Purchase a house through the Land Bank? This free workshop teaches home renovation skills — and more

What’s happening: Detroit residents that have purchased a home through the Detroit Land Bank Authority have a unique opportunity to learn more about improving their home renovation skills, and all the while building their own custom-designed piece of furniture. The free workshop, “Build a Chair = Reframe a House,” comes courtesy of the Detroit Reuse Collective and will be hosted at the Carhartt Workshop on Saturday, Feb. 4.

The Detroit Reuse Collective’s chair incorporates several carpentry fundamentals.What it is: “Build a Chair = Reframe a House” is a free workshop open to Detroiters that have purchased a home through the DLBA. The afternoon starts with an introductory lunch before participants will learn to build their own custom-designed chairs, which incorporate several carpentry fundamentals. In building these chairs, guests will learn the skills necessary for framing the floors, roof, and walls of a house. After the workshop, the newfound furniture makers will be able to utilize extended reality tools to stage their new chairs.

Who’s behind it: The Detroit Reuse Collective is a group of University of Michigan-affiliated architects, makers, and designers led by De Peter Yi and Laura Peterson of 1+1+ Architects and Cyrus Peñarroyo of EXTENTS. The team is interested in how Detroit residents reuse existing structures to rebuild and repair their own homes and buildings.

How to attend: Those Detroit residents that have purchased a home through the DLBA and are renovating the house under the guidelines of the DLBA’s compliance program can email [email protected] to register for the free workshop, which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4. “Build a Chair = Reframe a House” will be held at the Carhartt Workshop, which is located on the second floor of Carhartt’s flagship retail store in Midtown. Lunch, tools, and supplies will be provided.
The finished product.Why it’s important: “…the best thing you could do is build things up. But you need to do that with people in the neighborhood. We could have education programs tied to how to take apart a building, how to reuse the stuff that’s in it, and how to build something back,” Shea Howell, co-founder of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center, told the Detroit Reuse Collective in 2022. “Imagine how much people could learn about math and science and systems and all sorts of connected concepts…if young people could work with old people in the community to dismantle and recreate what’s in the neighborhood.”

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.