“Community Resiliency” Announced as
2023 City of Design Challenge Theme

Press Contact:  Adriane Zacmanidis 313-664-1481

“Community Resiliency” Announced as 2023 City of Design Challenge Theme

City of Design Challenge aims to support community ideas for building community connection and resiliency during times of disruption

January, 2023, Detroit, MI - Design Core Detroit announces the launch of their next City of Design Challenge, “Community Resiliency,” with a focus on resident-driven ideas for unifying communities and building neighborhood resiliency throughout the city. Throughout Detroit’s history and especially in recent years, Detroiters have used their ingenuity, perseverance and hard work to respond to these kinds of shocks.

“City of Design Challenges support projects that put the needs of existing residents at the center of innovative strategies for their neighborhoods' future,” said Bonnie Fahoome, Co-Executive director of Design Core. “This year’s challenge will uplift and propel inclusive and equitable solutions that can help a neighborhood rebound from an unexpected shock - whether environmental, health, social, or economic.”

The 2023 Challenge is made possible through a generous grant from the Hudson-Webber Foundation.  “These last few years have brought us a global pandemic and its related health and economic impacts, assaults on our democracy, and severe weather events,” said Melanca Clark, President & CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation. “We see this effort as a way to help address the challenge of social cohesion and connection in times of disruption by supporting the creation of community-driven, creative responses for engagement.” 

Design Core has partnered with Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) and CultureSource to develop the Challenge theme and engage community members.

“Residents, block clubs, community development organizations, and activists have the expertise to drive innovative and community-driven solutions. They have deep expertise in processes and engagement but don’t always have access to designers and other technical support,” said Madhavi Reddy, CDAD Executive Director. “We’re excited to be part of this year’s Challenge to help facilitate those collaborations.”

“Cultural organizations often delve into these questions of what makes a community feel connected, resilient and hopeful,” said Omari Rush, Executive Director of CultureSource. “Our members will help enrich these community conversations by contributing their unique perspectives, informed by experiences working in their communities.,” 

With input from dozens of Detroit residents and groups, Design Core has been working since April 2022 to refine the topic and ensure it addresses the highest priorities of our community.  A final community engagement session, Building Community Connections, led by Terri Burch, Principal Design Strategist and Consultant at Bloom Design, took place at Historic Engine 11 in Detroit on Wednesday July 2022.  Over 20 community leaders representing neighborhoods all over the city participated.  

The Challenge program offers up to 6 interdisciplinary teams access to training, resources and a share of over $75,000 to develop their ideas into projects that can be prototyped and tested in the community.  Teams are selected through a competitive process by a group of community jurors. An open call, launching in January 2023, will invite proposals from all areas of the city.  The program will run from May 2023 through September 2024. The public is invited to participate in many of the trainings and talks on inclusive, human-centered design, community engagement, and leading local change. The teams will showcase their projects during the 2024 Detroit Month of Design. The lessons learned through these projects will be documented and shared.

For more information read the 2023 Challenge Brief. To be notified of future 2023 Challenge announcements, sign up here. Questions, please email challenge@designcore.org.


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, increase market demand for design services and tells Detroit’s design story locally and globally. Design Core is the steward of Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation and is part of the e College for Creative Studies.

About College for Creative Studies

Located in the heart of Detroit, the College for Creative Studies (CCS) is a world-class institution that educates artists and designers to be leaders in the creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees.