Dan Pitera, Executive Director at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is presently the executive director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. With the view that “design” is an essential force in establishing human relations, the Design Center is dedicated to fostering university and community partnerships that create inspired and sustainable neighborhoods and spaces for all people. The sustainability and regeneration of any neighborhood lies in the hands of its residents. Thus, the Design Center provides not only design services but also empowers residents to facilitate their own process of urban regeneration.
Dan was a 2004-2005 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. He was a finalist for both the 2008-2009 Rafael Vinoly Architects Grants in Architecture and the 2006-2007 James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City. Under his direction since 2000, the Design Center was included in the US Pavilion of the 2008 Venice Biennale in Architecture and recently was awarded the 2009 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence for the St. Joseph Rebuild Center in New Orleans. The Design Center was the recipient of the NCARB Prize in 2002 and 2009 and was included in the international exhibit/conference ArchiLab in 2001 and 2004 in Orleans, France. The Design Center has also been the awarded the 2002 Dedalo Minosse International Prize.
In 1998, Dan was the Hyde Chair of Excellence at the University of Nebraska. He has lectured and taught extensively throughout North America, South America, and Europe.