The Parducci Society is a non-profit comprised of architecture enthusiasts who appreciate ornamentation and craft. Founded in 2012, the organization serves to highlight + preserve ornamentation in an effort to preserve these historical features for upcoming generations to discover and appreciate.
Named after the 20th-century Detroit sculptor & ornamentalist Corrado Parducci, the Parducci Society strives to showcase both historic architectural craft and contemporary artists.
The discussion was moderated by DDF. The panel included experts Rebecca Wright, Beth Metts, Carlos Nielbach of CAN Art Handworks- Francis, Jennifer, Sarah, Andre Sandifer a woodworking + upholstery artisan, Deema Daimey of Gensler, DPop, Rosetti.
Highlights from the discussion are featured below:
"Design comes from problem solving rather than aesthetic."
Carlos' work is focused on historical properties. He spearheaded the Fox Theatre restoration.
Andre specializes in mid-century modern design aesthetics and works predominantly in solid woods. People like that it's solid. His client base spans from the east to the west coast and as far out as from Japan and as close by as Oak Park
"Building codes create more unique problems for us to solve"
Deena specializes in interior architecture. Quicken is interested in respecting the building and it's important to celebrate certain elements of the building. Her current project has her working on Detroit Prep.
Beth is in Commercial Property Management. She noted that the economic downturn in Minneapolis didn't create a pause in economic growth, unlike Detroit since Minneapolis has a diversified economy. Current projects include 40 Davenport for renovation and restoration, where she's working with the housing commission to remove and then return residents o their homes. There's 40 legacy residents and 57 new residents that will pay market rate.
"Hardest thing to make is a box There's nothing to hide behind"
Andre is a designer who has a passion for handcrafting pieces and for Detroit. He first designed things that were affordable, but quickly realized that he needed to make money.
"I'm kind of like WHOA."
Detroit is the pinnacle of the finest craftsman & artifacts in the country. Carlos continued: I'm about to set you straight. We are living in the remainder of the Paris of the United States- the most elegant city in America. Where is the visual evidence of this? It is in the buildings and skyscrapers. These pieces deserve renovation. Detroit takes the lead in innovation of all cities. These skilled tradespeople should be revered and must be passed down- through the generations, learned from an old guy---- not on YouTube. The moderator clapped back that she watches fixes on YouTube. Carlos said he wants to see an investment in skilled trades. He suggested a cultural exchange program to give artisans a great American experience. He continued that 1/3 of Germany's economy is comprised of skilled trades. He wants to see the spirit of the city when it was created. "Master craftsmen built the Paris of the North. The End!!!
A discussion among the panel, audience and moderator followed which focused on the question: How can we engage the city in this idea? (of workmanship)
Ideas consisted of embracing new technology of the future to creating a Michelin star system for craftsman. The talk then shifted to what the city can do. Some suggestions included changing policies that are 60 years behind to implementing a 1% line item for public art, which has worked for other cities.
"The time is now."
"Things are happening, things are changing. We just gotta keep doing what we're doing."