Detroit Design Festival

The Detroit Design Festival Hits the City with

300 + Designers, 60 + Design Happenings

September 19 – 23, Downtown Detroit’s Woodward and Creative Corridors

Detroit’s top and emerging design talent will be put on display at the second annual Detroit Design Festival (DDF), September 19 – 23, along Downtown Detroit’s Woodward and Creative Corridors and in locations across the city.   This year’s festival will have a greater influence and impact, with more than 300 designers showcasing their work in 60 plus design happenings.   Fashion design, architecture, art, furniture design, interior design and illustration – 20 or more design disciplines that will be featured at the Detroit Design Festival.

DDF is presented by Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), which has a mission designed to support the growth of Detroit’s creative economy, delivering services and developing programming tailored specifically to creative professionals.

“Before the Detroit Design Festival, the city’s remarkable creative talent didn’t have a regular platform through which they could collectively connect to the community, buyers and other designers,” said Matthew Clayson, DC3 Director. “Judging by the response from the first year of the Detroit Design Festival and the increase in designers this year, Detroit clearly had a demand for this platform and we are pleased to provide these talented designers with a platform to showcase their work.”

DDF will kick-off with an opening party, blending sound and design, in the historic Fisher Building’s grand lobby, on Wednesday, September 19, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.  The evening includes special performances from Nick Speed, Deastro, and Stevie Soul, and a graphic design show curated by AIGA, the professional association for design, featuring 1x Run, a limited edition poster designed by Bethany Shorb of Cyperoptix TieLab.

The Fisher Building Lobby will feature a plush lounge designed by Patrick Thompson Design, a graduate of DC3’s Creative Ventures program, using Knoll designs provided by American Interiors.  Additionally, there will be a designer row featuring the work of College for Creative Studies Masters of Fine Arts students and the Diet Coke Pop-Up Lounge.  The opening party will benefit the Detroit Waldorf School.

Also on Wednesday, the five-day Stick ‘Em Up Post-it® Competition will commence, where five teams will battle in Downtown Detroit to transform vacant storefront windows into awe-inspiring designs using Post-it® notes.  The People’s Choice winner will depend on viewers voting for their favorite designs at each window location via text message and a panel of judges will jury the windows for a grand prize winner.

In the midst of thrilling design happenings on Saturday and Sunday, festival goers can check-in to the DDF HUB located in the parking garage inside the MSU Detroit Center at 3408 Woodward Ave., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The parking garage will be transformed, with design assistance from International Academy of Art and Design, the Detroit Neighborhood Arts Corp, and a collection of designers, into the one-stop-shop for festival information and transportation.

DDF visitors can park their cars at the DDF HUB and rent a bike from Wheelhouse Detroit or hop a Detroit Bus Company shuttle to get to and from Design Happenings.  Additionally, the DDF HUB will have activities for children, with a pop-up playground designed by coG-studio and KaBOOM with kid-focused design workshops with Arts & Scraps and the Heidelberg Project.

DDF will close on September 23 with a must-see event at Detroit City Airport’s Executive Hangar, 11499 Conner Avenue, Detroit.  The event will include jet planes, sports cars and video projections alongside a pop-up shop, fashion show, and design exhibitions. Additionally, the winners of the Stick ‘Em Up Post-it® Competition will be announced, with the People’s Choice Award winner receiving $500 and the Grand Prize of $1,000. Tickets to the closing party are $35 for VIP, starting at 6:30 p.m., $20 for the main event at 7:30 p.m. and $10 for students.  For ticket purchases, visit

“The second Detroit Design Festival is truly a transformative event for the city,” said Melinda Anderson, DC3 Engagement Manager.  “We are programming some of Detroit’s signature buildings and activating dormant spaces.  Whether you work downtown, live in the city or are visiting, the presence of the Detroit Design Festival will be hard to miss.”

Detroit Design Festival is sponsored by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Quicken Loans, Rock Ventures, Fathead, Diet Coke, Miller Canfield, Michelin Tire, Post-It®,  Mars Advertising, media partners include the Metro Times Between the Lines, and Fox 2 News Detroit WJBK-TV, and the event partner for the kick-off party is The Farbman Group.

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