Bleeding Heart Design

The Bleeding Heart Design (b.h.d) organization advocates the use of human centered design methods to inspire people to become more altruistic by using public art, design and architecture as conduits for social change. Our current focus area is the Lindale Gardens community of Northeast Detroit, MI near State Fair Rd. and I-75...MORE 

The Skyscape Project 

The Skyscape Project will consider buildings as "landscape" and will transform a dilapidated commercial building into a roofless indoor-outdoor hybrid community space.


B.h.d and the Lindale Gardens Community Association have patterned with the Detroit Collaborative Design Center (DCDC) to design and construct a landscape and lighting installation in the Lindale Gardens neighborhood near State Fair Road and I-75. This project will also pilot an urban intervention that demonstrates the catalytic potential of redesigning the street as an important element of the public realm through the creative use of landscape and lighting. This unique community space can potentially be used for events such as urban camping, live performances, art demonstrations and more.

Urban Innovation Exchange Video - 2013

Art + Installations 





Architectural Design



In the Core City community in Detroit close to Grand River and Rosa Parks Blvd. design a functional city block with townhouses, duplexes, apartments and shops, with the single parent in mind. 

Design concept

The townhouses, small businesses and other functions where organized on the edges of the site to provide a courtyard for the playground, and give a sense of community for the residents of the development. The apartment buildings are oriented to align with the north and south, although the streets run at an angle. This allows for better wind flow for the wind turbines. Rather than being discrete, the wind turbines are in their most familiar form and brightly colored to act as a reminder for the community to be more aware of their energy consumption.

The Core City apartment buildings are designed to provide “homes” to its residents. In a society where apartments are thought to be transitional places to live, these apartment units dispel those feelings by adopting characteristics of a typical “house”. Each unit has its own entire floor to give a sense of individualism and maximize natural light gain from the east and south

The floors, ramps and steps leading onto the small porches in the vertical circulation areas are made of cement to give the residents a feeling of entering a house, rather than an apartment. All the bedrooms face towards the east, and the living areas face south. The kitchen, dining and living areas are all open to each other, and the height of the ceiling is 12 feet tall to make the small floor plan feel larger. Both the master and children’s bedroom have two doors to allow the children to circulate easily, and play freely without feeling confined. The floor levels in the units change in small nook areas that offer a degree of seclusion if a resident is seeking privacy. In the children’s room, a small space between a picture window and a controlled view panel of glass provide moments of solitude. In the master bedroom of some units, the bed is on a 4 foot high platform with pull out storage underneath. In other units, this platform is omitted for handicap access.

The vent-less fireplace located in the center of the main living spaces is made of a thermo-chromic treated metal. When a fire is lit, the fireplace changes color to signify to the children that they should be cautious and not come near the flame. This same material covers the bathtub to indicate the temperature of the water.


AG Business Cards fade out

Thesis Book


2018 Rebecca Willis. All rights reserved.