Drinks x Design offers an opportunity for creative businesses throughout the city to open their doors and share their work with the public. Held in a new location on the second Thursday of every month from 5:30-8 p.m. the event allows attendees to meet new people, make connections, promote their creative endeavors and learn about other projects in their community. Event information is released one month before each event.

We are always looking for new spaces, talent, design ambassadors and partners. If interested, please fill out the following form and someone from our team will contact you. Thanks!

The Detroit Design Network's Client Services Boot Camp is a six-session boot camp program for small-to-medium sized design firms/agencies and freelancers, based on the fundamentals of client services for design service providers. 

Boot camp sessions will be workshop-based and held in the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, twice a week for three weeks back to back. All workshops will include a speaker presentation, group or individual exercise, and Q&A. Session will take place at Design Core Detroit (460 W. Baltimore St., Suite 100c, Detroit, MI 48202)

Participants should exit the program with a broad understanding of what design client services are, strategies on how to immediately implement and provide improved or more intentional client service, tools and resources to learn more or dig deeper, and a sense of community and understanding with their fellow participants.

The program fee for the full, six-session series is $265 per attendee. 

Each session will cover a specific topic: 

   - Initial Pitches & Intro to Client Services

   - Pricing, Time Tracking & Invoicing    

   - Proposal Development 

   - Contracts, Incorporation & IP

   - Discovery & Design/Project Briefs

   - Final Pitches & Introduction to Creative Co. 

Program sessions are the following dates and times: 

- October 30th 6-8PM - Intro to Client Services, Cydney Camp, Design Core Detroit

- November 1st 6-8PM - Pricing, Time Tracking & Invoicing 

- November 6th 6-8PM - Proposal Development, Paul Van Lewen

- November 8th  6-8PM - Legal - Erin Bonahoom, Cavas Legal

- November 13th 6-8PM - Discovery & Briefing - Meaghan Barry and Lilian Crum, Unsold Studios

- November 15th 6-8PM - Recap & Intro to the Detroit Design Network, Cydney Camp, Design Core Detroit

Each applicant will have seven (7) business days to pay the full amount of the program fee ($265). If payment is not received, your place in the program will be forfeited and we will notify the next applicant. You may apply again for subsequent cohorts.

Questions or technical issues? Please email ccamp@designcore.org

Upload your five best high resolution images to Submittable within 24 hours after photographing the showhouse for review by the judging panel. 

  1. All competition photos must be uploaded onto Submittable in jpeg or png format.
  2. The images must include; 
    1. (1) exterior front view image of the home;
    2. (2) exterior garden image; and
    3. (3) Images of any other rooms in the home.


Instashot! Architectural Photography Competition

Purchased in 2017 by Hill Harper, the Charles T. Fisher Mansion, the largest residence in the Boston Edison neighborhood in Detroit, has been undergoing a historic renovation for more than a year. Interior and landscape designers have been meticulously selected to design the space, which will debut to the public during Detroit’s Month of Design, as part of The Junior League of Detroit Designers’ Show House. 

In celebration of the debut, Design Core Detroit is hosting the The Instashot! Architectural Photography Competition and is seeking photographers who can best capture the completely renovated Fisher Mansion. 

Competition Schedule

The Competition will occur between September 4-13, 2018. Below is a tentative schedule that is subject to change based on the accessibility to the home. 

Weds., Sept. 4
Photographers onsite to capture home 

Thurs., Sept. 5
Photo editing and upload onto Submittable

Fri., Sept. 6

Jury review and voting 

Sat., Sept. 7

Winners notified 

Thurs., Sept. 13: Winner revealed at Blogger Breakfast on Thursday, 9/13

Thurs., 9/13 - Sun., 9/16): Social media campaign to promote winner, Show House and Month of Design.

The photography competition is open to invited photographers only. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. By entering this competition, the photographer is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. Images from the competition will be shared by Design Core Detroit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Design Core’s website, Junior League of Detroit, and ASPIRE Home & Design website.  

Entry Deadline: Monday, July 30th, 2018

If you have any questions, please email Kiana Wenzell at kwenzell@designcore.org and put "Instashot Photo Competition" in the subject line.


  1. To enter the Competition, photographers must accept an invitation from Design Core Detroit. 
  2. Photographers will then be invited to join Submittable and complete a contact form.
  3. Once pictures are taken photographers must upload their five best high resolution images to Submittable within 24 hours after photographing the showhouse for review by the judging panel. 
  4. All competition photos must be uploaded onto Submittable in jpeg or png format.
  5. The images must include; 
    1. (1) exterior front view image of the home;
    2. (2) exterior garden image; and
    3. (3) Images of any other rooms in the home.
  6. By submitting an entry to the Competition, photographers grant Design Core Detroit, Junior League of Detroit and ASPIRE Home & Design Magazine the following rights:
    1. Permission for your entry to be published on Design Core Detroit, Junior League of Detroit and ASPIRE Home & Design Magazine, website and social media platforms including but not limited to designcore.org, http://www.jldetroit.org/, aspiremetro.com;
    2. Permission to use and publish your competition entry in any/all media (including in electronic format, hard copy and in Design Core publications) for purposes connected with the competition; 
    3. And the right to use your name for the sole purpose of identifying you as the author of your entry and/or as a winner of the Competition.
  7. You own the copyright to your competition entry as its author. 
  8. Your entry must be your own work, must not be copied, must not contain any third-party materials and/or content that you do not have permission to use, must not include any trade marks or watermarks.


  1. A panel of judges made up of (1) person from Design Core, (1) person from Junior League of Detroit, (1) person from ASPIRE Design & Home Magazine will vote on the winner.
    1. When choosing the winner and runners up, the judges will be looking for the most well composed, artistic and original images that evokes the best interpretation of the home.
    2. The photographer with the top 6 photos will win Photo Competition.
  2. The winner will be notified by phone and email within 2 days of the competition closing date and will be invited to attend the Blogger Breakfast to claim their prize. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 3 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  3. The winner will be announced during the Junior League of Detroit’s Blogger Breakfast on Thursday, September 13th.


  1. Cash Prizes:
    1. 1st Place: $300
    2. 2nd Place: $200
    3. 3rd Place: $100
  2. Winner will receive mention on digital platforms:
    1. Aspire Design & Home Website (https://aspiremetro.com/)
    2. Junior League of Detroit Website
    3. Junior League of Detroit Digital Brochure
    4. Official Junior League of Detroit Showhouse Website
    5. Design Core Detroit Instagram 
    6. Swag Bag created by Junior League of Detroit 
    7. (2) Tickets to the Junior League Showhouse (a $70 value)
    8. The Winner will have their picture and displayed alongside their selected photo in September Design Core newsletter.

This competition is a Detroit Month of Design signature event and is powered by Design Core Detroit in partnership with the Junior League of Detroit and ASPIRE Home & Design Magazine.

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 2019 schedule is as follows:

  • February 21, 2019
  • April 25, 2019
  • June 20, 2019
  • August 22, 2019
  • October 24, 2019
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
Post a RFP

Need some design work or creative services?
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Creative Co. is the easiest, most effective way to hire a local Detroit design agency or freelancer. We’ve selected Detroit’s finest creatives and simplified the vendor process. Post your RFP on our site and get multiple bids from vetted, experienced, and reliable designers. Creative Co. was founded to address the creative and design needs of the Michigan (and beyond) business community.

Why use Creative Co.?

  • Access to industry-vetted, experienced designers and firms in one place
  • Post one RFP, and receive multiple from qualified firms and freelancers
  • Potential promotional support from Creative Co.
  • Easiest, quickest way to hire local designers and firms



Design Core is accepting proposals from Detroit Design Network members to present on a panel during Singapore Design Week March 6-10, 2019. The selected designer will participate in a day-long Cities of Design Forum for members of the UNESCO network and participate in a curated program to be hosted by the Singapore Design Council highlighting key SDW events including Brainstorm Design Conference. An attached draft agenda is included.


The theme for the UNESCO Design Cities forum will be Designing for IMPACT.

Design is no longer about aesthetics, but developing creative solutions to complex problems. Today, businesses, governments and educators alike turn to design approaches to add value for their stakeholders in an increasingly competitive global economy, and solve some of the planet’s biggest problems with a design perspective. The design community has itself followed suit in expanding its purview, stepping out to work across disciplines and beyond fields of design to work with systems, processes, organisations, and even services. In this Public Forum, representatives from the 31 UNESCO Creative Cities of Design, including Singapore, share their experiences with designing for impact in the fields of education, policy, business and communication.

Expected attendees: Policy makers, Academia and think-tanks, Educators and students, Industry representatives – design industry associations, design businesses, design clients, designers, design scholars

Participants can expect: Innovative models, practices and ideas, stories and case studies of organisational transformation from the local to the globe, best practices and perspectives from industry, government and educators, and opportunities for networking, collaboration and discourse

Business Panel Prompt: The selected designer will participate in the Design/Business panel alongside designers from Graz, Austria, Kortrijk, Belgium, and Greater Geelong, Australia. Each speaker will have approximately 7 minutes to present followed by a moderated panel discussion around the following topic:

Good design is good strategy. Companies, communities and economies are using design thinking to raise productivity, unlock new opportunities for growth, and improve the quality of everyday life. As the definition of design expands to include disciplines such as interaction, experience and service design, designers and design teams maintain holistic approaches yet a focus on individual behaviour and input. Beyond responding to a design brief, designers today are responsible for defining the problem they should be addressing. How have companies used design to catalyse innovation and competitiveness? How can designers rethink their roles in companies, teams and projects? How can businesses reorganise to optimise ideation and innovation? What do designers think is good business?


This opportunity is open to individual members of any company that is a current Detroit Design Network Member who has paid dues for 2019 by the deadline. This opportunity is for individuals only. Multiple people from the same company may apply, but only one individual will be selected. Individuals may only apply once. 


The selected designer will receive one plane ticket from Detroit to Singapore and back for the dates specified above. All local transit, accommodation, meals, and programming including one complimentary ticket to Brainstorm Design will be covered by in Singapore Design Council. the designer will be responsible for any additional expenses incurred. 


Applications will be reviewed by a jury made up of 1 Design Core staff and 3-5 members of the Design Core stewardship board. Applicants will be notified no later than 2/12/19. In considering the application, jurors will take into account the following factors:

  • Quality of submission (50%)
  • Significance of opportunity/level of exposure for designer/Detroit (25%)
  • Ability of applicant to positively represent Detroit and Detroit City of Design initiative (25%)


The selected designer will be a Detroit City of Design ambassador, representing the city at the event, promoting the values and messages of the Detroit City of Design initiative and agreeing to the following:

  • Generate 5 unique social media (facebook, instagram, or twitter) posts promoting the event and the Detroit City of Design initiative using tags identified by Design Core during trip;
  • Write blog post (approx. 500 words) about experience discussing how participation impacted your business/organization/initiative and expressing the significance of the designation for you as a designer and a Detroiter within one month after trip;
  • Share 5 images from your experience at the event with captions and photo credit for Design Core  use;
  • Supply necessary paperwork to Design Core administrator to purchase flight.


Contact Ellie Schneider at eschneider@designcore.org.

Ends on February 5, 2019




The City of Design Graz is celebrating it’s annual design festival – Designmonat Graz (Month of Design) – from 10 May until 09 June 2019. The month-long design festival encompasses all disciplines and offers a dense and diverse programme that puts the city in a state of exception in which design can be perceived everywhere.

Graz is inviting other UNESCO Cities of Design to nominate designers to participate in the following events:

  1. Exhibition - World Wide Things Collection (products, goods, accessories, table ware, etc.) 

The WWTC is a worldwide marketplace for a fine selection of prime design products. This collection acts as a “Hyperloop” as it displays products created in the UNESCO Cities of Design, and moreover, facilitates the dissemination of ideas, designs and best practices. The project was developed by Anne Thomas  (MTL), Pierre Laramée (MTL) and Eberhard Schrempf  (GRZ) in 2017 and launched in Designmonat Graz 2018. www.designcities.net/wwtc/

  1. Workshops, Pop-ups, and Presentations - Design in the City (products, goods, accessories, table ware, etc.) 

All over the city, shops and companies are hosting presentations or installations by various types of designers. The curated project enable designers to connect with retailers and distributers, ideally resulting in an expanding market for the exhibited products.

  1. Conference - Assembly (Fashion and Fashion Accessories) 

Assembly is a curated 3 days fashion festival where designers participate by exhibiting and selling their fashion as well as presenting their works in fashion shows.


Applications are due 2/5/19. Applicants will be notified no later than 2/28/19.

Apply here


Contact Ellie Schneider at eschneider@designcore.org.

Design Core Detroit