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As a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, there are countless opportunities for Detroit’s creative community to participate in exhibitions, conferences, exchanges and global design events. To further our mission of supporting Detroit designers, Detroit Design Network Members and Detroit City of Design Partners are eligible to apply for support the cost of travel and materials to participate in a fellow UNESCO Creative Cities Network partner events.
Our Executive Director, Olga Stella, and our Detroit Design Network member, Unsold Studio, were invited by our counterparts in Singapore, Design Singapore Council, to participate in their annual Design Week! Meag and Lil from Unsold Studio had the opportunity to present at the UNESCO Creative Cities of Design Public Forum.
In March 2017, Detroit was invited as Guest City of Honor by fellow UNESCO City of Design Saint-Etienne, France, to present a series of exhibitions exploring the future of work at its 10th International Design Biennale to an audience of more than 230,000. A multidisciplinary ensemble of more than 60 Detroiters convened to produce a survey of the city’s interconnected movements and explored imagined futures as the definition of work itself changes in Detroit. Through Footwork, DC3 supported three collaborative projects that helped form new relationships between members of Detroit’s creative community.
Detroit City of Design was proud to have one of its designers—VISUVLGVDŠ—honored at the Shenzhen Design Awards for Young Talent on February 6, 2018, in Shenzhen, China, a fellow UNESCO City of Design. American-born Nigerian Muktar Onifade, a self-taught creative director and seamster with a degree in mechanical engineering, was recognized in this global contest as a rising designer for his high-end brand VIZUVLGVDŠ.
In November 2016, Seoul UNESCO City of Design invited companies from the Cities of Design to participate in a workshop-style conference to consult on their Upcycling Museum project. Detroit designers Thing Thing and Woodward Throwbacks were invited to share their work and to advise on the development of the museum and the role of emerging design talent in contributing to the museum, the first of its kind in the world.
In May 2017, Detroit designer Carlos Neilbock of CAN Art Handworks was invited to Graz, Austria, to host a workshop during DESIGNMONAT GRAZ. Working with a group of 24 information design students, Carlos led a workshop on upcycling and the importance of preserving the skilled trades.
In May 2017, Detroit design collective was invited to participate in “Factory Floor,” an exhibition exploring the role of small-scale maker/manufacturers in post-industrial cities. Thing Thing members Simon Anton and Rachel Mulder were invited to present their work, lead a workshop and even paint a mural as part of Dundee’s Open Close Dundee street mural project.
During the Annual Convening of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Saint-Etienne, France, organized an exhibition on smart technology for all the Cities of Design called “Are you Talking to Me?”. Cezanne Charles and John Marshall of rootoftwo were invited to share their Whithervanes project, as well as their Robot series.