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Design Core Detroit unites government, academia, the private and philanthropic sectors and community development groups to elevate and expand the role of Detroit’s design-driven industries – some 80,000 workers and $9 billion in wages – and strengthen the overall economy.

Design in Detroit began with the creation of the automobile and flourished as the city became an international incubator for the American modernist movement. Today, design acumen and innovation extend to all facets of commercial and industrial design and fabrication, educational institutions, visual and interactive design, architecture, urban design, and many other subsectors.

Design Core Detroit was founded in 2010 by Business Leaders of Michigan and the College of Creative Studies and operates under the auspices of the College of Creative Studies. It is distinct in its approach: Design Core Detroit advances inclusive design – the philosophy that individuals of all abilities and backgrounds are enriched through the benefits of design.

Through inclusive design, the organization drives equitable, sustainable development, providing the leadership, resources, programming, data and analytics necessary to support the global reach of Detroit’s multifaceted design community. Since 2010, Design Core Detroit has been instrumental in the creation of more the 3,000 new jobs; its events and programming draw more than 30,000 attendees annually.

Design Core Detroit led the application effort to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network. In 2015, UNESCO designated Detroit the first and only City of Design in the United States.

It is currently leading the Detroit City of Design initiative, a 10-year effort to advance the practice of inclusive design. This initiative involves a number of William Davidson Foundation partners and partner projects, including:

Each September, Design Core Detroit hosts Detroit Month of Design to recognize and celebrate the city as a national and international design capital. William Davidson Foundation-supports four Month of Design projects: Murals in the Market, Eastern Market After Dark, Sukkah X Design and the Public X Design conference.

designcore.org »