me + you, Michigan Central Detroit

Public Art —

The installation of me + you for the Michigan Central Train Station’s opening perfectly aligns with the innovative vision of the Art Program. Originally created by Reddymade’s founder Suchi Reddy in 2021, the new commissioned iteration of me + you embodies the program’s goals to foster an environment that encourages dialogue, inspires creativity, and engages community through the integration of art and technology. Utilizing open source artificial intelligence (AI) to create a dynamic, interactive, and transformative experience, me + you invites participants to reflect on their visions for the future. By celebrating the agency and voice of visitors in accessible and meaningful ways, me + you reflects Michigan Central’s commitment to creating an inclusive space that serves as a vibrant and future-forward nucleus for innovation in Detroit.

A kinetic light sculpture, me + you represents the coevolution between human wisdom and technological advancement—a core theme of the Michigan Central Art Program. Visitors will speak a single-word vision of the future into the cloud base at designated points. Using open source AI technology, me + you acts as an translator to express back that word as a unique pattern of light and color that shimmers across the structure, like a mandala, unique to each visitor.

The artwork’s focus to collect and translate individual inputs into a collective expression also supports the program’s emphasis on open dialogue and civic engagement through artistic experimentation. The national acclaim that me + you achieved at the Smithsonian’s “FUTURES” exhibition in 2021–22 underlines its potential to spotlight Detroit as a hub for interactive art. Integrating this significant public artwork into Michigan Central’s spaces enhances the station’s cultural presence and emphasizes Detroit as a forward-thinking city.

With the June 2024 opening of the Train Station, the Michigan Central Art Program embarks on its vision to transform the area into a vibrant landscape that encourages creative exploration and community interaction. By presenting me + you, Michigan Central defines its commitment to these values and positions itself as a leader in shaping the future through the intersection of art, community, and technology.

Reddymade’s Principals, Suchi Reddy and Kaija Wuollet, both have deep roots in Detroit. They are distinguished alumni of the School of Architecture + Community Development at the University of Detroit Mercy, and bring global perspective and deep local knowledge to this work. Founding Principal Suchi continues to engage with her alma mater, serving on the Dean’s Advisory Board. In addition, she is a 2023 Spirit of Detroit Mercy: Alumni Achievement Award recipient. Principal Kaija Wuollet lived and worked in Corktown for many years and served on local boards such as Ponyride and Corktown Business Association. She founded the award winning strategy, architecture, and urban design firm, Laavu, in Detroit in 2010, building a number of spaces including Gold Cash Gold, Detroit Institute of Bagels, Batch Brewing Company, Ponyride Makerspace, Sister Pie, and Nora, bringing over a decade of experience working locally on diverse project types that catalyze the community.