Armed with a rich legacy, a wealth of assets and a vision for the future, Design Core Detroit—working with a variety of partners through its Advisory Board—applied to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network two years ago.
On December 11, 2015, Detroit became the first and only city in the United States to receive the UNESCO City of Design designation, joining a network of now 31 design cities and 180 cities focused on using creativity as a driver for sustainable and equitable development around the world.
By joining the Network, cities acknowledge their commitment to sharing best practices, developing partnerships that promote creativity and the cultural industries, strengthening participation in cultural life and integrating culture in urban development plans.
Over the last year, Detroit has been an active participant in the network, attending annual meetings and participating in design weeks, forums and convenings with other network members. Thus far, more than 100 Detroiters have travelled abroad to cities like Seoul, South Korea, and Saint-Etienne, France.
UNESCO Cities of Design
Detroit is a Global City of Design and Creativity
Detroit has a rich legacy of design and innovation, transforming the way the world has worked, moved and lived. As an industrial powerhouse that fueled the rise of the automobile, the city has also been a hub for creatives, home to iconic designers, artists and craftsmen from the Arts and Crafts movement to American modernism and beyond. Detroit’s strengths lie in:
Home to the highest concentration of commercial and industrial designers in the country, Detroit continues to dominate in automotive and industrial design.
Companies like General Motors, Ford, FCA, GE and Masco base their design research here.
Students can choose from a wide range of top-rated programs spanning many disciplines at Cranbrook Academy of Art, College for Creative Studies, Lawrence Technological University, Wayne State University and University of Detroit Mercy.
Creatives find their inspiration in Detroit’s galleries, 22 theaters and performance venues, 11 museums and libraries and world-renowned architecture.
Public art, festivals and events, and community-driven design initiatives in neighborhoods throughout the city.