In an empty parking lot in downtown Flint, Michigan sits the ghost of Mark Hamilton’s house. Hamilton, a young resident of Flint lost his Tudor home to foreclosure. But the thing is, Mark Hamilton and his lost house, do not exist. They are figments of the imaginations of Two Islands studio, a design collective in London, over 3,500 from the Flint parking lot.
Two Islands designed a reflective sculpture of the outline of a tudor home, floating on a pedestal, sitting in the center of the parking lot. The mylar house is meant to represent Mark’s house and all the others that were lost in the economic downturn. It is both a representation of loss as well as a hint of hope and the ongoing revitalization of the city. The pavilion is part of the Flint Public Art Project and provides a public space for the population to gather and reflect. Two Islands won the commission last March, with their fictional backstory providing a strong, relatable narrative for the piece.
Say the designers:
Mark’s story reminds us that homes have been lost and that these homes belonged to families. But also that we have the power to renew our city and its memories. Mark’s house is a reflection of us all, of our beliefs. It mirrors and reflects back the trees, the streets, the sill windows, and the midwestern sky, and most importantly, the people of Flint.
Beneath the floating house are lightboxes with portraits of 90 contributors to the project who have experienced similar losses.