When you think about design, what American cities come to mind? New York? Chicago? San Francisco? How about Detroit? That’s right – Detroit ranks right up there among North America’s leading design cities. The Motor City is actually home to many top design-driven industries, world-class educational facilities and the country’s highest concentrations of industrial and commercial designers.
Business Leaders for Michigan and the College for Creative Studies created the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) in a joint partnership to support the growth of Detroit’s creative economy. DC3 is an economic development organization whose purpose is to provide support to Detroit’s creative industries in the form of resources, exposure, and advocacy and recognize Detroit as a global center for design.
“The Detroit Creative Corridor Center was created as part of a Detroit Renaissance initiative to expand metro Detroit’s creative economy,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “Over the past four years, DC3 has championed a strategy focused on unleashing the economic potential of Detroit’s creative industries, and BLM is proud to announce that those efforts are paying off in a big way. We believe Detroit has the assets to re-emerge as a global center for design.”
The DC3’s Creative Ventures Residency incubated 46 early stage creative startups, collectively reporting 89 employees, $2.1 million in revenues and 17,000 square feet of studio space absorbed. Simultaneously, DC3 has led a promotion and outreach strategy that has resulted in attracting 43 new creative businesses to Detroit’s Creative Corridor, collectively employing more than 2,400 people. The DC3 team hosts a number of international conferences, speakers, journalists and leaders in the design world, developing global connections that fuel innovation in Detroit’s creative industries.
Every year, the DC3 hosts the Detroit Design Festival (DDF), an event to celebrate Detroit’s role as a global center of design and innovation. Billed as North America’s festival of independent design, the DDF will feature more than 500 designers and 30 Design Happenings exhibits, and 25,000 attendees are expected. This year, the festival is September 23-28 with the theme “Design and Manufacturing.” We invite you to attend and see firsthand the burgeoning design scene that is happening in Detroit.
The festival is comprised of a series of product launches, design battles, lectures, workshops, open houses, installations and exhibitions, all specifically selected to showcase Detroit’s role as a global center of design and creativity. It will connect creatives with one another, introduce them to new markets, and expose Detroit’s creative talent. The festival will start with a Kick Off Party + Design Expo that will consist of exhibits, student shows, interactive design experiences, music and dancing.
“The DDF is a great opportunity for anyone interested in what’s going on in the city’s design sector to explore Detroit’s Creative Corridor and see the dramatic changes underway to position Detroit as an international creative capitol,” said Rothwell.
For 2014, Midtown Detroit, Inc. and the DC3 are working together to bring audiences DLECTRICITY and DDF together in the same week. This collaboration will provide another component for visitors interested in Detroit’s creative scene. DDF and DLECTRICITY will offer jointly developed events, workshops and lectures on the importance of design in public spaces. Both events will collaborate on schedules, programs and events, and have a shared marketing campaign.
Visit detroitdesignfestival.com to see complete schedule of events and featured designers.
Visit detroitc3.com to learn more about DC3’s work and results.