This week, we’re all about design — but first, a shoutout to readers Joe Marra and Brooke Harris for correctly guessing where we took last week’s Detroit mystery snap: In Harmony Café on Dexter Avenue! (See you there for a free coffee on Oct. 12!)
Think you can guess this week’s spot? Email SaMya at email@example.com for bragging rights, or to share your new gardens, podcasts or any and all projects keeping Detroit vibrant. Now, onto this week’s culture and community roundup.
When Nishi Bajaj was studying for her bachelor’s degree in textile design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, events for designers were more like exhibits. Artists, usually working in the same medium, sent in their work for others to interpret, typically without the artist being present to talk about the work.
Bajaj, 27, earned her first master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad. And not long after that, the possibility of meeting artists from different worlds drew her to pursue a second master’s degree — this time, in Detroit — at College for Creative Studies (CCS) starting this fall. She kicked off the semester with a whirlwind tour of the city’s design community while attending Detroit Month of Design for the first time.
At design events in Detroit, “you can just go and speak to someone,” Bajaj said with a laugh. “You can (connect) online, you can talk about design, you can have a discussion.”
This week, we chatted with Bajaj to get a sense of what it’s like to be in Detroit as an emerging designer, and we learned that our city has powerful design recognition that crosses continents. Read the story.
Last chance for Month of Design
Discover artists in music, fashion, food, visual arts, Web3 and more at the Hunt Street Evening of Arts on Friday… Enjoy one last celebration weekend of Month of Design at Spot Lite, including murals galore, yoga, a makers market and some last-minute workshops… Finally, for the architecture heads, you can tour the recently completed Student Union expansion at the University of Detroit Mercy on Sunday. (Design Core Detroit)
The former Cass Corridor Founders Brewing Co. in the Cass Corridor, which closed in May after plenty of controversy, will get a new taproom next year from Eastern Market Brewing Co. The brewer’s fourth location will offer dozens of self-serve taps alongside Detroit-style pizza. It’ll also serve up Dooped Donuts and coffee during the day.
Eastern Market Brewing plans to restore the building’s look and feel from the 1950s, and it will have a large outdoor space.
In other anticipated openings, Little Liberia is finally getting a brick-and-mortar location next year, in the New Center storefront currently occupied by Room Project (which will close in November). And this fall, Vecino comes to Midtown, with dishes inspired by traditional Oaxacan cuisine and Mexico City’s modern fare. (Metro Times, Freep, Eater Detroit)
A new community center in Jefferson Chalmers is set to open in mid-October. The $7.2 million A.B. Ford Park Community Center is funded by the city and a Penske Corporation donation to the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund. The new community space replaces the Lenox Center, which has been vacant for a decade.
The building will be solar-powered, with classrooms, a library area, multipurpose spaces for indoor sports and parties, and a community gathering room. It is also designed to be a climate-resilient haven for emergencies — the building will have a generator and battery for residents to charge their phones and access the Internet during outages.
Development has happened in fits and starts in Jefferson Chalmers. Meanwhile, nearby on the eastside, more than $35 million is being pumped into residential and commercial development near East Warren Avenue and Cadieux Road. (Axios Detroit, WDET, Detroit News)
I’ll admit that I’m not much of a podcast listener. However, I recently started listening to “Black Her Stories,” a reshaping of Black history through the lens of Black women artists that’s hosted by Michaela Ayers. From art to expressions of Black love to Detroit fashion, there’s plenty to love in the 30-minute episodes. (Nourish)
Do you know this Detroit spot?
Test your mural knowledge — what building is this on? While you’re thinking, read a piece that dives deep on graffiti artists, who are seeing their work celebrated even as spaces disappear and the medium goes through growing pains as the city changes. (Outlier, BridgeDetroit)