Art & Entertainment, Detroit City Guide, Feature Story

Detroit Month of Design 2019 Details + 17 Event Highlights

Detroit Month of Design (MoD) is one of my favorite September celebrations. This month there will be 145 participants and over 55 events and special programming throughout the city of Detroit! Last year, we attended a few MoD events so I am really excited to discover more about MoD!

READ: Light Up Livernois 2018 and Eastern Market After Dark 2018

“Detroit is a city experiencing many changes. By designing places, systems and products that allow all of Detroit’s citizens to participate in its revitalization, designers can be a force driving inclusive outcomes in the city.

This year’s schedule offers many opportunities for you to learn more about this for yourself. We hope you come away inspired and energized by the talent that makes Detroit the only UNESCO City of Design in the United States.”

Olga Stella, Executive Director of Design Core Detroit

Courtesy of Design Core Detroit, below you will find a list of 17 highlighted events scheduled for the Detroit Month of Design. Visit and follow Design Core on Instagram for updates and more information about the Month of Design!


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  • 145 Participants
  • 55 Events
  • 10 Exhibitions
  • 7 Open Studios
  • 7 Workshops
  • 17 Talks and discussions
  • 14 Experiences

Inclusive Futures — Detroit Design 139

Inclusive Futures Detroit Design 139
Inclusive Futures — Detroit Design 139

Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 5 p.m.
Inclusive Futures — Detroit Design 139
1001 Woodward Building
1001 Woodward Ave.

Detroit Design 139 will showcase inclusive design projects, policies and concepts throughout the built and natural environments of Detroit and other UNESCO Cities of Design.

The exhibition will be structured around five focus areas that emphasize learning from the past in order to inform a successful approach to the inclusive design process.

Each focus area will consider the entire spectrum of human diversity and individual experiences – in the past, present and future – but with dramatically different outcomes.

Substance — Form&Seek

Friday, September 6, 2019, 6 – 9 p.m.
Substance — Form&Seek

Detroit Center for Design + Technology
4219 Woodward Ave.

Form&Seek creates a platform for designers from diverse backgrounds to showcase their work in design fairs all around the world. Each year, Form&Seek gathers cutting-edge design works around a certain theme. For Detroit Month of Design 2019, Form&Seek have curated works from local designers and makers to highlight the creativity in the city.

This year’s theme of “Substance” centers around the processes of material exploration as a driving force of design. Much like the designers of the Bauhaus, Detroit designers are returning to craft-based practices in a post-industrial climate, finding ways of bridging the gap between machine-made and hand-made.

Ecce Pomo: A Post-Modern Pop-Up — Hugh

Detroit Month of Design 2019

Saturday, September 7, 2019, 4 – 7 p.m.
Ecce Pomo: A Post-Modern Pop-Up — Hugh

The Floyd Shop
1948 Division St., Suite 101

Ecce Pomo (“Behold Postmodern”) is a pop-up store consisting primarily items designed between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s that embody the spirit of Postmodernism.

Beginning in the 1970s, a pushback to modernism’s austere approach to design began to emerge. Decoration and the emotional meaning objects impart became as important as the function. This movement, known for its irreverence, exuberance and imagination, is known as Postmodernism.

This shift in focus coincided with a new-found hunger in the marketplace for well-designed items for the home. Led by companies like Alessi of Italy, everyday items such as coffeemakers, pepper mills and water kettles received the designer’s touch. It changed the way the world thought about design – an effect that lives on even now.

In addition to the designs of the period, Ecce Pomo will feature a small assortment of contemporary items that show the influence of this era on product design today, as well as a selection of books.

Open Studio — Donut Shop

Sunday, September 8, 2019, 12 – 5 p.m.
Open Studio — Donut Shop

5001 Grand River Ave.

Donut Shop is a Detroit-based design studio founded in 2017 by friends Ian Klipa and Jacob Saphier. The studio’s work focuses on blending sculptural and industrial processes by exploring material qualities and their limitations.

Ian and Jacob’s multidisciplinary backgrounds are utilized in all their work which is designed and fabricated in-house by the duo. As the studio’s name implies, Donut Shop approaches design playfully, creating tastefully eclectic works that remain approachable and usable.

Open Studio — Chris Schanck Studios

 Chris Schanck Studios

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 1 – 1:30 p.m.
Open Studio — Chris Schanck Studios

Chris Schanck Studios
11411 Buffalo St., Hamtramck

Detroit-based designer Chris Schanck embraces contradiction in his work, finding a comfortable place between the distinctions of dilapidation and assemblage, individual and collective, industrial and handcraft, romanticism and cynicism.

His efforts deviate from the mass-produced, instead of reviving mundane materials by transforming them into unique objects of uncommon luxury.

Open Studio — Jack Craig Studio

Jack Craig Studio
Jack Craig Studio

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Open Studio — Jack Craig Studio

Mt. Elliott Studios
2915 Mt. Elliott St.

Jack Craig’s studio practice operates through intentional staging of unconventional materials to force improvised situations and impromptu structure. He engages elements of the surrounding environment through a gauntlet of material abuses.

Each is a measure of its possibilities – a way of parsing foreign physicalities into ordered function and purpose. Through dozens of studies, these made-up technologies are advanced.

Drinks x Design: Design Crawl — Design Core Detroit

Thursday, September 12, 2019, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Drinks x Design: Design Crawl — Design Core Detroit

Detroit Design 139 Exhibition, Airea Studio, Shinola, The Belt
Downtown Detroit

Embark on a design crawl while enjoying immersive experiences, music and hors d’oeuvres. Begin your journey at the Detroit Design 139 exhibition and grab a drink at the bar sponsored by Scavolini.

Then, head to Airea Studio for a drink & draw activity. Continue to the Woodward Shinola store to view their latest products and grab a taste of Absolut Elyx.

Wrap-up your adventure at The Belt, a culturally redefined alley, where you can experience pop installations by four Detroit designers.

Designing the Halal Metropolis — Center for Arab American Studies (UofM Dearborn)

Halal Metropolis
Designing the Halal Metropolis

Saturday, September 14, 2019, 2 – 5 p.m.
Designing the Halal Metropolis
— Center for Arab American Studies (UofM Dearborn)
Bank Suey
0345 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck

Halal Metropolis is a series of exhibitions by Artist Osman Khan, Photographer Razi Jafri and Historian Sally Howell, that explores the facts, fictions and the imaginaries of the Muslim population in Detroit & Southeast Michigan as viewed through historical/archival research, documentation of current conditions and explorations of future desires.



Satuday, September 14, 2019, 6 – 8 p.m.

Simone DeSousa EDITION
444 W. Wills St., Unit 111

Simone DeSousa EDITION will present ARCADE, a collaborative installation by Elise DeChard and Fernando Bales, activating the gallery and courtyard as a dynamic Design Month destination for the second consecutive year.

Serpentine concrete forms weave through the space punctuated by furniture pieces. Cast from ready-made corrugated irrigation tubes, the rippling surface of the concrete arches offer tactile engagement. The whimsical installation invites visitors to wander in to commune, reflect, or simply be.


Sunday, September 15, 2019, 1 – 3 p.m.

Detroit Institute of Arts, Lecture Hall
5200 Woodward Ave.

How can the legacy of Detroit’s past – its “design DNA” – inspire Detroit artists, institutions and civic/corporate leaders of today and tomorrow?

Join art historian Deborah Lubera Kawsky to explore a watershed moment in Detroit design history: the 1949 For Modern Living exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this fall.

Centered on the DIA’s classically-styled Great Hall (totally transformed with nine fully-furnished modern-style rooms), For Modern Living marshaled midcentury masters Alexander Girard, Minoru Yamasaki, Eero Saarinen, and Charles Eames to create a “new concept of beauty” for the modern era — with a focus on design for the home.

More importantly, the exhibition – which employed a multi-disciplinary design team, civic/corporate partnerships, and innovative exhibition displays — provides a model for Detroit’s design community today.

The lecture will include commentary by Detroit designers, including Detroit icon Ruth Adler Schnee (96 and still designing for Knoll Inc.), who is the only surviving For Modern Living exhibitor.

Floyd Happy Hour and Open House

Floyd Happy Hour Open House
Floyd Happy Hour and Open House

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 4 – 7 p.m.
Floyd Happy Hour and Open House

The Floyd Shop
1948 Division St., Suite 101

In honor of the eclectic Detroit Month of Design and Eastern Market After Dark Floyd invites all for a Happy Hour and Open House tour of its HQ and brand new R+D Lab.

Eastern Market After Dark — Design Core Detroit

Eastern Market After Dark Design Core Detroit
Eastern Market After Dark (one of my favorite MoD events!) Photo by Jennifer Hamra

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7 – 11 p.m.
Eastern Market After Dark — Design Core Detroit

Shed 2
2934 Russell St.

Celebrate Detroit design as one of the nation’s oldest public markets transforms into a creative district by night. More than 30 studios and galleries will open late throughout the district. Sheds 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be open with interactive experiences, brand activations with Detroit’s up-and-coming designers, designer spotlights, installations and parties.

Eastern Market After Dark is produced in conjunction with the 9th-annual Detroit Month of Design. The event is free and open to the public. Eastern Market After Dark was created by in 2012 with an emphasis on sharing the talent of many artists, designers, businesses and makers that make this district thrive.

Youth Design Day — Design Core Detroit

Youth Day Detroit
We love Youth Design Day at MiSci! Photo of Michala helping Zechariah with his coloring sheet. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Hamra)

Saturday, September 21, 2019, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Youth Design Day — Design Core Detroit, Michigan Science Center, Ford Motor Company Fund

Michigan Science Center
5020 John R St.

Youth Design Day will feature 15 design workshops that will expose kids ages 5-14 to creative challenges and encourage imagination.

Suchi Reddy: Form Follows Feeling

Suchi Reddy
Suchi Reddy: Form Follows Feeling

Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Suchi Reddy: Form Follows Feeling — University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture

Warren Loranger Architecture Building
4001 W McNichols Rd.

Architect, Suchi Reddy, founded Reddymade in 2002 with a human-centric approach to design—one that assesses the economic, social, environmental and cultural impacts of her work on both people and the planet. She brings over a decade of experience in large-scale cultural, educational, healthcare, retail, commercial and residential projects to her award-winning practice based in New York City, and expanding to Los Angeles.

Specializing in diversity, Reddymade’s projects include public installations, exhibit design, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, large-scale commercial projects and residential projects that include houses, micro-apartments and prefab architecture.

re:publica Detroit

re:publica Detroit
re:publica Detroit

Friday, September 27, 2019, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
re:publica Detroit

Tangent Gallery
715 E. Milwaukee Ave.

Through keynotes, hands-on workshops, ideation labs, performances and discussions, re:publica will tackle the topic of “ACCESS”: Access to “Mobility and the Urban Space”, Access to “Arts and Culture” and Access to “Work and the New Economy”.

Let’s discuss challenges and opportunities in Detroit, critically reflect the digital transformation and learn from fellow Detroiters as well as communities from around the globe!

Light up Livernois

Light Up Livernois
Light Up Livernois is another MoD favorite I recommend attending.
(Photo by Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit)

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 12 – 10 p.m.
Light up Livernois
Historic Avenue of Fashion
Livernois between 7 & 8 Mile

Light up Livernois returns to celebrate design and creativity on the historic Avenue of Fashion. Makers, artists and designers from Detroit are collaborating with local small businesses to shop, dine and explore the various ways design surrounds us in our everyday lives.

Join us and experience design through open studios, fashion vignettes, musical performances and small business highlights. Now more than ever, it is important to support the businesses during construction. In order to navigate the area properly, we will have a shuttle available and encourage walking groups to mobilize efforts.

This corridor is currently experiencing a lot of growth. Please plan to encounter construction along Livernois.

City Cypher — Design Core Detroit

City Cypher Design Core Detroit
City Cypher—Design Core Detroit

Sunday, September 29, 2019, 1 – 7 p.m.
City Cypher—Design Core Detroit

Beacon Park
1901 Grand River

Join Design Core Detroit in celebration of the inaugural Detroit City of Design Competition winners: Cyclerate by SmithGroup (Detroit); Garden Novella by Other Work (Detroit); and 3Rooms by Collectif Escargo (Montreal).

Closing out Month of Design is a celebration of the three neighborhoods featured in the Detroit City of Design Competition: Hope Village, Southwest Detroit and Grandmont Rosedale.

This public event will feature a live talent/entertainment cypher between the three neighborhoods. Enjoy spoken word, music, dance and more while previewing the prototypes before they are moved to their respective neighborhoods. Prototypes will be on view at Beacon Park from September 20-30, 2019

Check out the full schedule online at


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