Detroit architecture studio Akoaki‘s space age DJ booth, The Mothership, looks towards the future while referencing important moments from the city’s musical past. The free standing booth is meant to be mobile, bringing funk music to pop up events around the city, and was inspired by George Clinton’s P Funk Mothership prop that was used on stage with the musician’s legendary band, Parliament-Funkadelic (who hail from Detroit).
The colorful inside is fully equipped with a mixer, laptop, table and speakers on a metal platform a few feet off the ground, while outside, it’s outfitted with smoke machines and lights to give it the appearance of a landing spaceship.
In addition to referencing the city’s musical past, the shiny metallic outside of The Mothership used car customization techniques, an homage to Detroit’s biggest industry. “We’re blinging the surface with polished gold vinyl and dichroic film. The result is a glistening exterior that purposefully couples popular embellishment with psychedelic interior effects,” Akoaki’s co-founder Anya Sirota told Dezeen. The project was the first installation created for the O.N.E. Mile Project, an effort to revitalize Detroit’s North End.
Sirota thinks that projects like The Mothership, which keep the city’s history alive, are essential for Detroit in a time of major upheaval, when Sirota things efforts to “clean up” the city could have disastrous effects. “Unchecked, the broad renewal plan threatens to erase important historical vestiges that connect Detroit and its cultural innovations to a greater national legacy,” she said.
“The Mothership is a physical reminder. It’s an icon that says important things happened in Detroit and its outlying neighbourhoods. Rather than plaques, the module serves as a living reminder that Funk music literally started here.”
The only (perhaps unfairly) disappointing part of the extraterrestrial tribute? Unlike the original Mothership, which would descend from the ceiling at Parliament’s extravagant shows in a halo of pyrotechnics, wowing the mid-’70s crowds, this mothership has its feet firmly planted on the ground.
But if you’re in Detroit, you might just catch it around town. The Mothership was in action at the launch of the O.N.E. Mile Project last October, at a concert featuring twelve past and present members of Parliament-Funkadelic, and has since been used at events around the city.