On Thursday, February 23rd, volunteers from Quinn Evans Architects' Detroit and Ann Arbor offices immersed themselves in a Design Slam in support of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation (DHDC).

Diana Callaghan and Juan Pablo Garcia of Mission Throttle, were joined by Sherita Smith DHDC at QEA’s Detroit office for the lunchtime design charette.  
 
This volunteer design effort for QEA has grown out of a partnership with Mission Throttle, a Detroit based social impact strategy firm. Mission Throttle has been working with DHDC to research earned revenue models that would align with the goals and work of the DHDC. These revenue models, including such ideas as a café, coworking spaces, bike shops, and enlarged print facilities, would provide the DHDC with necessary capital, in addition to their existing grant work, for the organization to have larger impact and achieve their mission goals.  

Diana Callaghan, Director of Advisory Services for Mission Throttle, recognized the value of having architects participate in their research. She reached out to QEA to evaluate whether or not the Quinn Evans team would be able to volunteer their architectural skills to benefit the DHDC and their research for revenue models.  
 
On January 20th, 2017, QEA volunteers Lauren Strauss, Denise Close, Ann Philips, Fatima Beacham and Stephen Salazar took a site visit to the DHDC, meeting with the corporation’s founder Angie Reyes. This was a very inspiring visit for the design team as a whole and emphasized how as architects, QEA could make a meaningful contribution to this organization by volunteering their time and expertise. The site visit also allowed the design team to evaluate the existing structure and program to inform the space use proposals that the earned revenue models requested.  
 
A little over a month later, the Design Slam took place. A Slam is a quick exercise, usually no more than a few hours, during which time (in this case) architects get their ideas on paper quickly and succinctly. Some architects worked individually while others formed teams. Those who participated are currently refining the sketches from the Design Slam and will submit the design solution proposals to Mission Throttle for review on Friday, March 3rd. You can look forward to more exciting updates as the DHDC volunteer design opportunity progresses!