- Design Core
- Detroit City of Design
- Month of Design
- Design Network
We are making necessary adjustments to our programming in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Our offices are now closed, but our team will be working remotely. Read more.
As stewards of Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation, we aim to raise your awareness of how design can create conditions for better quality of life and economic opportunity for all. Designers are professional problem-solvers, and in Season 2 of the Detroit City of Design Podcast, we will discuss the value of design to business and society.
Real estate developer Phillip Kafka and and architect Ishtiaq Rafiuddin discuss real estate development as a system for solving problems, which for Detroit, means ensuring affordability while creating new economic value.
Philip and Ish are behind some of Detroit’s most exciting projects, including the award-winning restaurant and Takoi and Core City Park.
Marquise Stillwell is the founder of Openbox, a design studio and consultancy based in New York City that works at the intersection of people and systems. He is also the cofounder of Opendox, a film company that tells lesser-known narratives, Deem Journal, an editorial publication focused on design as a social practice, and Artmatr, an international community of artists and engineers working to merge digital technology with painting methods. In this episode Marquise and Olga discuss his human-centered approach to design and how the design industry can respond to the current calls for racial and social justice.
Dug Song and Sally Carson, discuss the role of design in tech. Doug is a general manager and cofounder of Duo Security, now a part of Cisco. And Sally is their head of product design and user research.
Duo Security makes it safe to log into anything from anywhere, from any device, at any time. Duo combines security expertise with a user-centered philosophy to provide simple and effective security solutions for all users today, we will explore why design matters in tech and why we need to build more inclusive environments across the tech community.
Episode Notes: Duo Security, Cisco, Elayna Spratley, w00w00, Allied Media Conference, Brian Stevenson at the Equal Justice Initiative, Digital Defense Playbook, Project Greenlight, Detroit Community Technology Project, Chamath Palihapitiya, Ben Adida, VotingWorks, Ban the Box, Org Design for Design Orgs
Xenith is a Detroit-based industry leader in football helmet technology, and also produces shoulder pads, face masks, apparel and more. Xenith has prioritized design thinking in all of its product development, which has resulted in gear that transcends protection alone—designing for optimal fit, feel, comfort and style. Today, we will discuss how collaboration between designers and engineers can result in groundbreaking innovation. We will also touch on Xenith’s initiative to provide 20,000 face shields to Detroit area Hospitals.
Rama Gheerawo is the director of the Helen Hamlyn Center for Design at the Royal College of Art. Rama is a global leader in people-centered and socially inclusive design. He’s a serial innovator in the fields of technology, products, services, and transport with over a hundred projects to his name. In this episode we discuss the role of design in creating products, services, and systems that benefit people of all abilities, especially in terms of aging populations in healthcare, and why creative leadership is needed now, more than ever.
Jessica Helfand is the and award-winning designer, artist, writer, and the founding editor of Design Observer. Jessica is the author of numerous books on visual and cultural criticism and is also the host of two podcasts, The Observatory and The Design of Business | The Business of Design. Host Olga Stella talks with Jessica about the impact that crisis can have on the creative process, and the crucial role design will play in helping businesses adapt to our new reality.
Episode notes: The Observatory, The Design of Business | The Business of Design, This Car Saved Ford by Ellen McGirt, raceAhead by Ellen McGirt, Ford plans mobility testing site behind Michigan Central Station, Timothy Geithner, former Secretary of the Treasury, Jon Iwata, senior advisor to IBM, James Rhee, CEO of Ashley Stewart, The New York Time: Why Zoom is Terrible, Face: A Visual Odyssey by Jessica Helfand, The Self-Reliance Project, Design for America | Design innovation for social good, Uncertainty: The Design Observer 2020 Summit
Angela Glover Blackwell is the Founder in Residence at PolicyLink and the host of the Radical Imagination podcast. She has helped grow and define a national equity movement focused on innovating and improving public policy to ensure access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color. Host Olga Stella talks with Angela about how COVID-19 has exacerbated inequality issues as well as how everyone benefits when we implement solutions for our most vulnerable populations.
Kacha Azéma is the executive creative director of Skidmore Studio, a strategic creative studio focused on helping consumer-facing companies grow through innovative design and branding services. Host Olga Stella talks with Kacha about brand adaptation and how design can help businesses through trying times.
Design impacts everyone, for better or for worse. We are inviting designers, changemakers and the curious to participate in a spirited conversation on how design can be used to create conditions for better quality of life and economic opportunity. We see Detroit as a global model for sustainable and equitable development, and we want to keep this conversation going. We will focus on themes such as investment, mobility, neighborhoods, public space, and design practice around the world, and their relationship to forward progress here in Detroit.
After years of living and working in New York, fashion designer Tracy Reese is building a sustainable fashion brand in Detroit. Host Olga Stella talks with Tracy about what makes Detroit an ideal location for a sustainable fashion movement and how she is engaging the community in her design process.
Craig Wilkins is one of the first theorists of Hip Hop Architecture, a movement that aims to empower marginalized communities and individuals through design. Both a practicing architect and a scholar, Craig talks with Olga Stella about how hip hop architecture is embodied in his work and the importance of diversifying design fields.
As the global head of design at Fiat Chrysler, Ralph Giles is the mind behind some of the most iconic contemporary cars. Host Olga Stella talks with Ralph about the future of automotive design and designing cars with distinct personalities.
Frida Escobedo became the youngest architect to work on the Serpentine Pavilion in 2018 and is known for infusing her designs with inspiration from her hometown, Mexico City. Host Olga Stella Talks with Frida about her design philosophy and recent projects.
Architect Zena Howard is known for creating cultural destinations that celebrate the history and context of displaced, forgotten communities. Host Olga Stella talks with Zena about the importance of co-designing spaces with residents and the inspiration behind some of her most iconic projects.
Mark de la Vergne and Lisa Nuszkowski are both working to develop infrastructure for an inclusive transit system in Detroit. Host Olga Stella talks with them about the future of transportation in the city and how smart design improves mobility for all.
Host Olga Stella talks with Dan Kinkead about the resilience of longtime Detroit residents and the role of municipal policy in ensuring equitable development. Dan played a leadership role in developing and implementing the 2012 Detroit Future City Strategic Framework, which is a shared vision for Detroit’s future that aimed to foster job growth and economic prosperity and improve neighborhoods and infrastructure.
Sarida Scott has over a decade of experience working in community development and is the Executive Director for the Community Development Advocates of Detroit, the leading voice of Detroit’s community development industry. Host Olga Stella talks with Sarida about prioritising community engagement in the design process.
Episode notes: Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD)
Architect Suchi Reddy works from the philosophy “form follows feeling.” She is the mind behind a diverse roster of projects, including several famous installations, private residences and large-scale industrial projects. Host Olga Stella talks with Suchi about her experience as a woman in a male-dominated field and the impact that sensory-rich design can have on health and mood.