The Craig Fahle Show

Combating Despair Through Design

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

coG Studio

By Nichole M. Christian WDET

As the city gears up for the Detroit Design Festival, eight days of events aimed at celebrating and attracting entrepreneurial creatives, WDET's Nichole Christian talks with Chandra Moore-Banks, a California-born young architect who sees creating innovative community driven designs as a weapon to combat youth despair in urban cities. Detroit, she says, is the ultimate proving ground for her vision.

"Space is a small percentage of what helps children thrive,'' says Moore, 33. " I may not be the teacher but I can create the space for the child to have a healthy and vibrant experience filled with love and passion. Change a child's environment and they will adapt and thrive.''

Moore's coG Studio is one 17 early- and second-stage companies tapped as pilot residents of The Detroit Creative Corridor Center, a businesses accelerator for creative companies in Midtown. The companies chosen represent a range of fields such as architecture, film production and graphic design and have demonstrated enough potential beyond the startup stage to contribute to Detroit's hope of a creative economy. The accelerator program is funded through a $500,000 grant from the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Moore is hopeful that her company and her vision will thrive through the mentoring and strategic assistance she's receiving from the Detroit Creative Corridor. Moore, a graduate and former assistant professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, founded the company in memory of her father, also an architect passionate about making innovative design more accessible in urban communities.

"I know this is my purpose to help youth in urban communities thrive by design.''

As of July, she runs coG studio full-time, with three employees. Moore has worked on projects as wide ranging as the design of a 34,000sq.ft. Therapeutic Wellness Center for The Saben Center in Los Angeles, to designing the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis Tennessee, to a full service-design and construction administration of Detroit’s Riverwalk Pavilions.

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