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Cranbrook Alumni and Students at Detroit Month of Design 2023

August 31st, 2023

Each year, Design Core Detroit presents the September Detroit Month of Design, a citywide celebration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a national and global design capital.

Cranbrook Academy of Art alumni and students can be found in a range of special events, exhibitions, installations, and open studios during the 2023 Detroit Month of Design.

See the full calendar for Detroit Month of Design.


  • September 1-30: Shop and See
    Design Core Detroit and Bedrock Detroit’s “Shop and See” event gives visitors a chance to “shop” and “see” a number of collaborative collections from Detroit businesses and makers, including current Academy student Taylor Childs (Fiber 2024).
  • Saturday, September 2: RE:ANIMATION Artist Talk with Cody Norman
    Cody Norman (MFA 3D Design 2020) and IM Weiss Gallery Director Isabelle Weiss will be in discussion on the closing date of RE:ANIMATION, which features new works from Norman using his signature recycled plastic.
  • Saturday, September 2: Matterfruit Workshop – Felting with Sophie Yan
    Sophie Yan (MFA 3D Design 2017) leads a workshop on felting at the Carhartt Workshop!
  • Thursday, September 7: The House that Robot Built – Citizen Robotics
    Fernando Bales (MArch Architecture 2013) is the build lab manager at Citizen Robotics, who is hosting a tour of Michigan’s first 3D-printed home.
  • Friday, September 8: THE PRELUDE Opening Reception hosted by The Congregation Detroit.
    The Prelude introduces NOVA24 with an interior experimental filmmaking space and outdoor photography exhibit. Participants include Ian J Solomon (Photography 2024) and Tryst Red (MFA Photography 2023).
  • Saturday, September 9: Opening Reception for Mending the Net: Fiber Club* Detroit Inaugural Members’ Exhibition
    Mending the Net will feature the work of a diverse cross-section of over 50 fiber artists in the Detroit metro area. Multiple alumni are participating in the show including Andrew “AndyT” Thompson (MFA Sculpture 2006), Ardele Monk (MFA Fiber 2023), Dot Jackson (MFA Fiber 2023), Eleanor Anderson (MFA Fiber 2022), Jennifer Lindemer (MFA Fiber 2019), Katie Mongoven (Fiber 2024), Kelly Agius (MFA Sculpture 2022), Kira Keck (MFA Fiber 2022), Lynn Bennett-Carpenter (MFA Fiber 2003), Megan Heeres (MFA Fiber 2009), Meli Bandera (MFA Fiber 2024), Melissa Webb (MFA Fiber 2021), Nicole Pyles (MFA Fiber 2018), Rachel Wittels (MFA Fiber 2023), Zena Segre (MFA Fiber 2023). Mending the Net is curated by Melissa Webb (MFA Fiber 2021) and Kit Parks. See the event listing for more dates and events related to the exhibition.
  • Saturday, September 9: Robot High Five!
    Fernando Bales (MArch Architecture 2013) is the build lab manager at Citizen Robotics, who is hosting this event where visitors will engage with the team and discover how they transform design dreams into reality through 3D printing.
  • Wednesday, September 13: Tablescape Detroit
    This sensorial dining experience features a collaboration between renowned four-time James Beard nominated restaurant Marrow, multi-disciplinary artist-designer Elizabeth Salonen of Mottoform, and ceramic artist Claire Thibodeau (MFA Ceramics 2022). This is a live exhibition at Marrow. It’s interactive. It’s fun. It’s collaborative. It’s a new experiential concept. They’re bringing our sculptural wares to life with food design that you will love. Exclusively crafted for this event, the ceramic tablescape and art objects aim to challenge and inspire the chefs at Marrow to curate a bespoke menu. One that harmonizes with each distinct vessel. This event will be an immersion in craft, design, and flavor. Ticket holders will be entered into a draw to win a handmade ceramic vessel signed by the artists.
  • Friday, September 15: Open Studios at Custer Studios
    Several Academy alumni have studios at Custer, including Sarah Wondrack (MFA Fiber 2019), END Studio owner Elise DeChard (MArch Architecture 2017), END Studio Lead Interior Designer Sophie Yan (3D Design 2017), Simon Anton (MFA 3D Design 2020), Meredith Walker (MFA Fiber 2019).
  • Saturday, September 16: Open Studios at Grand on River
    Among other artists, Academy alum Nicholas Tilma (MFA 3D Design 2023) has a studio at Grand on River.
  • Saturday, September 16: Encounter Opening Reception
    Two-person exhibition with Korean artists Nina Cho (MFA 3D Design 2015) and Minji Namkoong. The exhibition will be on view through October 14, 2023, on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Saturday, September 23: Plastics Workshop with Simon Anton
    Simon Anton (MFA 3D Design 2020) leads a workshop in plastics at the Carhartt Workshop!
  • Tuesday, September 26: NEWLAB X Michigan Central: The Art of Innovation
    Newlab x Michigan Central are opening their doors to the community for a showcase of Innovation, Technology, and Art. Attendees will view original artwork from local artists as well as prototypes from their member companies throughout the historic Book Depository building and the new Bagley Mobility Hub. Caroline del Guidice (MFA Sculpture 2020) is the Art and Product Realization Manager,  Steven Kuypers (4D Design 2021) is the Director of Product Realization, and Sophia Wojnovich (MFA 3D Design 2021) is the Product Realization Manager at Newlab which officially opened this past spring. Incoming student Jacob Dombrowski (4D Design 2025) is also participating.