PHOTOS: Detroit Design Festival Kicks Off Showcasing Detroit Made Goods

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Detroit graphic design events like this one are outstanding networking opportunities

The Detroit Design Festival (DDF) started off in style Tuesday night at the Taubman Center. A veritable who’s who of the creative community attended, commiserating and having fun around some of Detroit’s most notable artistic product success stories and up-and-comers.

If you didn’t know, the DDF is an event that runs through Sunday and showcases many forms of Detroit design. It’s billed as “North America’s Festival of Independent Design,” with more than 500 designers participating across 30 happenings. It’s well attended, as last year there was 25,000 people who turned out along with an additional 75,000 for the visual feast that is DLectricity.

We’ll have reporters and photographers at various events showcasing some of the best of Detroit’s creative scene. Below are some shots thanks to Nick Hagen from last night as well as explanations and links to some of the folks showcasing their Detroit area made goods we found interesting or you might not have already heard of (yes, Shinola was there, and yes, we figured you know about them already). If you want a full schedule of DDF events, check it out here. We strongly recommend DLectricity over the weekend, the People Mover art installations on Friday night, and the Eastern Market After Dark event on Thursday.. but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Mobel Link is high-end modern furniture made right here in Detroit. Some of the wood pieces are made out of a single sheet of plywood.


The Floyd Leg has caught fire in the market after a successful online campaign and basically turns any surface into a table. It’s been featured in GQ, Slate, and many other publications. Here they are used to make a ping pong and an end table.


Cyber Optix Tie Lab hand-makes ties of all kinds that have very interesting, artistic screens on them using automotive, architectural, and pop culture inspirations.

Detroit Made

“Detroit Made” was the theme of the floor, showcasing leading designers and manufacturers doing business in Detroit today.


The Detroit Wallpaper Company allows for customizable wall coverings ordered online. Their tagline is “Think Decor. Think Detroit.”


The Safety Shamans made us laugh all night.


There were side rooms that featured various new technologies as well as opportunities for young designers. After all, the Center for Creative Studies is a hotbed of creative talent in the region.


To learn more about the Detroit Design Festival, check out and follow their hashtag #DesignLivesHere.

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