Detroit’s design community is vibrant, ground-breaking and growing beyond its traditional automotive roots. Helping drive that growth and generate greater exposure for new designers is the mission of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center.
The Chrysler Group joined that effort with a prime sponsorship role for the 2013 Detroit Design Festival, five days of gallery shows, seminars, walking tours and demonstrations in central Detroit that ran from Sept. 17-22.
At the festival’s opening party at the world-renowned College for Creative Studies, a piece of automotive artwork — a white 2013 SRT Viper sports car — served as a canvas for a multimedia display, with digital images of the event projected onto the car and nearby walls. Chrysler Group design chief and SRT brand chief Ralph Giles appeared in a video to promote the Design Festival.
Also featured was artwork of some of the Chrysler Group’s iconic brands, created by Jay Bernard, a College for Creative Studies design alumni. Bernard is based out of Motiv, the company’s California design studio. Joining him at the kick-off party were Brandon Faurote, head of the Chrysler brand design studio and another College for Creative Studies alum, and Tim Anness, head of Chrysler Group’s Advance Design studio and a graduate of the University of Cincinnati.
“It’s always exciting to walk through the studio and see what our talented designers are working on,” Bernard said. “They envision the future and push the design envelope to it.”
The trio of Chrysler designers spent the evening meeting and encouraging design students from the college and inspecting products from Design Festival participants that were displayed at the college’s A. Alfred Taubman campus.
In just its third year of existence, the Detroit Design Festival has nearly tripled the number of participants, said Matt Clayson, director of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center.
“Detroit is widely known as an auto town. We have some great talent in this area and they are important to helping grow and expand our design talents into other industries,” Clayson said.The agency and the festival provide a platform for southeast Michigan designers to share their work, as well as to attract new businesses and incubate startups, Clayson said.