Detroit Month of Design returns September 2021 to Celebrate 11th Year featuring 150+ Participants

Detroit Month of Design returns September 2021 to Celebrate 11th Year featuring 150+ Participants

Design Core, the stewards of Detroit’s designation as the first and only UNESCO City of Design in the United States, have announced this year’s lineup of cultural programming for the 2021 edition of Detroit Month of Design.

Throughout this September, more than 150+ participants will present over 80 events and special projects, which is the largest number for the festival to date, including talks, tours, exhibitions, workshops, installations, and other immersive experiences.

“For this year’s edition of Detroit Month of Design, we are proud and excited to present a calendar of compelling and enriching cultural experiences that showcase the tenacity and creativity that makes Detroit a UNESCO Design City,” said Olga Stella, Director of Design Core Detroit.

“Through the generous support of sponsors, Rocket Companies and the William Davidson Foundation, we hope that the festival will attract a broader audience to familiarize themselves with the diverse set of creatives that make up Detroit’s design community.”

Now in its 11th edition, Detroit Month of Design is dedicated to highlighting Detroit’s unique community voice. Following 2020, Detroit designers continue to focus on the future, create solutions to complex problems, and accelerate the transition to a more inclusive world.

This year’s identity celebrates the growth within Detroit’s design community while honoring its distinctive cultural roots through compelling experiences for all – whether they are enjoyed outside, safely indoors, or from the comfort of home.

“Through Month of Design, Design Core Detroit continues to shine a light on the strength and diversity of Detroit designers and design business that sets this community apart. The William Davidson Foundation is proud to sponsor this year’s festival and Design Core’s work to introduce and highlight Detroit designers to national and global audiences,”  said Darin McKeever, President and CEO, of the William Davidson Foundation. 



All of the Above

“All of the Above,” is an exhibition featuring artwork by Kaylie Kaitschuck and Toomas Tomepuu during Detroit Month of Design 2021.

“All of the Above,” is an exhibition that challenges the minimalist statement of ‘less is more,’ featuring artwork by Kaylie Kaitschuck and Toomas Toomepuu during Detroit Month of Design 2021. Both artists bombard maximalist energies to mix and mash a chaotic assortment of symbols and materials until the work itself has its own narrative and history. More is more. Dates & Details

Cranbrook Chair Show
Cranbrook Academy of Art & Jack Craig Studio
With graduates like Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, and Eero Saarinen, the legendary Cranbrook Academy of Art presents the Cranbrook Chair Show which will show a range of approaches to the topic of ‘chair’ and how it interacts with the community. Dates & Details

Discard Detroit
Mike Han, Synecdoche Design, & Ryan Southen
An exploration in Mid-Century Modern, this collection of unique pieces is established by a multidisciplinary team in Detroit working with objects connected to the region. Dates & Details

Moments of Immersion presented by Rocket Companies
Yazmin Dababaneh
An immersive and experiential exhibition containing individual works that encapsulate and immerse viewers moments at a time. Dates & Details

Steps toward Justice: Artis Lane’s Portraits of Rosa Parks
Collected Detroit, Art Impact Connect, & Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit (MMODD)
Featuring portraits of Rosa Parks by the renowned 94-year-old painter/sculptor Artis Lane, this exhibition will feature multimedia imagery — from paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and prints to a Presidential medal — relating to Civil Rights icons/issues across the globe. Dates & Details

Morphogenesis / Thread
Morphogenesis; Cody Norman transforms recycled plastic to look and feel organic and almost natural through the use of robotic 3D printing and a handheld plastic extrusion gun. |Thread; Elizabeth Salonen, created abstract embroideries as a form of meditation and a way to help with anxiety and depression. Dates & Details


Sneaker House presented by Foot Locker
Design Core
Sneaker House celebrates creatives in sneaker culture with visually dynamic installations from We Are Culture Creators, Jenna VanFleteren, Onzie Norman, & Darryl Blanding and an art show featuring the works of Sherrie Savage, Taylor Childs, Torrence Jackson, and Natalie Pryor. Dates & Details

Michigan Opera Theater
BLISS is a soul-soothing paean by acclaimed Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, replaying an excerpt of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro to create the feeling of an eternal looped moment of repentance and grace, Dates & Details


Toyota Lecture Series presents Dapper Dan
College for Creative Studies
Known for using exquisite leathers, furs, and other fine materials, Dapper Dan first drew powerful New York City hustlers as clientele, this talk is an exploration of Dapper Dan’s philosophy to design. This lecture is free and open to the public; seating is limited and registration is required. Dates & Details

Transformational Change in Legacy Organizations – Lessons from Detroit and Beyond
This virtual session will present insights emerging from the challenges and success of design and transformation inside companies, and institutions in Detroit and beyond. Dates & Details

Design Jam: Adaptive Active Apparel & Accessories
College for Creative Studies
Design Jam will shift product innovation for the limb loss community which typically happens behind a few closed doors, to a collective and open space. Dates & Details

Palette Cleanser
Parini, NEXT:SPACE, & Flor
This event will serve to acquaint the Detroit design community with Parini’s interior design process, local artisans represented by NEXT:SPACE, and floral installation process and technique by Flor. Dates & Details

Creating an Inclusive Design Ecosystem
Herman Miller, Diversity in Design Collaborative
Join the Diversity in Design (DID) Collaborative along with a special panel of collaborators and community members for an engaging discussion as we explore issues around lack of diversity in the design industry—specifically the underrepresentation of Black creatives. Dates & Details


A Guided Tour of Detroit’s Oudolf Garden
Piet Oudolf
Enjoy the plant and garden artistry of world-renowned designer Piet Oudolf’s newest public garden on Detroit’s Belle Isle. Dates & Details


Detroit Month of Design is a citywide celebration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a national and global design capital. Every September, partners from all across Detroit, from emerging studios to established companies and educational institutions, come together to show off their latest works and ideas. These cross-disciplinary events take place in all corners of the city, highlighting the work that makes Detroit a City of Design.


Design Core Detroit champions design-driven businesses and their role in strengthening Detroit’s economy. It offers services to strengthen, grow and attract design businesses, increase market demand for design services and tells Detroit’s design story locally and globally. Design Core is a department within the College for Creative Studies, which is a private, nonprofit art and design college in Detroit, MI.

Design Core serves design-driven industries that specialize in design or utilize design as a central discipline of their business strategy. As the steward of Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation, Design Core serves as the convener and backbone organization for the Detroit City of Design initiative.

A full schedule for Detroit Month of Design is available here.

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