Design Core Detroit Unifies Community Through Art During Month of Design

This September marks the 13th annual month-long celebration of creativity.
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Trashion Show. // Photograph courtesy of Chippin' in

Community and creativity are at the forefront of Detroit’s social scene this September when Design Core Detroit hosts the city’s 13th annual Month of Design.

Featuring over 80 events encompassing a wide variety of works from local artists and innovators, this year’s Month of Design seeks to promote creative projects focused on strengthening community resources and providing mutual aid with its “United by Design” theme.

“We are a well-positioned hub with a unique design history, which encompasses our city’s incredible array of historical and geographical influences,” Design Core Detroit co-executive director Kiana Wenzell said in a press release.

Design Core Detroit, a College for Creative Studies department, stewarded Detroit’s designation as the nation’s first City of Design by UNESCO in 2015.

“As Detroiters continue to innovate and reimagine their city’s rich industrial legacy,” Wenzell added, “I suspect that we will see even greater attention and collaborative interest from design leaders around the world.”

The Month of Design event lineup offers something for every age and artistic taste, ranging from a silent disco, to fashion runways, to a fine dining experience, all held in Detroit and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Explore some of the event details below:

Shop and See

This self-guided tour of the city’s staple retail shops showcases the collections of 10 local brands, giving shoppers the opportunity to support small businesses and Detroit-based artists. Meet design influencers and take home unique pieces to add to your personal collections. Sept. 1-30. No cost for admission. See website for locations; designcore.org.

Trashion Show

Headed by upcycling organization The Chip Bag Project, this high-couture exhibit incorporates everyday plastics into garment fabrics, highlighting fashion industry waste in an experimental call to action for the reexamining of Detroit design methods. Sept. 3. No cost for admission. ArtBlock, 1411 Holden St., Detroit; designcore.org.

The House that Robot Built

Get an on-site exclusive look inside Michigan’s first 3D-printed home and its construction process during this educational tour with Citizen Robotics’ very own robot tamer. Sept. 7. No cost for admission. 1444 Sheridan St., Detroit; designcore.org.

Tablescape Detroit

Uniting gastronomy and ceramics, James Beard-nominated restaurant Marrow’s executive chef Sarah Welch partners with design studio Mottoform founder Elizabeth Salonen and ceramic artist Claire Thibodeau for a five-course immersive experience in dining and design. Sept. 8. Ticket prices TBA. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; designcore.org. 

Encounter

A collaborative exhibit featuring furniture designer Nina Cho and fiber artist Minji NamKoong, this gallery explores how their shared Korean cultural heritage creates a unified aesthetic between the artists’ differing design mediums: Cho’s specialization being minimalistic furniture and mirrors, NamKoong’s in hand-sewn compositions inspired by Korean patchwork. Sept. 16 – Oct. 14. No cost for admission. I.M. Weiss Gallery, 2857 E Grand Blvd. #104, Detroit; designcore.org.

Hear! Taste! Dance! – A Sensory Science Silent Disco Activation

Don a pair of headphones and let loose. Led by dietician and dance instructor Niina Lobbestael, this silent disco explores how movement, music, and joy affect our sense of taste and perception of flavor. Sept. 21. $25, register on Eventbrite. Foundation Hotel, 250 W Larned St., Detroit; designcore.org.

Eastern Market After Dark

Stationed at Eastern Market, one of Detroit’s favorite shopping hubs, this highly anticipated after-hours market and open-studio features vendors, galleries, and live music, raking in 30,000 attendees in 2022. Sept. 21. No cost for admission. Eastern Market, Shed #2, 2518 Market St., Detroit; designcore.org.

Interwoven

Using sustainably sourced materials, this runway exhibits a collection of wearables exploring the scientific, political, and emotional effects brought about by climate change, framed by a floral stage installation made from plants that were locally foraged, leftover from events, and donated by Michigan farmers. Sept. 23. No cost for admission. 611 West Philadelphia, 611 W Philadelphia St., Detroit; designcore.org.

Detroit Month of Design events run through the month of September. For the full schedule and to register for events, visit designcore.org.