“The car industry aside, Detroit is one of the historic hotbeds of design in America,” says New York–based event producer and installation artist David Stark, in anticipation of Culture Lab Detroit (April 24–26), a program designed to inspire collaboration between leading international talent and their local counterparts. “We often don’t remember that Detroit was once one of the most affluent cities in America, but go there now—you feel how much important design history abounds.”
In honor of that past, the second annual intellectual gathering—founded by Jane Schulak, in collaboration with the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and the College for Creative Studies—welcomes presenters Stark, international architect David Adjaye (London), artist and innovator Theaster Gates (Chicago) and interior and furniture designers Humberto and Fernando Campana (Brazil) and the curious alike for a series of classes, talks, programming and events focused on urban regenerative design.
“Culture Lab Detroit is designed to showcase, connect and inspire problem solvers who find ways to respond to extreme conditions,” Schulak says. “It is hoped that these shared experiences and collaborations with national and international artists, designers and architects will increase awareness and the imprint of Detroit’s creative community around the globe.”
Based on this year’s group of return and first-time presenters, it would seem the Lab is already making waves. “Innovation and art-making are born out of necessity and sheer desire in the Detroit community,” Stark adds. “Installation art is being made in the streets out of detritus despite all kinds of odds, and being around that kind of passion reminds me why I make art in the first place.” culturelabdetroit.org.