JD: “I grew up in Southfield, and therefore have been aware of LTU much of my life. After deciding I wanted to pursue architecture, I attended the design summer camps hosted by LTU where I met faculty members such as Steven Rost, Christopher Stefani and Lisa Kujawa - all of whom positively influenced my view of the university and its design program. They encouraged me to apply during my junior year of high school.
“One of the most inspiring aspects of my education has been my consistent exposure to, as Professor Len DiLaura calls it, “life after LTU.” Professors bring in LTU graduates to share what they have been working on recently and to showcase their projects, or they schedule field trips to travel to different showrooms and design offices. These interactions are extremely valuable, and offer encouragement to keep pushing towards graduation.”
DCDT: What projects are you working on currently?
JD: “Recently I began my own design firm, Davis Design Co., and have been busy with a few cool projects. I am currently working with a client to create the conceptual design and construction document set for a partial demolition and renovation of a vacation home in Waterford.
“Additionally, I have been using my parent’s garage as make-shift furniture studio, and am in the process of completing a couple of custom furniture pieces. I am also working on relaunching my website at Davisdesignco.com, so be on the lookout for that in the near future!”
DCDT: How are you adapting your work (and/or making the sale of your work) accessible amid the pandemic? Anything you’ve learned along the way?
JD: “Similar to many others, I have been utilizing Zoom for many of my meetings, as well as staying outside during meetings with contractors, or staying socially distanced when we do move indoors. Due to current circumstances, many larger scale projects that I had been hoping for fell through, however I have found success in marketing smaller scale projects such as custom furniture, single room renovations, etc.”
DCDT: What other local businesses are you supporting during this time?
JD: “During these past few months the African American community has been given the opportunity to voice our concerns and frustrations on a global level. And I have been supporting my fellow minorities by donating to a number of amazing organizations.
“Here are just a few to check out: Know Your Rights Camp, The National Police Accountability Project, National Black Trans Advocacy Coalition, The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Higher Heights for America, and Color Of Change Education Fund.”
Learn more about Jalen Davis’s work at davisdesignco.com and keep an eye out for him on the design scene.
Would you like to be featured in a future @Home with… interview? Just drop a line to email@example.com and we’ll reach out with questions, request a photo and add you to our growing list of Detroit entrepreneurs, designers, architects and artists. Stay safe. Stay @ Home with us.