurgence. Some CCS students also live in or have ties to the neighborhoods around Michigan Central Station so it has an added connection for them.

“We appreciate the fact that Ford has recognized that it’s important to engage and celebrate the community and has put some faith in us to help navigate that on the ground,” said Vince Carducci, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at CCS.

This first semester culminates with a student exhibition running from May 10 to 24 at the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, 460 W. Baltimore, Detroit. Some of the students’ work will also be showcased at The Factory starting in June.