Finalists announced for DIA Plaza design competition

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) recently announced that eight finalists have been selected to move forward in the “DIA Plaza and Midtown Cultural Connections” design competition. Forty-four submissions representing over 10 countries and 22 cities from around the world were received. The competition centers around enhancing and enlivening the visitor experience in the arts and cultural district and seeks an outstanding integrated design team for developing an urban and landscape design strategy to connect all 12 educational and cultural
institutions in Midtown Detroit.

The finalists are listed in alphabetical order:
agence ter, Paris, France
Team Partners: Akoaki, Harley Etienne, rootoftwo, and TranssolarKlimaEngineering

Hood Design Studio, Oakland, CA
Team Partners: NADAAA, Alibi Studio, Culture Lab Detroit, and Arup

Mikyoung Kim Design, Boston, MA
Team Partner: James Carpenter Design Associates

Spackman Mossop Michaels, Detroit, MI
Team Partners: SITU, MIT Civic Data Design Lab, Brandan “BMike” Odums, and Britney Stoney

Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Boston, MA
Team Partners: McEwen Studio/A(n) Office, Tiff Massey, Tetra Tech

UNStudio, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Team Partners: SurfaceDesign, inFORM Studio, Futurecity, Giffels Webster, Silman, and Atelier Ten

Ten x Ten, Minneapolis, MN
Team Partners: MASS Design Group, Local Projects, D MET Studio, Atelier Ten, and HR&A Advisors

WXY architecture + urban design, New York, NY
Team Partners: DesignJones LLC, Leong Leong, McEwen Studio/A(n) Office, and Tiff Massey

“The overall quality and depth of the submissions far exceeded our expectations,” said Salvador SalortPons, DIA director and Chair of the competition jury. “This is testimony to the exciting challenge of
transforming Detroit’s arts and cultural district, which represents more than 12 important cultural institutions in the city and benefits all the residents in the region.”

The eight firms will each make 45-minute public presentations followed by 30-minute Q&A sessions in the DIA’s Danto Lecture Hall on June 13 and 14. Three finalists will then be selected to design and amplify the possibilities of the project. The three firms will make public presentations on Jan. 23, 2019 at the DIA and the winning team will be announced in March 2019.

To register for the June 13-14 public presentations, please visit:


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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at