The Street Exhibit Project was designed at a design "charrette" held in 1991. The charrette included 21 design professionals from the Ann Arbor area, including architects, planners, landscape architects and graphic designers, who volunteered for the all-day design exercise. The goal was to develop a proposal for the street exhibits by the end of the day.
The volunteer professionals offered a variety of ideas--ideas which included street banners, bronze castings, wall markers, kiosks, and transparent displays. By the end of the day, one idea had taken root with the group--the idea of a "transparent blade" set up on the sidewalk in a way that viewers could look through the transparent glass exhibit and see images of historic structures superimposed over the streetscape.
The project design had some initial constraints, which were largely satisfied in the final project. The initial constraints were as follows: