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Four Detroit Month of Design Exhibitions to Check out Sept. 16-18

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.


Thursday and Friday, Sept. 16-17 at 4:30 p.m.

Paradise Valley was a thriving business and entertainment district adjacent to a densely populated Black American residential area in Detroit known as Black Bottom from the 1920s to the 1950s. Located on the east side of Downtown Detroit, Black Bottom was where many Black Americans lived, while Paradise Valley was where they worked and played. More than 300 Black-owned businesses were located there. In the 1960s, urban renewal programs and freeway projects led to the demolition of Paradise Valley and Black Bottom, taking along with it their cultural and historical significance to the city and the Black community.

Paradise Valley: Designing a Commemorative Cultural and Entertainment District will highlight the past, present, and future of Paradise Valley, teaching participants about its vibrant history and displacement through visual displays. Participants will also be invited on a guided walking tour to explore the Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment District established south of Ford Field in 2015 to honor and revive lost cultural and economic vitality. The tour will discuss ongoing infill and rehabilitation projects for the district and master planning and programming efforts.

The event is free to attend and will be held on Thursday, Sept. 16 and Friday, Sept. 17, from 4:30-6 p.m., at Hamilton Anderson Associates (1435 Randolph St., Detroit). Register for Sept. 16 here and Sept. 17 here.


Saturday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m.

In July 2021, national and local artists of color participated in the inaugural all Black produced BLKOUT Walls Mural Festival in the North End community of Detroit. Vanguard Community Development is creating an opportunity for those unable to attend the festival or those who want to enjoy the artwork again to check out the murals during Detroit Month of Design. On Saturday, Sept. 18, from 2-6 p.m., event attendees will be able to tour Vanguard Community Development’s campus with the “BLKOUT Walls” Mural Gallery, explore Phillip Simpson’s art studio, and more.


Saturday, Sept. 18 at noon

Take a walking tour of MBAD African Bead Museum’s newest outdoor installation by Founder and Visual Storyteller Olyami Dabls. Dabls will tour works created and restored during the pandemic, using African material culture to tell stories about the human condition.

Dabl’s project is a decolonized monument to the lost languages and culture of the African diaspora in the United States. It counters the tradition of imposing permanent monuments by standing as something that is deliberately constantly evolving. The project is an example of how we can reconcile our past and imagine a better future by acknowledging untold histories and stimulating emotional and cultural healing.

The walking tour will be held at MBAD African Bead Museum (6559 Grand River Ave., Detroit) at noon on Saturday, Sept. 18.


Saturday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m.

“Setting the Table for 3D Printed Affordable Housing” is an exploration of emerging technology for the built environment. It will showcase the design talent of local student designers and Citizen Robotics’ 3D concrete printer, which will print on a table in front of a live audience. The exhibition will also feature a workshop to discuss the benefits of 3D printing and how it presents a new pathway to tackle housing insecurity across the country. Setting the Table for Affordable Housing will be held at Citizens Robotics (2100 20th St., Detroit) on Sept. 18, from 1-5 p.m. Register for the event here.