Wealthy Street StudioJanuary- April 2008
632 Wealthy St. SE
Through cement sidewalks, metal signs, brick buildings and ephemeral objects, the physical makeup of the street guides us from one end to the other. Boundaries and paths are created and destroyed as the city flows through time and space. Communities are formed and transformed as members come and go.
Wealthy Civic Studio examines these complex interplays of people, place and time in an attempt to understand the creation and flow of the communities along Wealthy Street. Our investigation of this five-mile corridor took many forms. We began with researching the history of Wealthy Street, breaking it into 15 sections allowing members to become intimately engaged with their individual areas. Viget, a Grand Rapids wiki, became a useful and important tool in the recording and sharing of information. As our research developed and the history of the street grew around us, we began to interact with the current life of the area as well. Interacting with the communities that make up the street allowed us to comprehend the complex network of individuals and events along Wealthy. Using the knowledge and questions gained through our research, we created projects that gave a sense of physicality to the ideas that were emerging within the studio. These included the flow from one end of the street to the other, indicators of beginning and end, the dump and the lake, water quality and transportation, and signs and signals along the street.
Michael Otis Bray