Designing Detroit’s Future

6th Annual Detroit Design Festival Rocks the Renaissance

After successfully hosting IDSA’s International Conference 2016, Detroit welcomed yet another sensational design event celebrating its UNESCO City of Design designation. Designers—and fans of design—gathered from Sept. 21–25 for the sixth annual Detroit Design Festival. “Design leaders from the around the world are learning how Detroit is leveraging the raw impact of design to fuel significant and sustainable growth,” says Jeevak Badve, IDSA, chair of IDSA’s International Conference 2017. “You could feel the adrenaline among local Detroiters, too, at the festival! I’ve never been so proud of my city!”

Badve has attended previous Detroit Design Festivals, but said this one was "extra special" because it marked the occassion of Detroit becoming the first, and so far, the only UNESCO City of Design. “ I am a proud Detroiter for 13 years," says Badve. "The camaraderie in the creative community, local and international, has grown and made me super motivated. It’s just going to be a beautiful journey ahead!"

The festival kicked with a City of Design celebration, "Drinks X Design," and a panel discussion featuring international guests from UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Then, the first, two-day City of Design Summit took a closer look at the city's vision for Detroit, "exploring what it means to build a more equitable, innovative, sustainable and adaptive city through design," according to Olga Stella, executive director, Detroit Creative Corridor Center and IDSA International Conference 2016 speaker. "This is the starting point for stakeholder discussion about a 10-year economic development goal."

Talks followed on architecture, technology, art and more, with activities such as a wine stroll, film screening and Youth Day.