To honor Detroit's designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the Detroit Design Festival will transition from a weeklong series of events to recognizing September as Detroit’s Month of Design. The celebration will be an opportunity for designers, design enthusiasts and the general public to experience Detroit design and showcase what's happening in Detroit locally and globally. 

Design Ambassadors are more than volunteers, they are true advocates of Detroit design helping us put on a show in September. Here are a few opportunities:

  • Street Team: Distribute maps, posters, and other promotional materials around the city and metro area leading up to the festival.
  • Décor: You can’t have a festival without decorations! We have been lucky to have many artists volunteer their time and skill to help create low-budget installations and experiences to add that extra je ne sais quoi to Detroit ‘s Month of Design happenings.
  • Day-of Team: Help execute day-of tasks for larger happenings (Detroit’s Month of Design Kick-Off Party, Eastern Market After Dark, etc).
  • Information Guide: Assist attendees in need of suggestions or directions to Detroit’s Month of Design happenings.
  • Drinks x Design: Day-of assistance at our monthly Drinks x Design events.
Please note that there are eight ways to get involved with Month of Design:

1.) Join our talent pool 

2.) Enter into the Urban Furniture Competition

3.) Enter into the Designer Putt Putt Competition 

4.) Apply to host an Independent Happening 

5.) Become a sponsor

6.) Become a Design Ambassador

7.) Apply to participate in Youth Day

8.) Submit your venue to be a part of the Detroit Month of Design

Applicants are not limited to one submission. Please fill out another application to be considered for other opportunities. Happenings are independently planned, produced and funded by the individual or organization submitting this application. 

 To honor Detroit's designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the Detroit Design Festival will transition from a weeklong series of events to recognizing September as Detroit’s Month of Design. The celebration will be an opportunity for designers, design enthusiasts and the general public to experience Detroit design and showcase what's happening in Detroit locally and globally. 

We can help to put your brand in the middle of one of the country’s largest and most dynamic design experiences. Whether you’re launching a new product or looking to expand your market reach, we can help you amplify your impact. Please connect with us today through this link, or contact Melinda Anderson directly, at manderson@designcore.org for sponsorship details. 

Please note that there are eight ways to get involved with Month of Design:

1.) Join our talent pool 

2.) Enter into the Urban Furniture Competition

3.) Enter into the Designer Putt Putt Competition 

4.) Apply to host an Independent Happening 

5.) Become a sponsor

6.) Become a Design Ambassador

7.) Apply to participate in Youth Day

8.) Submit your venue to be a part of the Detroit Month of Design

Applicants are not limited to one submission. Please fill out another application to be considered for other opportunities. Happenings are independently planned, produced and funded by the individual or organization submitting this application. 

Please note: this is a mailing list to receive future information, and does not constitute registration to the Detroit Design Network.  The new Detroit Design Network is coming soon - stay tuned for more information in the coming months.


What is the Detroit Design Network?

The Detroit Design Network (DDN) is a collaborative membership network of interdisciplinary designers and agencies founded to fulfill the creative needs of Michigan’s business community. Initiated by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center in 2015, the Detroit Design Network operates as a design trade association, providing members with exclusive business development opportunities, educational workshops, community events, and more.

Detroit Design Network members are comprised of firms, agencies and freelancers that provide a diverse portfolio of design-based services.  Members can find meaningful support at each skill level and stage of their business journey - from emerging designers to experienced design firms.

Membership fees include access to DDN workshops, events, private members-only forum, members discounts and benefits, and other new business opportunities.  Designers can apply for a ‘Basic’, ‘Plus’, or ‘Premier’ level membership.  

How do I get involved?

We offer three membership levels for design-based companies:

  • Basic ($60/yr or $5/mo): ideal for designers who need help establishing their business model, or seek an entry-point into Detroit’s design scene

  • Plus ($300/yr or $25/mo): ideal for designers who can demonstrate  excellence in their craft and business operations.

  • Premier ($1,200/yr or $100/mo): ideal for established design firms seeking premium exposure within the network, and an opportunity to identify and help develop emerging design talent.  

Plus and Premier members of the Detroit Design Network are welcomed to share their industry expertise at one of five Design and Dine lunch lectures.   Designers can apply to develop and deliver a 50 minute lecture, program, or workshop.  The series aims to connect designers, share knowledge, and help attendees build a wide range of design-based skillsets.   

Topics can be on a variety of subjects.  Some key areas that members have expressed an interest in for future sessions include copywriting and content, business skills, graphic design, marketing, and more.

Proposal review:
Each proposal is reviewed for the following criteria:
  • Diversity of design disciplines
  • Interest and relevancy of the subject matter
  • A thoroughly developed proposal idea

Session agenda:

  • 11:30am - 12:00pm:   Registration and lunch
  • 12:00pm - 12:50pm:   Presentation
  • 12:50 - 1:00pm:   Q & A
Designers will...
  • prepare presentation curriculum
  • draft a program description and titles for promotion
Design Network staff will...
  • pay a $500 facilitator stipend
  • promote the lecture
  • manage registration
  • secure event space
  • order lunch

Session Schedule:
There will be five opportunities to present at a Design and Dine Lunch Lecture series.  The 2018 schedule is as follows:
  • April 25, 2018
  • June 27, 2018
  • August 29, 2018
  • October 31, 2018
  • December 19, 2018
Plus and Premier members of the Detroit Design Network are welcomed to share their industry expertise at one of four Design Guide for Neighborhood Business workshops.  Designers can apply to develop and deliver an interactive presentation and workshop.  The series aims to bring the Design Guide for Neighborhood Business to life through a series of workshops for small business owners. 

The Design Guide is a workbook aimed to empower and inspire Detroit's brick and mortar business owners through information, examples, exercises, and more.  Through a combination of case studies, worksheets, and guided instruction, business owners will gain an appreciation for design as an effective business tool and build the confidence to manage design projects for their business.


The target audience for each workshop is Detroit small business owners.  Workshop topics must apply to one of four categories, consistent with the chapters of the Design Guide for Neighborhood Business:
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Web and Digital Design
  • Architecture and Interior Design
  • Merchandising and Implementation

Proposal review:
The goal of the series is to walk the audience through each unique design process with hands-on learning activites.  Proposals are reviewed for the following criteria:
  • Interest and relevancy of the subject matter
  • A thoroughly developed proposal idea
  • A highly interactive proposal idea
  • Demonstration of inclusive design principles and processes

Session format:
This workshop/charrette series will focus on an instructional session related to one of the four topics described above.  Each session must include an active audience participation component, with a hands-on learning activity from a real world situation, leaving time afterwards for discussion and Q&A.

Designers will...
  • prepare presentation curriculum
  • prepare promotional materials
Design Network staff will...
  • Provide a $500 facilitator stipend and reimburse for up to $250 in material costs
  • promote the workshop
  • manage registration
  • secure event space
  • order food

Session Schedule:
There will be four opportunities to facilitate a Design Guide for Neighborhood Business workshop.  Workshops will take place from 6pm - 8:30pm.  The 2018 schedule is as follows:
  • May 21, 2018
  • June 18, 2018
  • July 23, 2018
  • August 20, 2018

Commerce Design: Detroit is a new competition introduced in April as one of the many projects included in the UNESCO City of Design Action Plan. The competition is based on a model introduced in 1995 in Montreal---one of Detroit's sister cities in the UNESCO network---and is now licensed in more than a dozen cities around the world.  Design Core Detroit has partnered with AIA Detroit, a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, to manage the competition, with support from Presenting Sponsor Bank of America

Commerce Design: Detroit is aimed at raising awareness of, and access to, professional design services for neighborhood small businesses, and celebrating the impact of commercial design projects on the communities in which these businesses reside. The competition will recognize projects, submitted jointly by the business owner and design team, that have been completed within the City of Detroit (including Highland Park and Hamtramck) within the last 5 years. 

Competition Submission Requirements:

Business Information:

  • Business Name and Generic Business Type (i.e. "Cafe", "Book Store", "Financial Planner", etc.)
  • Neighborhood + Mailing Address, Website and Email Address, Business Contact Information
  • Buildout statistics (i.e. Project Area / Square Footage, Year of Completion, Total Project Cost)
  • Business Owner Questionnaire 

Design Team Information:

  • Design Firm Name and Practice Type (i.e. Architect, Interior Designer, Graphic or Branding Designer)
  • Design Firm Contact Information
  • Additional Contributing Consultants

Submission Materials:

  • Project Floorplan(s) or Layout Diagram(s) (Compiled to a single .pdf)
  • Completed Project Images (Up to six (6) 'after' images)
  • Competition Exhibit Board (Optional; One compiled image or graphic to be exhibited at the AIAD Celebration of Architecture, Thursday September 20th)
  • "Before" Images (Optional; Up to two (2) images)
  • Brand / Visual Identity Graphics (Optional; up to four (4) images or graphics, including logos, signage, printed materials, packaging, etc.)
  • Design Team Image (Optional; one (1) photograph of the Design Team; may be as formal or casual as desired)

Submission Text:

  • 500-Word Project Summary
  • 1-3 Sentence Quote or Testimonial from Business Owner, Employees, or Customers on the impact of the Design process)
  • List of Design Team's additional projects completed or underway in Detroit
  • Disclosure and Waiver



Commerce Design Detroit Partners 


$49.99
$49.99

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