The Detroit Design Festival is officially back. A big part of any city’s revitalization comes with its artists and social entrepreneurs, and this is the celebration that brings both front and center. Running from September 19 to 23, there are more than 50 art happenings—ranging from design competitions to film screenings and lectures to after parties. Here’s our pick of five not-to-be-missed events:
1. ABK vs. Karpov – Two Detroit-based artists are sharing exhibition space in the historic Park Shelton. Alyssa Baron-Klask will show prints, shadowboxes and paintings from her animation series while Kenny Corbin shows photographs from around Detroit’s jazz scene. (For those of you know know Karpov’s work, you’ll be surprised to see this series in color.) If that visual feast isn’t enough for you already, opera singer Mary St. Cloud will be also be performing. Saturday, Sep 22. 7-11pm.
2. Friday Night Art Bicycle tour – More the outdoors type? Looking for an introductory tour of Detroit’s cultural institutions? Wheel House Detroit is taking its guests to a sampling of museums, tucked away galleries and Design Festival happenings. Cost is $25 or $35 with bike rental. Friday, Sep. 21. 5:30-8pm.
3. Why Start-ups Should Start Now - TechTown and Skidmore Studios are teaming up to bring you this lecture on the designer’s role in successful start ups and businesses. Directed towards new business owners and entrepreneurs with limited budgets, this discussion will aptly take place in the beautifully designed Great Lakes Coffee on Woodward. Friday, Sep. 21. 5:30-7:30pm
4. Better Block Detroit – For the community-minded among you. The US Green Building Council, the Detroit Regional Chamber and Wayne State University are coming together to discuss what makes a healthy, vibrant neighborhood. The block in focus will be on East Grand Blvd., between St. Antoine and Oakland St. and is in opportunity for these organizations to show “tactical urbanism live.” Detroiters are invited to give their perspective on urban planning and design. Saturday Sep. 22 9am – 8pm or Sunday Sep. 23 9am to 5pm.
5. Hopscotch Detroit – Looking for a family-friendly activity? Help the city break the world record for the longest hopscotch created. The goal is to surpass 4 miles set down through the city center. Saturday Sep. 22 9am – 4pm.
You can join the design conversation on Twitter by using the hashtags #ddf2012 or #designis. For more on the Detroit Design Festival or to find more happenings, visit http://www.