Emily Kutil, designer and activist with We the People Detroit, to serve as 2019-20 Banham Felllow

Research will explore relationship of land, power and water in Great Lakes watershed

Published August 22, 2019

We're pleased to welcome architectural designer, educator, and researcher Emily Kutil as our 2019-20 Peter Reyner Banham Fellow. She is a founding member of We the People of Detroit Community Research Collective, an interdisciplinary collaboration between community activists, academics, and designers mapping geographies of austerity in Detroit.

Portrait of Emily Kutil.

Emily Kutil, founding member of We the People Detroit Community Research Collective, is the 2019-20 Peter Reyner Banham Fellow at UB.

Kutil's research investigates the intertwined social structures, physical structures, and power structures that shape our world. She makes drawings, publications, installations, models, and other story-machines, often using collective, interdisciplinary processes. As this year's Reyner Banham Fellow, she’ll focus on the history and future of water, land, power, and life in the Great Lakes Watershed.

Kutil also coordinates Black Bottom Street View, an immersive representation of a historic Detroit neighborhood destroyed by urban renewal, which was awarded a Knight Arts Challenge Grant in 2016.

Previously, Emily taught design and visualization at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. She has exhibited her work in Detroit and Los Angeles, and has published articles in Scapegoat, Horizonte, and Dimensions. She has practiced at architecture firms in Detroit, LA, Ann Arbor and Vermont, and worked on an experimental water infrastructure project at Metabolic Studio in LA. Emily holds a BSArch from the University of Cincinnati, and a MArch with High Distinction and Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Michigan.  

The School of Architecture and Planning’s Peter Reyner Banham Fellowship supports the research of emerging practitioners in honor of the legacy of Peter Reyner Banham, who taught at UB from 1976-80 and produced a foundational body of scholarship on material/visual culture as a reflection of contemporary social life. Banham was famous for his hands-on approach to historical research and engagement both in and out of the classroom, a tradition Faruki is set to continue—his unique perspective anchored on an interest in history and its potential for experimentation and new ideas.