Building on its recent UNESCO City of Design designation, Detroit will soon showcase its innovative talent on a world stage. With the theme of the Future of Work, Detroit is the guest city of honor for an exhibition at the French Design Biennale, running March 9-April 9 2017. Featured exhibitions were recently previewed at the newly renovated Lear Innovation Center in Capitol Park.
Encompassing three exhibitions, Detroit’s presence in France will include installations, panel discussions, music performances, a gift shop, and a Detroit-style coffee shop. Dozens of Detroiters, including city officials, design companies, artists, and urban farmers, will attend the event to present, perform, and connect with the global design community.
According to the release, Detroit Creative Corridor Center will present “Footwork,” curated by Public Design Trust with support from The Work Department, exploring unconventional collaborations among Detroit’s corporate, grassroots, and civic design community. The exhibition will include experimentation with new products and processes, including Future Foam, the upcycling furniture prototype developed by Thing Thing with support from Lear Corporation; an updated hospital gown, created by a College for Creative Studies student through a partnership with Henry Ford Innovation Institute with assistance from Carhartt; Faygo-themed Detroit Bikes; a music collaboration with Assemble Sound and Underground Resistance supported by AVL Americas; and more.
Akoaki Studio’s Out of Site will address the way Detroit’s inhabitants are reinventing how they live and work in a series of full scale installations, activated by Detroit artists and pop-up musical performances with the Detroit Afrikan Music Institution and leading French Musicians.
The coffee shop, ShiftSpace, hosted by Creative Many Michigan, was designed by LAAVU studio and will feature the works of Detroit-based designers, artists, and food entrepreneurs. ShiftSpace will host conversations around income and economy, equity and inclusion, work and leisure, civic space and urban futures, design and education, and automation and digitization.
On December 15, 2015, Detroit became the first and only city in the United States to receive the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) City of Design designation.