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Detroit Month of Design Exhibits to Attend Sept. 23-28

Every September, creative partners across Detroit come together to show off their latest artworks and ideas during Detroit Month of Design. This month-long event is a citywide celebration of creativity that gathers designers and the community to celebrate the city’s role as a national and global design capital. Programmed by Design Core, a department within the College for Creative Studies, Detroit Month of Design is back for its 11th year, with events and experiences that attendees can enjoy outside, indoors, or from the comfort of their homes.

We will highlight some of the events and experiences hosted during Detroit Month of Design that celebrate Detroit’s unique culture and diversity throughout the month. Learn more about Detroit Month of Design here.

Diversity in Design Collaborative: Creating an Inclusive Design Ecosystem

Thursday, Sept. 23

Join the Diversity in Design (DID) Collaborative, a panel of collaborators, and Detroit community members for an engaging discussion exploring issues around lack of diversity in the design industry, specifically the underrepresentation of Black creatives.

The hosts hope for an open conversation about how DID is developing means to increase the representation of Black creatives in the design industry from awareness at the high school level to equity in college programming to transforming the systems for recruitment and retention of Black designers across their careers.

The panel will include Forest Young, Head of Design, Wolff Olins; D’Wayne Edwards, Founder of PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy; Keisha Golding, Head of Belonging, Gap.

The event will be held in the General Motors Auditorium at the College for Creative Studies (460 W. Baltimore Ave., 11th floor, Detroit) on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.


Saturday, Sept. 25

Shop and sip at Detroit businesses while seeing beautiful murals created by local artists on Sept. 15, from noon to 6:30 p.m. Along the way, you’ll learn about Detroit neighborhoods and experience living murals that will come to life before your eyes through augmented reality. There are four different tour routes, all departing from Downtown Detroit: North/Northwest, Southwest, Cross Section, and Eastside. Tours are free and hosted by the Detroit Experience Factory, who encourages tips. Learn more about each tour route and RSVP for Shop, Sip, and See here.


Saturday, Sept. 25

View the “First Dance” mural featuring former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama dancing at the 2009 inauguration on Sept. 25 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Created by local artist Chazz Miller, the mural was once prominently exhibited atop the once-dilapidated build in Detroit’s Old Redford neighborhood known as The Obama Building.

In 2020, The Platform completed a full renovation of the building, bringing four residential apartments and nearly 9,000 square feet of retail space to the corner of Grand River and Lahser. They kept the name, The Obama, to celebrate the building’s history and honor the wishes of community stakeholders who engaged in a design process to formalize its identity. They also gave the “First Dance” a permanent home inside the new art gallery inside the building.

View the mural and other rotating art installations by local artists on Sept. 25 during the gallery’s first exhibition, debuting a series of work by Chazz Miller titled “Yes, We Can.” It will occur during the first annual Old Redford Neighborhood Festival, featuring food trucks, music, and family activities. Register for the exhibition.


Tuesday, Sept. 28

The Alley Activation Station event will showcase several activities and installations designed to bring back alleys into the foreground of urban neighborhood life. It will be hosted at The Neighborhood Association Alley Network (5821 W. Outer Drive, Detroit) on Sept. 28, from 4-8 p.m. Event attendees will see displays of proposed alley designs and completed alley murals and installations, as well as experience virtual reality (VR) alley designs and participate in generating new ideas for alleys using VR technology. The Neighborhood Association, Detroit Ain’t Violent It’s Safe (DAVIS), and the University of Michigan-Dearborn will also provide guided walking tours of the four-block alley network, food, and entertainment. Register here.