For Detroit - CODAworx

For Detroit

Submitted by Red Paper Heart

Client: Ford

Location: Detroit, MI, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Creative Director

Zander Brimijoin

Red Paper Heart

Tech Director

Daniel Scheibel

Red Paper Heart

Executive Producer

Lisa Walters

Red Paper Heart


"For Detroit" was an interactive experience and popup museum that immerses viewers in the historical significance of architectural icon that is Michigan Central Station and gave members of the Detroit community a voice in its future. ‘For Detroit’ was part of the Ford Open House, where Ford announced their plans for renovating this classic piece of architecture. This event was the first time the public has seen the interior of the building in 30 years. Using 6 interactive stations, attendees could see the station in its heyday, and to write their personal hopes for the future. Writing or scrolling would cause dreams to crawl off the iPads, and along the curves of the 65 foot barrel vaulted ceilings, bringing light to the faded structure, and signaling the bright future of the station as a space for the community of Detroit.


The Open House was a historic occasion for Ford to announce its renewed commitment to the city of Detroit with the purchase and future renovation of Michigan Central Station. The public was invited to celebrate, and tour the interior of this iconic piece of architecture. This event was the first time the building had been open to the public in over 30 years.

Civic commissioned Red Paper Heart to concept and design the interior experience, museum gallery and community area. In researching the station, it became clear that that Michigan Central Station has always been a barometer for how the city is doing. The optimism leading to the stations opening in 1914 has a surprisingly strong correlation with the current mood in Detroit.

The interior experience invited Detroiters to explore their history, culture and presence and an installation that mixes the dreams of the Detroit’s past residents, with a platform that lifts the hopes and goals of Detroit’s current residents for what their city’s future will be. Because ultimately this is a story best told by the people of Detroit.