University of Michigan

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI


DIA Plaza Competition Features Faculty, Alumna on Final Teams and Dean Massey as Juror

By lacroixa
Feb 23, '19 12:34 PM EST

University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning faculty and an alumna are members of three finalist teams in a plaza-design competition sponsored by the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and Midtown Detroit Inc. The DIA Plaza and Midtown Cultural Connections Competition tasked design firms with uniting 12 cultural and educational institutions through a connected cultural district and town square.

Associate Professors of Architecture Anya Sirota (Akoaki) and John Marshall (rootoftwo) and  Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Harley Etienne, are partners in the Agence Ter team.

Joel Schmidt (D MET) and Craig Wilkins, both lecturers in architecture, are partners on the TEN x TEN team.

Kemba Braynon, B.S. ’95, M.Arch ’97, an associate in the Detroit office of Quinn Evans Architects, is a member of the Mikyoung Kim Design team.

In addition, Taubman College Dean Jonathan Massey is serving as one of the jurors. "Connecting the city’s artists and scholars with some of the world’s best landscape and architecture firms, the competition reimagines Midtown as a civic commons at once monumental and accessible, cosmopolitan and distinctly Detroit," Massey said. "It shows how a participatory and multilateral design process can forge a consensus for change among institutions, funders, and neighbors."

The initial 44 submissions from more than 10 countries and 22 cities were narrowed down to eight firms, each of which presented their ideas to a panel of judges at a public event at the DIA June 13-14, 2018. The proposals from the three final teams are on exhibit at the DIA from January 23 to April 2, 2019. Public presentations take place on January 23. The winning team will be announced in March. For more information, visit

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