Instagram Vimeo DC3

Detroit City of Design Summit

Join us for the second annual Detroit City of Design Summit as we explore our unique opportunity as the first and only UNESCO City of Design in the United States.


The Detroit City of Design Summit is an annual convening of design partners and professionals from Detroit and beyond to celebrate the past, present, and future potential for design to drive equitable and sustainable growth in Detroit.

Part conference, part exhibition, and part interactive workshops, the 2017  Detroit City of Design Summit will offer an overview on progress and future plans for the Detroit City of Design initiative, inspirational stories from local and global leaders in design, and facilitated discussions with attendees to provide feedback and get involved in the visioning process. Presented by Lear Corporation, the summit brings together a unique mix of design practitioners, educators, students, planners and policymakers, community and business leaders, residents, and global partners together to build a vision for Detroit City of Design.

The event will conclude with an opening ceremony for the Detroit City of Design and the Future of Work exhibition, a showcase capturing Detroit’s presence at the 10th International Design Biennale in Saint-Etienne, France.

*All tickets to the Detroit City of Design Summit will include a digital subscription to Azure Magazine.


Great minds from all backgrounds and sectors are needed to build a vision for Detroit City of Design! The Summit encourages all design practitioners, educators, planners and policymakers, community and business leaders, residents, and global partners to participate in the event. We’d also love to have students attend! Contact us to bring your class to the event.


  • It’s not just the design economy, it’s the whole economy
    Presented by Wayne State University and Tech Town Detroit
  • Building Cities that Work for People
    Presented by University of Detroit School of Architecture
  • Collaboration = Innovation
    Presented by College for Creative Studies
  • Design and Race
    Presented by Lawrence Tech University
  • Preserving and Uplifting Local Culture
    Presented by University of Michigan Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Thinking Big
    Presented by Cranbrook Academy of Art and Design


  • 9/8: Summit – $85
  • 9/9-9/14: Workshops – $15


Friday, Sept. 8

Saturday, Sept. 9

Tuesday, Sept. 12

Free parking available in the CCS Parking Structure located on Baltimore between Cass and Second.


The Detroit City of Design Summit is the work of many great minds. Meet some of our partners who are helping to shape this year’s convening.
Click here to learn more.

Academic Partners
College for Creative Studies
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Lawrence Tech University
Tech Town Detroit and Wayne State University
University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture
University of Michigan – STAMPS School of Art and Design and Taubman School of Architecture and Planning



Lear Corporation
College for Creative Studies
Mars Agency
Japanese Business Society Detroit
Hamilton Anderson Associates


Presented by

Lear Corporation


Bluewater Techn
College for Creative Studies

Media sponsor


“How you can incorporate equitable thinking into your own work and encourage others around you to do the same?”

– Lauren Hood

“Thinking about infrastructure, it’s not just a way to move people around, not just about conveyor belts and sewers, but it’s the foundation of our economy. It’s the foundation of our social life and our culture. And it matters what we build. You can’t really extract the physical construction of cities from the cultural momentum of the time.”

– Ryan Gravel

“My heroes were designers of things – the Wrights and the Eames and the Henry Fords, and they made things. And today I think things are still important, but systems are far more important, and our systems are failing us right now.”

– Josh McManus

“We need to ask ourselves who is actually innovating, because the answer may not be who we expect. It’s not always the educated, trained professionals; innovative ideas often come from youth so we shouldn’t overlook them. They are amongst us all them time and we discount their thoughts ideas, what they have to offer to our community.”

– Andre Clemons

“Access to design should be a birthright. Access to the right to live in a socially, economically, environmentally healthy community is a birthright. And Detroit has an opportunity to show the world what that looks like. How will we know if this designation really is transformative? We’ll know it if our neighborhoods begin to be identified as a place that value design, value local culture, that really uplift the quality of life for everyone. Our challenge is to truly create a grassroots movement in support of design in Detroit.”

– Maurice Cox

Friday 9/8 - Thursday 9/14

8:30am - 5pm
Exhibition Opening from 6pm - 8pm


College for Creative Studies
A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education
485 W. Milwaukee
Detroit, MI 40202