Detroit, Cmd + R


“That energy that reminds you, reenergizes you, and gives you faith in whatever you’re doing… That’s how you know you’ve made it home.”  – Big Sean, Anthem of Us


Director Stephen McGee was one of the speakers at TEDxDetroit this year. With support from Bedrock Detroit and narration from Big Sean, he created an inspirational short film that highlights the rekindling of Detroit and the energy that flows through the city..


Detroit is being rediscovered. A resurgence of restaurants, businesses, entertainment and technology have been igniting Detroit; providing a spark to give the city the fresh start they have been needing for decades.


Another speaker, Aaron Draplin, Detroit native, graphic designer and creator of various graphics and products, including the memo books referred to as Field Notes, reminded all of us to “never underestimate the underdog” that is Detroit.


Detroiters are working for things they believe in. With hard work, jobs are created in creative ways and people fall in love with what they are doing. The work not only means something to them, but it also means something to the revitalization of the city. This deeper meaning is spreading all throughout Detroit, causing dreams to manifest into reality, one business or art exhibition at a time.


Lisa Waud, creator of the Flower House, spoke to a time she hired florists from Michigan, and across the country, to fill the walls and ceilings of an abandoned house in Detroit with flowers. The installation only lasted a weekend, but its impact is still felt.


One of our own, Dave Meeker, a VP here at Isobar, spoke about the importance of preserving works of art similar to the Flower House, focusing in on one of Detroit’s most iconic landmarks: The Heidelberg Project.


The Heidelberg Project is a ‘community art environment’, which was designed to improve the lives of residents in the area by decorating deserted homes with found objects, and encourages an appreciation for artistic expression worldwide.


Isobar’s choice to work with Tyree Guyton, creator of the Heidelberg Project, was an easy one. In a recent article for Curbed Detroit, Meeker explains why:
“At the highest level, I believe Detroit is really the embodiment of and a living example of resilience. Why the Heidelberg Project? Because it takes the resilience of Detroit, but delivers it in an concentrated dose. What they’ve been able to do over 30 years is not just about creating art, but providing inspiration. Tyree has shown the world that one man can inspire and motivate and bring a message to people through creativity. The Heidelberg Project does this on a local level, but in reality – it’s much bigger than its geographic area. The message is global and has been inspirational to people across the world.”

Using virtual reality, drones and 3D modeling, Isobar would like to create a record of the ever-changing Heidelberg Project, as well as the ability for anyone to see the installations at any point in time and space.

Both Flower House and Heidelberg Project repurpose forgotten structures in the city of Detroit through art so that the old and forgotten can become new and meaningful – the essence of a fresh start.


Projects like these are helping Detroit not only become a better-known city, but also by providing inspiration for businesses, big and small. The surge of innovation, passion and community are spreading, and encouraging the growth to continue.


The rebirth of Detroit will not happen overnight, and there is still a long road ahead.

However, the momentum of the Detroit renaissance will push the city to a higher level and refresh minds to help keep the energy flowing.

The rebirth of Detroit has not happened overnight, and there is still a long road ahead. However, the momentum of the Detroit renaissance creating new restaurants, entertainment venues, business and tech start-ups will push the city to a higher level and refresh minds to help keep the energy flowing.