University of Michigan
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August 18, 2017

Taubman College architect reveals Detroit’s neighborhoods at night

July 11, 2016

Taubman College architect reveals Detroit’s neighborhoods at night

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Detroit-based architect Catie Newell wants to capture her city’s darkness before it’s gone.

Detroit’s streetlights are being replaced by thousands of LEDs in a $185 million infrastructure project. “The lights are coming back, and we’ll lose that darkness,” says Newell, assistant professor of architecture, U-M’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and recent recipient of the Rome Prize in architecture.

Newell’s photographs are the focus of the exhibition, “Overnight,” presented at UMMA through Nov. 6. Through urban interventions, installations and photographs, she investigates how darkness creates alternate environments, with unseen geographies, untold histories and secret identities.

“I’ve always been interested in darkness and the night,” she said. “Colors look different. Things have a different hierarchy, based on what’s lit and what’s not,” she says.

UMMA admission is free. Galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. noon-5 p.m. Sunday and closed Mondays.