30 In Their Thirties: Chelsea Hyduk, Owner, CHYDUK, Detroit

Chelsea Hyduk, founder and owner of CHYDUK architectural firm in Detroit, is far from the sole proprietor that her one-person shop might suggest. She’s all about working with others.
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Chelsea Hyduk // Photo by Trever Long

Chelsea Hyduk, founder and owner of CHYDUK architectural firm in Detroit, is far from the sole proprietor that her one-person shop might suggest. She’s all about working with others.

“It’s so inspiring to me to be living and working in Detroit because there’s a vibrancy to this place,” Hyduk says. “It has such a rich history, but it also has this incredibly dynamic future, and designers are playing such a critical role in shaping that future. There’s this sense of collaboration.”

Her company acts as the design architect on projects that contribute to enhancing and uplifting the respective local context and communities.

“I’ve begun to focus on heart-centered projects for clients who are aspiring to create beautiful spaces that make an impact beyond the bottom line,” Hyduk says. “Architecture is this bridge between materials and spirituality in the way we experience space.”

The firm also acts as an umbrella enterprise for multiple companies to foster people working together on various projects. “That allows me to collaborate with other designers, architects, and friends while also maintaining autonomy over my practice and my life,” she says.

One example is MCD Development & Design, founded in 2021, which focuses on contributing to the fabric of the Core City neighborhood of Detroit. Projects use architecture to facilitate multigenerational living opportunities, access to nature, and community-building.

Another is the School of Intuitive Yoga Cooperative, which turned a sole-proprietor virtual yoga studio into a cooperative.

“It’s an example of innovating on this idea of the traditional yoga studio to create something that truly is … the students and teachers evolving and growing to shape the needs of the people who are involved with it every day.”

Hyduk grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, moved to New York to attend graduate school at Columbia University, spent 12 years there, and returned to her home state with her husband after the pandemic.

While working in New York at SHoP Architects, she was project manager for the 400,000-square-foot mass timber YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif.

“That project opened up for me a deep understanding of my desire and drive to balance the built with the natural environment,” she says. “You can make something that neglects that and is more of a product, or you can become deeply connected to a place and its history, which has me so drawn to Detroit.”