Detroit City of Design Competition


Design Core Detroit is pleased to announce the first edition of the Detroit City of Design Competition, an international multidisciplinary competition for designers in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to prototype design solutions for Detroit neighborhoods that address safety and walkability. Supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the goal of the competition is to design and test creative, innovative design solutions that make it easier for all Detroiters to move freely, safely, and efficiently around their communities.

View full brief here.

Frequently Asked Questions.


All proposals must meet the criteria outlined below and will be selected by the jury after winner accept and agree to terms before official acceptance into the overall event.

  1. You can be based in Metro Detroit or anywhere else in the UNESCO Design Cities Network. Designers applying from outside of Metro Detroit will be required to submit a letter from the organization responsible for your city’s UNESCO designation verifying you are based in that city.
  2. If you are selected as a winner and are located outside of Detroit, Design Core will support the cost of coach airfare and 3 nights accommodation for one member of your team to come to Detroit to debut the installation in September 2019. This additional stipend is on top of the $20,000.00 USD material and stipend limit.
  3. You must be willing to make the commitment required in order to bring the project to fruition, and have the capability to deliver the completed project to Detroit by August 20, 2019 or plan to be present for installation with your team.
  4. Reimbursable expenses will not exceed the allocated stipend of $15,000.00 USD for materials and $5,000.00 USD stipend, including all supplies and all other production-­related expenses. Any budgets that exceed that amount are your responsibility to cover.
  5. Your project must be installed in a safe manner, and abide by all laws and safety standards, to be assessed and evaluated in consultation with the City of Detroit (for example, no noise violations, all electrical devices must meet code, etc.)
  6. Design Core will be responsible for securing access to the installation location, assisting with city permits and other permissions, and assistance with limited sourcing technical equipment if required.
  7. Upon selection and signing of this agreement, the winning teams will receive 50% of their materials budget ($7,500.00 USD). Winning designers must submit record of their expenses demonstrating that materials have been purchased for the installation at least 30 days prior to September 1, 2019 along with an invoice for the remaining $7,500.00 USD for materials to receive the second half of their materials stipend. Winning designers will receive their award stipend ($5,000.00 USD) when the installation has been installed at its assigned location for Month of Design. Submission of invoices showing the use of funds and other paperwork as required by Design Core are required to receive payment. Design Core reserves the right to withhold funds until aforementioned requirements are satisfied. In the event an installation is not completed, winning designers forfeit their right to the funds and may be required to remit any materials funds not used by the winning designers.
  8. Upon final payment, the physical installations will become the property of Design Core, who will take responsibility for final installation in the participating neighborhoods and maintenance of it during the pilot phase. Design Core will retain ownership over the physical installations. Applicants maintain intellectual property rights for the original concept and are free to reproduce or alter it however they see it.
  9. Applicants must own the license(s) to, or secure expressed written permission from the license owner(s) of, all drawings, photographs, presentations, and other graphic content submitted here, and further grant Design Core Detroit and its competition partners ('the Organizers') permission to reproduce, exhibit, promote, or otherwise display any and all submitted materials in association with the 2019 City of Design Competition, in perpetuity. Publication formats may include, but are not limited to, Organizer media outlets, including website, mass-mailings, and social media, newspapers, magazines, television, online media platforms, public exhibitions, museums, galleries, schools and universities, for promotional purposes or for any other purposes permissible by law. The Organizers will assume no responsibility for copyright infringement or photography fees. This non-exclusive agreement must be granted to the organizers free of charge, without geographic limitations, and for an unlimited period of time.


Maria Arquero de Alarcon
Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning and Director of the Master of Urban Design, University of Michigan Taubman College
Andre Clemons
WW Consumer Goods & Retail Industry Solution Technical Senior Manager, Dassault Systemes
Beverly Fredrick
Community Representative, Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation
Caitlin Malloy-Marcon
Deputy Director, Complete Streets Program, City of Detroit Department of Public Works
Justin Snowden
Smart Mobility Strategist, City of Detroit Office of Mobility and Innovation
Julie Rice
Community Representative, Focus:HOPE
Myrna Segura
Community Representative, Southwest Detroit
Jason Zogg
Urban Design, Ford City of Tomorrow

Dr. Erwin Viray

Head of Pillar for Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of Technology and Design


Creative Merit [35%]
Appropriateness of solution for location [35%]
Feasibility [15%]
Value for Cost [15%]
Because the participating neighborhood organizations will eventually take ownership over the winning installations, their jury representative has veto power over the installation the jury recommends for their community and must consent to the final decision.