The framing of what we design is very important to how we go about it. We have not been framing these things as contexts. We’ve been framing them as products, services, and a whole other series of terms that are— Tools, for example. And these are things that are mostly transactional. They’re not things that are meant to be inhabited.
The worst-case scenario for Detroit would be that the architecture of the Internet as it is now continues, and Detroiters’ stories, voices, lives, are absent. And the New York Times story about the creative class saving Detroit, or the documentary about the abandonment and wholesale destruction of Detroit that portrays it as a wasteland and a blank canvas ready for entrepreneurial exploitation, that those stories are defining the national, the global imagination of what Detroit is. And that those stories, they don’t use influence people’s desire to come here and do those things and live that life, though that’s part of it, but it also shapes the perception of people inside the city.