Public Design Trust: Footwork

The Work Department is honored to co-lead the production of an exhibition at the 10th Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2017. Detroit was chosen as a host guest city by Saint-Étienne, its sister city, based on their similarities, including a long industrial history and a burgeoning art and design scene. The Biennale Internationale will present a great experiment and a giant laboratory, entitled Working Promesse focused on shifting work paradigms.


As steward of Detroit’s UNESCO Designation, Detroit Creative Corridor Center will collaborate with Public Design Trust to present the exhibition Footwork. The Work Department led the founding of Public Design Trust, a collaborative of thinkers, creators, futurists, and civic servants dedicated to exploring the future of network-based working models. Public Design Trust members are:

  • Taylor Renee Aldridge
  • Ash Arder
  • Serene Arena
  • Sarah F. Cox
  • Najahyia Chinchilla
  • Carlie Quezada, WD
  • Libby Cole, WD
  • Nina Bianchi, WD

The exhibition Footwork examines the future of network-based working models through the metaphor of dance and its relationship to systems planning and the interconnected movements between people, objects and place. Through a series of soundscapes, installations, new media, and other objects, Footwork explores the trajectory of how these agents work towards individual and shared utopian futures. Stretching out over 2,000 square feet, the exhibition will share how Detroiters are developing creative and innovative ways to work, live, and move in the 21st century.


Public Design Trust will highlight Detroit’s innovators and existing network-based working models, and also instigate and catalyze new cross-genre, cross-generational collaborations. For example, local design collaborative,Thing Thing will partner with Lear Corporation to apply their unique fabrication process that reimagines uses for current material waste streams and underutilization resulting from Lear Corporation’s seat-making operations. Detroit Sound Conservancy will rehabilitate and reactivate the historic Blue Bird Inn stage as a modular, mobile, programming and exhibit experience that tells the story of collaboration, creativity, and music in Detroit. Assemble Sound and Underground Resistance will draw on their own artist communities and collaborate with musicians from Detroit’s Motown era to create a transcendent new composition that blends Detroit’s living musical legacy and captures the evolution of Detroit’s music industry, from jazz to present.


Stay tuned as our work towards the spring 2017 exhibition continues.