Detroit Month of Design is Back and Now Accepting Applications for Participation

2020 will mark the 10th anniversary of Design Core Detroit's annual, city-wide design festival, and these are the ways you can participate 


Detroit, MI – February 10 – This September marks the tenth anniversary of Detroit Month of Design, a milestone for the city of Detroit. Design Core Detroit is looking to Detroit’s design community to propose ideas and has announced a call for applications for the 2020 edition of the citywide Design festival. Design Core Detroit aims to inspire and propel Detroit into another great decade of innovation, celebrating Detroit as the nation’s only UNESCO-designated City of Design. The open call deadline is April 13, 2020. To download the open call document and learn how to prepare a submission, please visit the link here.

Detroit Month of Design gives voice to independent designers and changemakers, joining Detroit’s most talented creative minds and problem-solvers across disciplines and mediums to celebrate Detroit as both a national and global design capital. Detroit Month of Design explores the way in which design can be a tool for solving problems affecting business, cities, the environment, and everyday life. The festival’s growth over the last decade—from a week-long celebration to an entire month of programming—is largely due to Detroit’s rapidly evolving creative community.

In 2020, Design Core Detroit is inviting participation in the following ways:

-- Host an Event or Design Experience
Design Core Detroit is looking to infuse the month of September with diverse experiences that inspire and are calling all designers, curators and innovators to submit ideas for an independent happening. Independently hosted events include tours, workshops, talks, open studios and exhibitions that are funded and produced by the event organizer. Up to 35 happenings will be selected by a jury of professionals to be included in the printed and digital Detroit Month of Design program guide.

We are looking for traditional and nontraditional ways to engage our audience and push the boundaries of what an event can be. This includes street activations, parties, creative marketing, installations and more.

-- Design in the City 
Design Core Detroit is inviting fashion and accessory designers to apply for Design in the City, a program made possible with support from the Gucci Changemakers Impact Fund. Design in the City is a competition for emerging fashion and accessory designers to receive a stipend of $2,000 to create an installation that will debut during Detroit Month of Design September 1st - 30th. The program will pair six designers, with an emphasis on women and designers of color, with neighborhood retail spaces to host their installations. Selected designers will also receive ongoing technical assistance from industry experts.

-- Interactive Design Competition 
Up to five winning teams will receive a $2,000 - $5,000 stipend to go towards the costs of building materials, delivery, set-up and take away of an interactive installation debuting during the Detroit Month of Design. The goal of this competition is to highlight the relevance that interaction and product designers play in society. Concentrating on the design, development, and use of interactive technologies for families, cities and government. We are looking for installations that encourage interactions between people, things or technology.

-- Commerce Design Award 
Commerce Design: Detroit is aimed at raising awareness of, and access to, professional design services for neighborhood small businesses, and celebrating the impact of commercial design projects on the communities in which these businesses reside. The award program will recognize permanent and complete projects that have been completed within the City of Detroit (including Highland Park and Hamtramck) within the last 5 years.

-- Commerce Design Refresh Grant 
The design process does not stop when a small business opens its doors. The Commerce Design Refresh Grant is a $20,000 grant offered to a commercial small business owners in Detroit to support the cost of interior design upgrades. Business owners can choose to work with their original designer or connect with a new designer in the Detroit Design Network by pitching a vision for an update or change to their space in this application. One winner will be announced at the Commerce Design Awards Ceremony on Thursday, August 13, 2020. This grant is made possible by Bank of America.

-- Venue Host
Great ideas require great spaces. If you are interested in offering your space in-kind for a Detroit Month of Design event or installation, please apply. A member of Design Core’s team will contact you.


-- Volunteer
Design Core volunteers are passionate advocates for Detroit’s design community. Whether you’re a design enthusiast, creative professional or neighborhood leader, Design Core is seeking volunteers to help produce one of the largest design experiences in Detroit while having fun. Year-round volunteer opportunities are also available. Applications to volunteer are open from Monday, February 10th and will close August 1st.

-- Sponsor 
Design Core will work with interested businesses and organizations to customize a marketing package and deliverables to meet their needs and budget.



About Design Core Detroit
Design Core Detroit champions design-driven businesses and their role in strengthening Detroit’s economy. It offers services to strengthen, grow and attract design businesses, increases market demand for design services, and tells Detroit’s design story both locally and globally. Design Core is the steward of Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation and is a part of the College for Creative Studies.

About Detroit Month of Design
Detroit Month of Design is a citywide celebration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a national and global design capital. Every September, partners from all across Detroit, from emerging studios to established companies and educational institutions, come together to show off their latest works and ideas. These cross-disciplinary events take place in all corners of the city, highlighting the work that makes Detroit a City of Design.