2013 DDF Installation: ‘Mene Mene’
rogueHAA unveiled its third installation for the Detroit Design Festival last month. The work’s title, ‘Mene Mene’, is an Aramaic idiom meaning ‘the writing is on the wall’ and was chosen by the group to signify the rewriting of Detroit’s often negative story into a more positive message that includes the city’s multiple voices and narratives. The installation, designed to activate an empty pocket parking lot in Detroit’s North End, was constructed with a series of grass terraces combined with blank writing walls to engaged members of the local community. “Rather than creating static object to be viewed from a distance, we wanted to create a literal platform for conversation and reflection,” says rogueHAA member, James Witherspoon. Each section of the installation included a different provocation as a means to catalyze and frame a conversation about the city.
The installation, located at 2871 E. Grand Blvd., invited the community to participate in an interactive event that was equally fun and thought-provoking. Through partnership with Let’s Save Michigan, Festival attendees were encouraged to share a meal, conversation, and ideas for placemaking in their neighborhood. Throughout the festival, visitors were encouraged to write their ideas, thoughts, challenges, and pictures on the walls of the installation. These were collected and will be curated as part of an online gallery to promote engagement with a larger audience, and longevity beyond the festival itself.
This fall, the collaborative is also planning to continue its lecture series aimed at promoting critical thought and creative dialogue in the design community. Stay tuned for details to come!