The 2019 Detroit Design 139 exhibition is asking all Interested participants to submit up to three (3) projects, policies or concepts that represent inclusive design in housing, economy, neighborhoods, public spaces or city systems located in Detroit’s 139 square miles or in another UNESCO city of design. Academic projects completed within the past three years are also eligible for submission.
DEADLINE: June 30th, 11:59PM
Throughout history, cities have been shaped by significant design decisions made by a few, for the many. These design solutions were meant to solve issues relevant to a city’s specific time period and were often made by experts without meaningful input from the people impacted by these plans. As a result, urban design solutions have often resulted in unintended consequences for subsequent generations. This repetitive cycle of top-down design outcomes – divisive highway infrastructure, failed public housing, anti-pedestrian streetscapes and under-utilized public parks – can be found in cities around the world.
In response to the vision laid out in Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design Action Plan, Detroit Design 139 proposes that through inclusive design, Detroiters (designers and non-designers alike) can prioritize the importance of both PROCESSES and OUTCOMES for all future projects throughout Detroit’s 139 square miles. Through exhibitions, events, and shared conversations, we will explore inclusive design strategies that break this repetitive cycle of creating future problems by acknowledging all aspects of our shared history in order to solve long-standing urban issues. With this approach, we will focus on creating multi-generational design solutions that result in inclusive futures for everyone.
Detroit Design 139 was recognized as one of the 226 award-winning designs from around the world to exemplify high-level design.
About Detroit Design 139
In 2015, Detroit was awarded the first UNESCO City of Design in the United States, joining a worldwide network of cities committed to utilizing design as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy. In celebration of that designation, design advocates from across the city came together in 2017 to demand a higher design standard for all future projects within the city’s 139 square miles. In pursuit of that ideal, these advocates -- including the City of Detroit, Design Core and other regional design leaders - curated the inaugural Detroit Design 139 exhibition. Collectively, these projects illustrated the future of Detroit – an urban environment populated with thoughtful projects that simultaneously honor Detroit’s design legacy while pushing the city towards becoming a leader in world-class design excellence.
Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities