Detroit design companies to appear in French exhibition

click to enlarge Detroit design companies to appear in French exhibition
Photo by Detroit Creative Corridor Center

Detroit design firms will appear in next year's Saint-Etienne Design Biennale, whose theme will be the 'future of work.' The Biennale is expected to attract 140,000 visitors from across Europe. 

Detroit and Saint-Etienne, a city in east central France, have each been designated a UNESCO "city of design." Detroit was the first U.S. city to receive this recognition. 

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center is partnering with The Work Department, a Detroit-based, all-women design firm, to create a multimedia exhibit on the future of work, according to Crain's Detroit Business

Libby Cole, a member of The Work Department, said, "The French want to know what is unique about Detroit." 

Other firms that will be featured in the exhibition include Akoaki, a design studio that explores collective urban interventions, and Creative Many Michigan, an organization that emphasizes research and advocacy for creativity across various industries. 

Akoaki co-founder Anya Sirota noted that Detroit hasn't had an arts council for more than a decade. It is hoped that conversations in France will lead to the creation of a new one for the city. 

Creative Many Michigan will use research on U.S. work patterns as a launching point for discussions with international partners. Cezanne Charles, director of creative industries, said that Creative Many Michigan "will look at future scenarios - seeing that 40 percent of jobs are vulnerable to automation." 

Other installations in Saint-Etienne will examine Detroit music culture and urban farming. The exhibitions will be supplemented by a number of dialogues, performances, and cultural experiences that comment on the changing nature of work. 
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