Celebrating 10 Years of Detroit Month of Design: What to See + Do in September

08.24.20 | By
Celebrating 10 Years of Detroit Month of Design: What to See + Do in September

To celebrate Detroit’s designation as the first and only UNESCO City of Design in the United States, the city will be hosting the annual Detroit Month of Design extravaganza led by Design Core Detroit. Although much of this year’s programming will take place digitally in light of COVID-19, there will still be some in-person events held that will adhere to the guidelines for group gatherings set by the state of Michigan to ensure every design aficionado’s safety, including small private tours of exhibitions, no-touch installations, and timed ticket entry.

Whether you decide to check out the festivities virtually or in-person, there’s no question that this will be another exciting year showcasing the best of Detroit design, with more than 175 participants and over 75 events. See the full program of events here, including a few events we think you should know about:

Eight emerging fashion and accessory designers who were selected as winners of the Design in the City competition will host installations of their work, an exhibition made possible by a $45,000 grant from Gucci as part of its new Changemakers Impact Fund. A pop-up and trunk show will also be available to check out the designers’ collections. The grant supported the designers in getting them technical assistance, mentorship, marketing and business support, and distribution opportunities from an industry advisory council made up of local and global leaders in fashion.

Co-presented by Science Gallery Detroit as part of the Art Electronica Festival 2020, Ghostly International recording artist Shigeto will perform a live electronic music set specific to the exhibition, Future Present: Design in a Time of Urgency. It will be an electronic and analogue exploration inspired by the themes and ideas of the Art Electronica Festival and Detroit Month of Design.

Never Normal is a time ticketed entry exhibition that will also be open virtually for viewing. The works showcased explore a designer’s ever-changing viewpoints and perspectives on the built world, ones that challenge the norm and stray from conventional means of problem solving. These works will inspire you to reexamine and reevaluate your own perspectives and relationships to your domestic landscape.

A very relevant talk to check out is called Rebooting the World, presented by the UNESCO Design Cities Network, an organization that unites 40 cities around the globe. Broadcast from Kaunas, the European Capital of Culture 2022 office, this virtual talk will open up the discussion on “the power of design in response to the global crisis and rebooting the world,” sharing current COVID-19-influenced emergency design practices and experiences – something we could all learn from at the moment.

Another great talk to virtually attend is Design for ReAbility, which explores how design can have profound impact on mobility and the visible and invisible challenges that those with a disability face. Inclusive design is important and this talk will shed light on the daily struggles those with disabilities face, and how top designers are adapting design to better help this community.

There are so many more unique exhibitions and globally-relevant talks to check out in-person or virtually from home. Be sure to check out the full month of programming here and learn more about Detroit Month of Design here!

As the Senior Contributing Editor, Vy Yang is obsessed with discovering ways to live well + with intention through design. She's probably sharing what she finds over on Instagram stories. You can also find her at