Don’t Miss These Events During the 2019 Detroit Month of Design

Olga Stella, executive director of Design Core Detroit, shares seven of her top events taking place this September
Detroit Month of Design
Inclusive Futures — Detroit Design 139 photograph courtesy of Design Core Detroit

Speaking with Olga Stella, executive director of Design Core Detroit, it’s clear that the ninth annual Detroit Month of Design is a celebration that should not be missed. The annual festival lasts the entirety of September, and its curated by Design Core Detroit, the nonprofit organization that secured Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation a few years ago. Featuring everything from lively exhibition openings and neighborhood block parties to morning artist lectures and open studio hours, this year’s lineup of 55 free events runs the gamut while maintaining a focus on what things people — both designers and non-designers — want to go to and when. “It really fits together,” Stella says. “That’s what’s exciting for me this year. There’s a lot for a lot of different people.”

Here, Stella shares seven of her top events. The full lineup can be viewed at

7 Events to Check Out During Detroit Month of Design

Inclusive Futures – Detroit Design 139

Launched at the end of August, this biennial showcase features design projects by Detroit designers as well as creatives from other UNESCO Cities of Design. The exhibit is one of six in this year’s Detroit Month of Design. “The exhibition is going to be really good this year,” Stella says. “The whole theme of it is about inclusive futures.” Through Sept. 30. 1001 Woodward Building, 1001 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 

Detroit Month of Design
Garden Novela design rendering courtesy of Other Works

City Cypher

This month, Design Core Detroit will showcase three winning ideas from its first Detroit City of Design Competition, which required entrants to submit a design solution to safety and walkability issues in a Detroit neighborhood. Situated in Beacon Park, prototypes from Detroit-based SmithGroup, Detroit-based Other Work, and Montreal-based Collectif Escargo will be on display until Sept. 30 so “people can really see and experience [the ideas],” Stella says. Sept. 20-30. Beacon Park, Detroit; 

Eastern Market After Dark

Stella shares that the annual Eastern Market After Dark neighborhood party garners the largest attendance during Detroit Month of Design. “We safely estimate that 20,000 people come to Eastern Market After Dark,” she says. “Last year, we had [about] 45,000 people like it on facebook. It’s a lot.” This year, join thousands of other locals and tourists from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. as more than 30 studios and galleries are held open late. Sheds 2, 3, and 5 will also feature interactive experiences, design spotlights, and parties. Sept. 19. Eastern Market, Detroit;

Detroit Month of Design
Floyd Detroit photograph courtesy of Design Core Detroit

Floyd Happy Hour and Open House

Floyd Detroit focuses on producing more budget-friendly alternatives to disposable furniture. This month, fans of the brand can take a closer look at the company’s creative process during a happy hour and open house at Floyd’s Eastern Market headquarters. “I think the studio visits are really special, and it’s a chance for people to go see the behind-the-scenes,” Stella says. Sept. 19. The Floyd Shop, 1948 Division St., Suite 101, Detroit; 

Detroit Month of Design
Youth Design Day photograph courtesy of Design Core Detroit

Youth Design Day

Stella says that Design Core Detroit loves emphasizing the way art and science can work together. “It’s great to be able to make that connection for families.” Youth Design Day, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Michigan Science Center, features 15 design workshops that require kids to use their creative problem solving skills. Sept. 21. Michigan Science Center, 5020 John R St., Detroit;

Detroit Month of Design
Suchi Reddy photograph courtesy of Design Core Detroit

Suchi Reddy: Form Follows Feeling

Suchi Reddy has gone on to achieve mega success in the architecture world since graduating from University of Detroit Mercy. Her award-winning practice, Reddymade, is based in New York and Los Angeles, and its projects include public installations, exhibit design, adaptive reuse of historic spaces, and much more. “Suchi’s talk at the University of Detroit Mercy is going to be really good,” Stella says of the designer, who was featured on Design Core Detroit’s podcast. “She’s such an interesting person.” Sept. 25. Warren Loranger Architecture Building, University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit;

Re:publica Detroit

This full-day event will feature keynotes, workshops, performances, and more in an attempt to tackle topics like access to mobility and urban space, access to arts and culture, and access to work. Founded in Berlin in 2007, Re:publica is considered Europe’s largest internet and digital society conference. “That international flavor is even more heightened this year,” Stella says. Sept. 27 and 28. Tangent Gallery, 215 E. Milwaukee Ave., Detroit;

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