Racializing Space Research Project – Traveling Exhibition and Digital Archive Design

Summer 2021

Racism and the exploitation of housing policies by opportunistic developers, the real estate industry, decision-makers, and the financial/banking systems have shaped the patterns of race, poverty, and opportunity in Detroit and southeast Michigan. Led by UM Faculty Joshua Ackers, Robert Fishman, Larissa Larssen and Jonathan Massey, the Racializing Space research project is an historical analysis of structural racism as it relates to housing in Detroit and southeast Michigan.  The project has two aims: (1) to explain how federal and local housing policies perpetuated racial residential segregation through predatory exclusion and inclusion and (2) to illustrate the spatial impacts of these policies on the distribution of Black and white residents and residential property values by mapping Detroit and its suburban areas over the last 80 years.

The UM research team is partnering with the Detroit Historical Society (DHS) to organize an exhibition and online companion which distills and presents their findings.  Our team worked with U-M faculty leads and DHS curators to conceptualize traveling exhibition equipment an online exhibition companion.


Taubman College Research Team
Tim Berke
Robert Fishman
Larissa Larsen
Jonathan Massey
Joshua Powell

Detroit Historical Society
Tracey Irwin
Elana A. Rugh
Billy Wall-Winkel

Student Team
Ranya Betts-Chen
Tessa Broek
Ling Jin
Fangtian Ni
Bangyu Xu

Faculty Mentor
Jacob Comerci

To view our full traveling exhibition design presentation, visit this link.
To view the digital archive design, visit this link.
For more information about the Detroit Historical Society, visit this link.