Sirota's Akoaki and the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm Launch First Phase of Detroit Cultivator
Assistant Professor of Architecture Anya Sirota hosted CROP-UP, an exhibition which opened on September 9, at the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm (OAUF) in Detroit’s North End. CROP-UP marked the first phase of planning at OAUF and the exhibition curated by Akoaki—her collaborative architecture practice—featured the work of Detroit artists, performers, designers, chefs, including: Dr. Kno, Emily Rogers, Andrew Black, Ute Petit, Nick George, and Maxcel Hardy.
The Oakland Avenue Urban Farm is an “agri-cultural” landscape that mixes the operation of a traditional farm with spaces to engage with the local community through art, design, and performance. One of the centerpieces of CROP-UP was the “Detroit Cultivator” project, a model and master plan for OAUF. In an interview with Hyperallergic, Sirota describes how Akoaki began working in the North End of Detroit and the burgeoning history of OAUF. She describes the Detroit Cultivator as an “urban plan in which food production, cultural activity, and civic assets work together to reactivate a locally rooted economy.” According to Sirota “This project also serves as a blueprint and prototype in ways to stem gentrification, and will be revised every couple years to incorporate new learnings and programming.”