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John Marshall and rootoftwo to bring Free Public Wi-Fi, Digital Transformation to Midtown, Detroit

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In 2019, Midtown Detroit, Inc. ran an international design competition, which attracted 44 submissions from 10 countries and 22 cities, all seeking to create a walkable, unified cultural district in Midtown, Detroit. 

Stamps Associate Professor John Marshall Ph.D. was part of the team that proposed the winning design for the competition that will connect the Carr Center; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; College for Creative Studies; Detroit Historical Museum; Detroit Institute of Arts; Detroit Public Library; Hellenic Museum of Michigan; International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit; Michigan Science Center; Midtown Detroit, Inc.; The Scarab Club; University of Michigan; and Wayne State University.

rootoftwo — Marshall’s design studio that he co-founded with Cézanne Charles, have been leading on developing the digital strategy for the Cultural Center Planning Initiative (CCPI) for the past year. In December 2020, Detroit’s Cultural Center Planning Initiative (CCPI) was awarded a one-year $500,000 grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to help implement the comprehensive digital strategy, including installation of free, outdoor public Wi-Fi in 2021 throughout the Cultural Center. The Knight Foundation grant also supports capacity building, and the development of infrastructure and compelling use cases for technology within the Cultural Center.

Some of the funding will support collaboration, risk-taking, and experimentation by the CCPI institutions in the form of new projects expected to be demonstrated during DLECTRICITY – Outdoor Festival Of Art And Light To Illuminate City, September 24 – 25, 2021 produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI), and supported by the DTE Energy Foundation. Both Charles and Marshall also serve on the DLECTRICITY Curatorial Committee.

The wireless system will be an extension of Wayne State University’s existing campus system and will help attract visitors to the district and encourage more outdoor programming, while providing accessible and reliable public Wi-Fi for audiences throughout the outdoor spaces of the district. Additional funding to support this system was provided by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

For more information on the project, see Detroit’s Cultural Center to get free outdoor Wi-Fi | Detroit News.