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Herscher’s Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit Featured at U-M Pub Club

Friday, May 6, 2016

Herscher’s Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit Featured at U-M Pub Club

The University of Michigan Library Publishing Club (Pub Club) will hold a discussion about the work of Andrew Herscher, Associate Professor of Architecture, on May 12, 2016. The event will discuss Herscher’s book, The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit, published in 2012 by the University of Michigan Press.

The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit initiates a new focus on Detroit as a site not only of urban crisis but also of urban possibility. The Guide documents art and curatorial practices, community and guerilla gardens, urban farming and forestry, cultural platforms, living archives, evangelical missions, temporary public spaces, intentional communities, furtive monuments, outsider architecture, and other work made possible by the ready availability of urban space in Detroit. The Guide poses these spaces as "unreal estate": urban territory that has slipped through the free-market economy and entered other regimes of value, other contexts of meaning, and other systems of use. The appropriation of this territory in Detroit, the Guide suggests, offers new perspectives on what a city is and can be, especially in a time of urban crisis.

Professor Herscher’s research explores the architectural and urban media of political violence, cultural memory, collective identity, and human rights. Herscher co-founded the Detroit Unreal Estate Agency, an open access platform for research on urban crisis using Detroit as a focal point, and is currently a member of the We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective.

The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit is an open access title published by the University of Michigan Press’ open access imprint, digitalculturebooks, and can be read here: www.digitalculture.org/unreal-estate-guide-to-detroit/