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    City Lights Detroit

    In Troy, Michigan, tucked within the Michigan Design Center’s rich campus of design resources for hobbyists and professionals alike, there is an exclusive provider of products by Visual Comfort & Co., a Texas-based resource for designer lighting that has been a leader in its industry since the late 1980s. City Lights Detroit brings the premier offerings of Visual Comfort’s American designer portfolio—from designers like Kelly Wearstler to Ralph Lauren and Clodagh—to a Michigan market, providing many more services for clients along the way. “At City Lights Detroit we specialize in Visual Comfort lighting and help make recommendations for clients based on their style and budget, and limitations like size or…

  • J.L. Hudson Company, Hudson’s, passenger elevators, DesRosiers Architects Inc., Michigan, Bloomfield Hills, Louis DesRosiers AIA, Detroit history, Detroit Elevator Company, Vogue Furniture, Royal Oak
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    Restore in residential 

    Throughout the 20th century, The J.L. Hudson Company, or Hudson’s, department stores were fixtures in Detroit’s history as a fashion and design capital, and played a major role in holiday shopping traditions and style development alike.  Opened on Woodward Avenue in 1911, the Hudson’s department store in downtown Detroit would eventually grow into a massive, 25-story structure that was the world’s tallest department store until 1961, commanding the downtown corridor with a multitude of restaurants, a groundbreaking deliveries system, more than 700 fitting rooms and roughly 50 passenger elevators. On the tails of economic downturn, the store was eventually demolished in 1998, but not before one of its long-time appreciators…

  • '71 Barracuda Front End Facelift Concept," 1968, Donald Hood, American; crayon, gouache, ink, felt marker, prismacolor, pastel on vellum. Collection of Robert L. Edwards and Julie Hyde-Edwards.
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    Detroit style

    Between the mass production of accessible, timeless car designs, and the artistic innovation that pushed the automotive industry into each new age, Detroit’s influence on American car design, technology, and manufacturing has remained since the turn of the 20th century when Henry Ford touched down his Detroit Automobile Company and Charles Brady King test drove the first self-propelled carriage along Woodward Avenue, reaching speeds up to five miles per hour. In homage to this remarkable past, the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, or DIA, is unveiling a special exhibition, “Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950-2020,” which will capture groundbreaking, artistic, and transitional moments in Detroit car design…

  • Scavolini, Michigan Design Center, island kitchen, photo by Jeff Aisen
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    Scavolini in Detroit

    A rich vein of high Italian style, both rustic and traditional, and sleek and contemporary, permeates international interior design markets, including that in the American Midwest. Since its founding in Pesaro Italy in 1961, Scavolini has been a brand synonymous with stylistically relevant, highly functional and Italian-made living arrangements. It is known for its ability to transform kitchens and bathrooms with styles and finishes that support even the busiest of culinary homes, and branches of its stateside arm, Scavolini USA Inc., appear everywhere from Miami and its Soho Gallery flagship store in New York, to Las Vegas and, for the last decade, in Birmingham, Michigan.  As of September 2020, in…

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    Preservation by design

    Detroit’s architectural fabric is rich with unique historical structures—some recognizable, others more discreet—that have continually been re-purposed for the modern-day city. They also double as keenly protected sites for historic conservationists, one of which was recently recognized by both the Michigan chapter of the AIA and Michigan Historic Preservation Network for its sensitive design and rehabilitation of two historic buildings located in Detroit’s Corktown and the Greektown neighborhood areas. The firm, McIntosh Poris Associates, is an integral full-service architecture and design force for historic building preservation in Detroit and other areas of service. Since its founding in 1994, McIntosh Poris Associates, based in Birmingham, Michigan, has garnered more than 100…

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    Detroit Month of Design

    In 2015, Detroit was designated the first—and only—UNESCO City of Design in the United States. Since then, Design Core Detroit, the driving organization behind its designation, has been consistently developing efforts to nurture an even more vibrant and inclusive national and global design capital. Last year, the organization launched its Detroit City of Design Action Plan, which aims to position Detroit as a global leader in the practice of inclusive design. To honor the city’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the organization also transformed the annual, five-day, Detroit Design Festival into a month-long celebration of creativity for September 2019, deemed the Detroit Month of Design, or MoD. MoD…

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    Fine design

    In November 2017, Prime + Proper, a luxurious steakhouse experience, opened in Detroit, and quickly garnered attention for its elaborate interior design and approach to fine dining. Less than two years later in June 2019, McIntosh Poris Associates, the firm behind Prime + Proper’s distinctive style and preserved historic details, received a pair of Restaurant Design Awards from the AIA’s Los Angeles chapter—the only Midwest-based firm to do so during the 2019 award program. The People’s Choice: Restaurant award and Citation: Restaurant award, were supported by a jury verdict that cites Prime + Proper’s “opulence and decadence” as winning factors in the restaurant’s downtown Detroit setting. For Michael Poris, founder…

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    Redesigning identity

    The Detroit area has long been a metropolis of creative endeavors, from art and architecture, to music and culinary pursuits. For six decades, Skidmore Studio has been integral in this development as an illustration-turned-branding-and-design firm that seeks to nurture the region’s creative talent, while also employing an empathetic and flexible approach to problem-solving.  Recently, the firm utilized this process to perform its own visual rebranding in tandem with its 60th anniversary, replacing largely introspective brand elements with outgoing designs. “Its new visual personality focuses on clarity and flexibility, with new, minimal typography replacing the classic Skidmore Studio logo, which was comprised by the letter “S,” for Skidmore, and an intersecting…

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    Poetic structures

    Detroit has been home to artists in their many forms—designers, architects, sculptors, and fashion creatives, among others—who have set roots in the city as a space for personal and professional practice; often drawn to its rich industrial and design history as well as its current fabrication abilities. Its resources for the arts—such as Detroit Institute of Arts, College for Creative Studies, and Cranbrook Academy of Art—also draw national and international attention as centers for artistic preservation, exploration, and experimentation. In 2015, internationally-acclaimed artist and designer Nina Cho made Detroit the base for her professional practice, Nina Cho LLC, and personal studio; going on to exhibit at the Robert Adler Gallery…