Building Better, More Sustainable Lifestyles: The Story of Fabric[K] Design
Why I Started Fabric[K] Design
People in other countries live more sustainable lifestyles than we Americans do. We may have the most ‘freedoms’, the largest military, the largest GDP, and the most stable social order. But on a fundamental level, people from other countries live their lives more sustainably. They have a more intimate relationship with their natural and built environments. On average, people from certain places in Europe, Asia, India and Africa walk and bike more, helping to keep them physically fit and less obese by simply doing daily tasks. Places near the Mediterranean have better diets because they primarialy shop at produce markets, grow their own food without chemicals (although this is changing sadly), cook more, and know exactly where their food comes from. As a result, they have significantly lower cases of chronic heart conditions, cancers, and other so-called "Western Diseases". They live closer together and closer to where they work, play, and relax which gives them more time to be social, spend time with family, and be more efficient with daily tasks. Yes, we in the U.S. have more money in the bank. But these other populations have better, more sustainable and healthier lifestyles.
I’ve had the good fortune to do a bit traveling in my 30 years of life - Europe, China, Africa - and I've seen these differences first hand. American neighborhoods used to be like this. In fact I remember them vaguely as a kid growing up in Detroit. I remember playing basketball, curb-ball, or catch in the streets of my grandmother’s neighborhood on the Westside of Detroit. I remember running down the sidewalk trying to flag down the Ice Cream truck. I remember my neighborhood friends and I, racing our bikes home from the park to get there before there before the street light curfew went into effect. I remember walking a block to the corner market, to pick up some final ingredients for dinner. I remember helping my grandmother harvest her vegetables and fruits in the backyard garden. I remember evenings hanging out on the stoop with my friends after dinner. In summers, we’d stay there cracking jokes until it was time for bed. I remember the old folks in my neighborhood knowing my name as I strolled through the streets. They always looked out for me, because they knew I was Beulah’s little grandson. Sound familiar? I’m sure many of you could tell some version of this same story.
A few years ago, in the midst of my travels, I recalled these memories as I evaluated how these other cultures lived, and I compared that to the current condition of Detroit Neighborhoods and I thought to myself, “What the heck happened?” The condition of Detroit neighborhoods is actually the condition of the American neighborhood. The answer is complex and multifaceted. But I believe it has much to do with the design of the built environment and the relationship people have to that environment. This is the genesis of Fabric[K] Design.
What is Fabric[K] Design?
My name is Marques King. I was born in Detroit, Michigan. Not Metro-Detroit. Not Southeastern Michigan. The D. I left Detroit in 2012 because there were zero jobs for newly graduated architecture students. I left for Washington DC determined to learn the things I couldn't had I stayed. It was the best decision of my life. I got a masters, became licensed, became an urban designer, traveled, worked, learned languages. I lived. And now I want to bring all of those experiences, expertise, and skill back to the town that made me who I am today. Fabric[K] Design is my way of doing that. Fabric[K] Design is an architectural and urban design consultancy firm located in Detroit, Michigan. Our vision? To help people live better, and more sustainable lifestyles similar to the one’s I just described above. Our mission is to pursue this vision through contextual, sustainable and people centric design principles. In short our thesis is that neighborhood life in Detroit and in America for that matter, is broken. We want to weave it back together.
What You Can Expect From Fabric[K] Design
You can expect us to provide quality architectural design and consultantcy services for a whole range of residential and light-commercial buildings as well as neighborhood urban planning. And if you can’t tell from the stories I just told, we like to focus on neighborhoods. To learn more about us, visit our website. There you can find our complete narrative, sign up for our quarterly newsletter, view some of our projects, and learn more about the products and services we’ll be offering in the near future. Over the next few months we will be rolling out a lot of content via. website, video, blog, and social media. So be sure to follow us and all our participating platforms. We will also be slowly rolling out each one of our products and services one at a time. We’re doing this to make sure each is well calibrated and provides the exact value that it should. I would like to make a note here. At Fabric[K] we realize that architectural services can be confusing, extremely expensive, and ambiguous (check out my blog on how architects can improve). Staying true to our goal of being a people-centric company, we are working on providing pricing models that make design services more clear and accessible to you our future clients, customers and neighbors. We believe the easier we make this process for you, the better experience you’ll have and the more you’ll enjoy embarking on this journey to live a better, more sustainable lifestyle. We look forward to serving you and the citizens of Detroit’s neighborhoods. Thanks for hanging with Fabric[K], the company that holds it all together.