The University of Michigan has announced a $1.3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of a multidisciplinary program in its Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
Awarded through the foundation's Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities program, the grant will help establish Egalitarianism and the Contemporary Metropolis, an academic initiative designed to connect the disciplines of architecture, urban design, and the humanities. The four-and-a-half-year program will comprise symposia, new lecture and seminar courses, postgraduate research fellowships, public exhibitions, and a publication showcasing new research on Mexico City, Detroit, and Rio de Janeiro. Other institutions participating in the program include LSA's Institute for the Humanities, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and organizations in Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City.
Scheduled to begin during the winter 2014 term, the program will engage scholars and designers from architecture and urban design, philosophy, art history, Latin American and American studies, African-American and African studies, history and urban planning.
"By bringing together the depth of humanities scholarship with the speculative knowledge of design, the Mellon grant represents a major step forward in reframing how we think about urbanism, and in particular about the relationship between the shape of the contemporary metropolis and social inequity," said Tabuman College dean Monica Ponce de Leon. "The complex issues confronting the cities and metropolitan regions of today require interdisciplinary collaborations as a means of constructing alternatives for the future. At the University of Michigan, the humanities are rich with exceptional expertise in the very subjects at the heart of the metropolis, while at Taubman College design thinking provides a unique framework to understand the forces that give shape to urban environments."