Culture Lab Detroit to Bring International Attention to City’s Creatives


The second annual Culture Lab Detroit — which aims to connect Detroit’s artists, designers, technologists, and the larger design world — will focus on regenerative design in urban areas while increasing awareness of Detroit’s creative community internationally and inspiring new projects within the city.

“Culture Lab Detroit provides an important platform to get Detroit’s hyper-creative emerging artists, designers, and technologists thinking globally,” says Matthew Clayson, director of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, which helped organize the event along with the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. “The resulting collaborations, concepts, and projects will help reinforce Detroit’s growing reputation as a global center of design and creativity.”

The three-day event, to be held April 24-26, will present multiple events, including community classes focused on specific components of regenerative design; open portfolio reviews for local artists and designers; and panel discussions.

“Something special is taking hold in Detroit, and I believe it can grow even stronger if we continue to foster it,” says Jane Schulak, founder and creative director of Culture Lab Detroit.

Schulak says the theme of regenerative design theme reflects “values of social responsibility, craftsmanship, and respect for resources — concepts that have been at the core of Detroit’s community for over a century.” Local examples, she says, include the Green Garage, Lincoln Park Art Sculpture Garden, Heidelberg Project, Alley Project, and Eastern Market.

“Regenerative design can inspire and unite,” Schulak says. “It can inspire through offering a lens that enables communities to re-imagine spatial challenges and assets. It can unite through encouraging constructive dialogue between unexpected parties. Such inspiration and dialogue is essential when addressing Detroit’s opportunities and challenges.”

In addition to the public programming mentioned above, Culture Lab Detroit will also organize two private salon dinners to develop deeper relationships between the speakers and Detroit-based innovators.

“(These speakers) are among the most influential and talented practitioners in their fields,” Schulak says. “They are all socially conscious artists with enormous respect for Detroit and its residents — each of them wants to be a part of what comes next in our city.”