DBusiness Daily Update: Ford House Opens ‘Craft in the Digital Age’ for Detroit Month of Design, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
“Craft in the Digital Age” features works of art that are technologically inspired. // Courtesy of The Ford House
“Craft in the Digital Age” features works of art that are technologically inspired. // Courtesy of The Ford House

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Ford House Opens ‘Craft in the Digital Age’ for Detroit Month of Design

A new exhibition at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores — “Craft in the Digital Age” — will present 70 works with 35 technologically inspired and produced pieces from local artists and designers along with artwork from the historic Ford House collections.

The exhibition runs through Sept. 30 and is displayed throughout Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s historic lakeside estate, a 1929 Albert Kahn-designed mansion.

This exhibition is a collaboration between Lawrence Technological University’s College of Architecture and Design, Ford House, and Design Core Detroit. The 12th annual Detroit Month of Design has a theme this year of “united by design,” bringing unity to the forefront to celebrate Detroit’s role as a national and global design capital.

“‘Craft in the Digital Age’ grew from a wonderful collaboration with Lawrence Tech into a thought-provoking presentation of works that span ancient decorative objects and antique furniture alongside the work of brilliant students who are designing the future of our community,” says Mark Heppner, president and CEO of the Ford House. “We are thrilled that this exhibition is part of the Detroit Month of Design, and it is sure to serve as an excellent showcase of our local craft heritage and talent.”

LTU and Ford House collaborated on a sustainability-focused design challenge over the summer of 2021 that engaged high school students alongside college mentors. Following this successful partnership, Ford House engaged the school to develop the concept for “Craft in the Digital Age.”

The exhibition has works from eight students that represent each of the programs in the College of Architecture and Design and works from eight faculty members from LTU’s College of Architecture and Design, along with number of pieces from Detroit-area designers, artists, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide our students with the opportunity to showcase their work that embodies the technological theme of this exhibition,” says Lilian Crum, associate dean of LTU’s College of Architecture and Design. “The Ford House is a compelling, traditional context for their contemporary design objects, and the dialogue between the work provokes interesting questions about digital craft.”

There are a number of pieces for sale, which can be purchased from The Shop at Ford House in the new Visitor Center. Pricing information is noted in a catalog in The Shop, as well as with each piece here.

For more information, visit here.

Michigan Craft Beverage Council Accepting 2022 Research Grant Proposals

The Michigan Craft Beverage Council (MCBC) is accepting 2023 research grant proposals with a maximum grant award of $50,000. Proposals must be received no later than 3 p.m. on Oct. 13.

While any research topic will be accepted, the council has identified the following funding priorities: climate change impacts affecting Michigan’s craft beverage agricultural supply chain, crop quality analysis, and new varieties for hops, fruit, barley, grain, or other agricultural inputs used in craft beverage production; and sustainable water use and process water best practices; market research; and comparative analysis studies. A complete list of the MCBC’s research priorities and evaluation criteria are available online.

All proposals will be reviewed by a Joint Evaluation Committee in December, with funding decisions expected in January 2023. Approved projects can commence after grantees receive notification of the award.

Proposals must be received via email at MDARD-CraftBev@Michigan.gov no later than 3:00 p.m. (EDT) on October 13, 2022. Click here to view the application and grant guidelines and projects funded by the council. Additional concerns regarding this Request for Proposals should be sent to MDARD-CraftBev@Michigan.gov.

Report: Much More Than Smart Tech is Needed for Broader Autonomous Delivery Adoption

Pilot projects supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation testing the use of autonomous delivery robots in four U.S. cities found the technology works well in controlled environments such as college campuses and identified many opportunities for expansion, but at present, use cases remain limited due to technical and environmental limitations such as the quality of urban infrastructure.

Due to increased demand for delivery during the pandemic, sidewalk delivery robots have been deployed in greater numbers the past few years. While there is a lot of attention on these technologies, city officials often don’t have direct experience with them, making regulation and addressing community concerns challenging.

The pilots with Kiwibot allowed the four communities of Detroit, Miami-Dade County, Pittsburgh, and San Jose to learn more about how autonomous delivery technology works in the real world and utilized a unique community engagement model that provided residents the chance to provide direct feedback about the robots and informed city regulatory practices.

A report on the pilot projects lays out clear lessons cities can use to deploy autonomous technologies and identifies the non-technical functions of deployment — such as onboarding support for local small businesses, assuring shared infrastructure like sidewalks and crosswalks are passable, and allowing for direct community engagement — critical to success.

“Autonomous technology offers tremendous opportunity for progress, but in order to realize its full potential, we must increase testing and pursue intentional strategies to address real community needs,” says Lilian Coral, director of Knight’s national strategy and technology innovation program. “This pilot with Kiwibot established a model community education program so residents understood why these delivery robots were rolling around the city and how they work. This increased excitement and reduced skepticism from residents and local business partners alike, while also allowing government agencies to partner and learn more about the technology and its impact on the community. We think this is a roadmap for how to deploy autonomous technology in cities across the country.”

The Knight Foundation launched the $5.25 million initiative in 2018 to engage local residents around autonomous technologies to ensure they reflect community input and meet local needs. Funding supported the pilots in four cities, with technical assistance and evaluation provided by Cityfi and University of Oregon’s Urbanism Next Center.

Among the report’s takeaways:

  • The technology works in controlled settings and was deployed safely.
  • There were no reported pedestrian safety incidents in more than 3,000 completed trips during the pilots. Where the robots struggled with delivery, it was often due to lack of ADA accessible infrastructure, such as overgrown trees and blocked or broken sidewalks — the same infrastructure impediments that also impact residents safely getting around cities in their everyday lives. Investment by both the private and public sector in this shared infrastructure is required to scale autonomous delivery.
  • Current use cases are limited, but there are many opportunities for expansion in urban environments.
  • Today, the robots have a delivery range of 1-1.5 miles. As a result, some small businesses were hesitant to deliver their products via robots since many deliveries require a longer distance. At this point, the technology works well in places like college campuses but runs into challenges where accessible infrastructure can’t be guaranteed.
  • Demonstrations and community engagement were essential to addressing the public’s skepticism and sparking curiosity.
  • The pilots engaged residents in every city — from demonstrations at farmers markets to public meetings. The most common sentiments were curiosity about the robots and anxiety around the safety of the technology, privacy, and potential impact to jobs. Public engagements identified clear potential beneficial use cases (such as: helping people with disabilities get deliveries or reducing travel time on smaller trips like lunch breaks) — some of which the technology is ready to do today, and others which would require more testing and refinement.

Visit here to read the full report.

Cucina Lab Torino Offers Italian Street Food Night in Troy Sept. 10

Cucina Lab Torino in Troy (3960 Crooks Road, Suite 200) is offering an Italian experience from 6-9 p.m. on Sept. 10 — Italian Street Food Night.

The restaurant is celebrating the last few days of summer by serving arancini, mini pizzas, pasta, arrosticini, piadina, and much with a cash bar. Tickets will be required and can be purchased here. For more information, visit https://cucina-lab.com.

DIA Acquires ‘Shield of the Nile’ Painting by Detroit Artist Shirley Woodson

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has acquired one of the most significant works by renowned Detroit artist and educator Shirley Woodson. “Shield of the Nile” (1984) is part of a larger series that depicts the Nile River as a metaphor for Africa and symbolizes a historical, spiritual, and cultural significance for people of African descent. The acquisition recently was approved by the DIA’s Board of Directors.

“Shirley Woodson’s art exemplifies her quiet determination and creativity to express what she has learned about herself and the world she inhabits over the course of her life and career,” says Valerie Mercer, exhibition curator and department head of the DIA’s Center for African American Art. “This piece showcases her skillful drawing combined with her exuberant palette. Her work reminds us that it’s always a balancing act to assert the complexities of her existence as a Black female artist, a wife, a mother, a mentor, a friend, and a human being.”

The DIA hosted the first solo exhibition devoted to the artist’s work, Shirley Woodson: Shield of the Nile Reflections, from Dec. 18, 2021 to June 12, 2022, drawing nearly 66,000 visitors, and widespread national press attention.

Wayne State Launches Website, Call Line to Address First Responder Stress

The Wayne State University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences in Detroit   and the State of Michigan have launched a new website and phone line to provide assistance and training for the state’s first responders and their families confronting the stresses they face in their everyday duties.

The Frontline Strong Together www.fst5.org website and call line (1-833-34-STRONG) were created by first responders and mental health experts. The site provides 24/7 live support, resources, and services designed to prevent and alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and other work-related mental health challenges.

Mental health experts from Wayne State University and Wayne Health teamed with the Michigan Crisis and Access Line (MiCAL) and representatives of the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Department of Corrections, paramedics and dispatchers to develop the program.

A $2 million grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services funded the development of education, training, support, and behavioral health treatment services by the WSU Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. The programs assist police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, dispatchers, corrections personnel, and their families in addressing and reducing sources of stress from both acute and chronic stressors.

“Frontline Strong Together distinguishes Wayne State University in that the research we do is not in some ivory tower. This is right in the trenches with the community, in real time, to develop evidence-based approaches to help as many people as possible,” says Dr. David Rosenberg, chair of the WSU Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. “We go where the data is and implement the best practices.”

The training and resources made available throughout the state under Frontline Strong Together will provide support via academic-backed medical research in a state with a critical lack of support services, especially for first responders and their families. WSU psychiatrists developed and will manage a statewide clearinghouse of materials that include training videos and manuals, and train-the-trainer curriculums for use in police, firefighter and other first responders training.

The website includes videos by mental health experts that provide explanations and positive techniques, and training videos for families and peers. Topics include effective language family members can use to deescalate situations; recognizing self-harm, including alcohol and substance use; psychiatric symptoms; non-violent communication; when and where to get help for mental health treatment; and coping mechanisms for stress and trauma.

“The goal of peer training is not to fix all of the problems, but rather to know how to handle and communicate about certain situations,” says Dr. Alireza Amirsadri, associate professor of WSU Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and the main developer of the project.

Another critical component of the intervention program is tele-health services. A registry of mental health providers is available for referrals if a first responder prefers in-person assistance. Services include assessments, cognitive behavior therapy, medication management and outpatient therapy for mental health. PTSD treatments utilizing augmented reality technology are also being developed. This technology will allow first responders to practice exposure to normal life situations they avoid due to traumatic experiences.

Motor City Cruise Basketball Tickets on Sale Today

Individual game tickets for the Motor City Cruise, the Detroit Pistons’ G-League affiliate that is playing home games at Wayne State Fieldhouse in Detroit, are available starting today at noon.

Fans can purchase tickets by visiting cruisebasketball.com and ticketmaster.com, or by calling 313-Pistons. Coming off a playoff appearance in its inaugural season, Motor City Cruise basketball offers fans up-close action for affordable prices, all in the heart of midtown Detroit.

The Cruise will open the season on the road against the Cleveland Charge Nov. 4.  Motor City will play its home opener on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. versus the Windy City Bulls. Other notable Cruise home games include a 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve matchup also against the Windy City Bulls, and a day-after-Thanksgiving showdown versus the Grand Rapids Gold.

The Cruise’ schedule will see three 11 a.m. matinee home games — Dec. 2 against the Iowa Wolves, Feb. 15 versus the Greensboro Swarm, and March 15 against the Cleveland Charge. Individual ticket purchasers will be provided free parking at Wayne State Fieldhouse for each Cruise home matchup.

Season ticket packages, starting as low as $120, also are available. With a season ticket membership, fans will receive priority access to playoff tickets, interest-free payment-plan options, access to ticket exchange program, and preferred pricing on Detroit Pistons tickets. Group packages also can be purchased by visiting cruisebasketball.com and by calling 313-Pistons.