Friday, 9 December 2016

Reader Response on Detroit House article Final Draft

In the article “This Detroit House is being turned into a living model of cost-saving sustainable design”, Peters (2016) illustrates how a group of three architecture graduates, through their project ‘“Motown Movement”’, aim to share the techniques of constructing a “sustainable” house. The locals had already implemented some form of eco-friendly practices but still lack the knowledge of modifying their houses in a more cost-efficient way. For that reason, the students plan to construct a house and convert it into a "training centre" to educate the public on energy efficient methods such as a "septic tank". A “do-it-yourself” approach is adopted and materials to be used are available at various local supply stores. They aim for the project to be applicable across different global climates and to increase awareness of this movement. In my opinion, the students should come up with a more engaging approach when introducing drastic changes of making Detroit environmentally friendly as the article did not support how the community will be convinced with their idea.

The students should adopt a more engaging approach because not many people will be open to such drastic changes. People generally would have a difficult time having to do something that they are not normally used to do. It is mentioned that before executing their project focus to support youths working and conserving the environment (Kakonge & Sibanda, 2008), the project group create a national environmental youth corps and understand the target audience better before launching their project (Kakonge, 2012). I believe that by doing so, it would not introduce such drastic changes. I do agree on the students’ eco-friendly techniques however; they should focus more on how they can get community to ‘buy’ their idea. There are different forms of communication methods which affects different groups of people. It is mentioned that having the proper means of communication empowers the speaker to convey uneasy subjects without any conflict in interests (Robinson, Segal & Smith, 2016). It is also important that one has to pay attention how the target audience process the information and whether the intended effect has been achieved (Moser, 2009). Failures of communication can break the trust (Tuck, 2014). This explains why the proper communication approach is important to relate with the community for them to ‘buy’ the idea. Subsequently, this may allow the locals to have less possibility of reluctance to change and a greater appreciation for the purpose of “Motown Movement”. 

When conducting talks or hands-on workshops, the students can introduce and elaborate on the various ways to achieve an ecological environment. This gives the locals a bigger picture on the importance of sustainability and its benefits. It is mentioned that there are many examples of renewable energy source such as solar energy in a solar cell generation or even wind power to turbines producing electricity (Marquit, 2009). This teaches the community that there are other possible ways of achieving sustainability besides the techniques the students aim to introduce. However, the techniques to be displayed in the “training center” are more applicable to the locals in achieving sustainability more cost-efficiently as they are achieved through the use of a “do-it-yourself” approach. The materials that the students used are readily available in the local supply stores. Again, it emphasizes on the purpose of “Motown Movement”.

Having better communication approach will make the community relate better by being more understanding on the importance and benefits of achieving a sustainable house in a more cost-efficient way. The training facility will then be more welcoming for the community to visit and be better educated on other techniques that the students have to offer. In the long run, the students can keep updating more techniques that the community will be very interested to imitate. I believe by doing so, they will be able to achieve their aim of being able to put to application and educate other regions of the world in the long run.

Total word count: 652


 Marquit, M. (2009, May 8). 5 Feasible renewable energy sources. Retrieved from

Moser, C., S. (2009, December 22). Communicating climate change: history, challenges, process and future directions. Retrieved from

Peters, A. (2016, July 7). This Detroit House Is Being Turned Into A Living Model OF Cost-Saving Sustainable Design. Retrieved from

 Robinson, L., Segal, J.,  Ph. D., and Smith, M. (2016, September). Effective Communication: Improving communication skills in your work and personal relationships. Retrieved from

Tuck, P. (2014, March 1). A failure to communicate. Retrieved from

Kakonge, J.O. and Sibanda, H. (2008). “International Experiences with Environmental Youth Corps: Lessons from Lesotho, Journal of Environmental Extension, vol. 7, pp. 1-9.

Kakonge, J. O. (2012, October 25). Improving Development Project Implementation through Effective Communications. Retrieved December 10, 2016, from

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