Rebranding Detroit: music, identity, and perception in the new post-industrial era
In post-industrial society, economic globalization has overpowered local culture. By establishing a mobilized task force to achieve top levels of efficiency, society has effectively reduced identity and spirit through decentralization of place. "Re-Branding Detroit" explores the issues of identity and brand within modern Detroit to help propose a design methodology for the city as it moves forward, utilizing music, abandoned architecture and the youthful, grassroots movement to achieve the goal of maintaining local identity, spurring social justice, and stabilizing neighborhoods for future growth. First, this thesis defines the proper context of identity and branding within post-industrial society. Secondly, it analyzes the historical and cultural precedents of Detroit to find a unique solution. Lastly, it examines specific grassroots case studies in Detroit: the Heidelberg Project, The Black History 101 Mobile Museum, and PlayHouse to offer a design solution. This thesis also explores the overarching ideas of politics, race, and economics that act as the proverbial foundation that the cultural narrative rests upon, which advocates the use of music and abandoned architecture within the growing, grassroots movement, effectively linking society with an ethical and effective type of rhetorical brand for Detroit.