Remake Detroit is a collaboration with John DeHoog, Professor of Furniture Design at Eastern Michigan University. The short documentary aims to illustrate briefly the social and economic benefits behind Detroit adopting the deconstruction model of building and blight removal. Furniture makers and artists source the wood and other materials from these buildings to create unique furniture and other works. The material often tells its own story; artists choose to show hints of its origin, such as nail holes and other marks, or even noting the home address from where it came. Having been pulled from the nearly 70,000 abandoned buildings in the city of Detroit, the wood can be deemed a ‘rare species’ of its own, with an age of over 100 years in most instances.
I traveled with John to Detroit during summer of 2014, filming interviews on location with artists and business owners. He played the short film during a presentation titled ‘Picking Up the Pieces: Detroit’ at the Furniture Society Conference in Port Townsend, Washington.
In order of appearance:
Matt O’Brien – Furniture Maker
James Willer – Owner of WORKSHOP, Detroit
Sam Constantine – Co-owner of End Grain Woodworking Company
Chris Rutherford – Executive Director at Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit
Chris Behm – Co-owner of End Grain Woodworking Company
Dave Hudson – Furniture Maker