The five students from the University of Michigan pooled their funding and used part of it to buy a derelict house at auction for $500.
"From the get-go, the designers received some real street lessons in actualizing their concepts within Detroit's challenging framework of devastated neighborhoods. The house had no plumbing, electricity, doors, or windows. While these conditions would cause heart-stopping anxiety in any homeowner, it all came with the territory, according to fellow Catie Newell, who turned these challenges into assets: "Instantly, we had a site, materials, and something extraordinary to respond to." Vacant lots and abandoned homes fallen victim to foreclosure or arson surround the home. It's not likely these homes will be filled with residents anytime soon. This led the group to explore various interventions, challenging traditional single-family home typology."