We are excited to welcome JEI's newest team member, Marques King, as our new Economic Development and Design Manager. After working out-of-state for many years, he returns to Detroit's east side to continue building his career in architecture and design. A thoughtful and critical thinker, Marques will support JEI's and East Jefferson Development Corporation's (EJDevCo) real estate projects to ensure redevelopment benefits Detroiters and the neighborhoods. Marques will be a contributing writer to JEI's new blog, so lets start with a little Q & A about him...
What inspired you to return to Detroit?
In all honesty I never wanted to leave. But in hindsight it was the best decision for my career. I left to finish my education at the University of Maryland’s graduate school and began to work professionally in Washington D.C. immediately after graduating - first as an urban designer and second as an architect. I gained valuable experience about the built environment that I would not have received had I stayed in Michigan. So what inspired me to return to Detroit at this moment was the chance to bring my unique skill set to the city I grew up in.
What will you be doing for JEI?
My primary roles will be leading design and construction projects JEI develops or has a hand in developing. What I hope to bring in that role is a philosophy of creating a collection of buildings and spaces that work as a holistic whole rather than individually. I believe this creates better experiences for people. I will also be providing direct assistance to our Economic Development Director.
Favorite type of architecture:
I would have to say the Arts & Crafts/Craftsman style of architecture. I love the hands-on tactile philosophy that the craftsman style grew out of and I think the details of such buildings are carefully exquisite. It reminds me of a time when designers and tradesmans were widely considered to be technical and visual artists.
Favorite childhood memory about Detroit:
I played competitive travel baseball from age 10 to 21. My favorite childhood memory was winning the 12 and under Hometown World Series Tournament that used to be hosted on Belle Isle Playfields. Our team was called the Detroit Cobras and we were really good. That’s when I really feel in love with baseball.
I love all things Blackberry.
Harlem Nights. So many legendary actors and comedians.