Month of Design enlivens Detroit for 10th year with splashy, flashy events

September 01, 2020, 3:34 PM

(Photos: Design Core Detroit)

At least one Detroit tradition survives this year of cancellations: Month of Design events are under way for a tenth year downtown, in Midtown and online.

Over five dozen in-person and streaming experiences include 13 art installations with small tours, timed entry and no touching allowed. A first-time addition, "Design in the City," is a competition for emerging fashion and accessory designers sponsored by the Gucci Changemakers Fund with a $45,000 grant.


Seven winners "prioritizing women and people of color" got mentoring, technical help, marketing guidance, distribution opportunities and commercial space from Bedrock Detroit for pop-up installations of their work. Each will host an in-person trunk show Sept. 12 from 1 -3 p.m. at five locations listed on Pages 8-9 of the program. The young designers are Donovan Dewberry, Cristin Richard, Trice Clark, Katherine Johnson, Nneka Jackson, Kristina Beaty and Nabeela Najjar. 

Part of this week's nightly projection show on the G.A.R. Building facing Beacon Park.

Another splashy new attraction, "Detroit Tribute in Light," takes place outside each evening through this Friday. A video and light show is projected onto the Grand Army of the Republic Building, an 1866 landmark opposite Beacon Park at Grand River and Cass, after sunset (8:05 p.m.) The presentation is produced by Mindfield, a Detroit company, and TLS Productions of Ann Arbor.

The colorful tribute is intended to "honor the courage and acknowledge the losses Detroiters have faced during the pandemics of Covid-19 and racial injustice," posts Design Core Detroit, coordinator of the series of displays. A program guide is here.

"Thoughtful design matters now more than ever," says the group, adding that the month-long events "celebrate Detroit's role as a national and international design capital." In 2015, Detroit became the only U.S. city designated as a UNESCO City of Design.  

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