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Brief Published: 19 Sep 2013

Detroit Design Festival


The Detroit Design Festival (DDF) opened yesterday (September 18), showcasing the city’s evolving design-driven industries through public talks, exhibitions and open studios.

Despite declaring bankruptcy in July, the city is growing in the number of creative companies attracted by lower living costs and places such as The Detroit Creative Corridor Centre (DC3) – an organisation and physical space dedicated to the growth of Detroit’s creative economy, which launched the design festival in 2010.

DC3 shares a home with Shinola, the high-end watch, bicycle and accessories manufacturer (as featured in our Watching the Wrist report). It launched in spring 2013 with the aim of promoting traditional US industry and goods.

As part of the festival, Shinola is partnering with DC3 to host a display of locally made objects, conversations with local designers and makers, and a peek at the Artifact Makers Society Brand -– a collective platform launching in December 2013 for the exploration and inspiration of what being "Detroit made" really means.

Further festival highlights include the outdoor installation Hyperbolic Shelter by furniture designer Andy Kem at the Re:View Gallery, and letter-press company 44FortyFour, which will open its studio to the public for visitors to learn about the making process by pressing their own designs.

For more on US second-tier cities becoming creative hubs, see: US Innovation Hubs and  Detroit: Blank Canvas for Creativity.

The Detroit Design Festival runs until September 22 2013.