International outreach: Montréal and Detroit share best practices

June 27, 2017

From June 18 to 20, the Bureau du design hosted a delegation from the City of Detroit—which was recently named a UNESCO City of Design—to share best practices. Representatives from the urban planning and economic development departments of the Ville de Détroit  traveled to Montréal along with stakeholders from the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, the College for Creative Studies and the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), an organization that supports creative industries and seeks to acquire Montréal’s license for the Commerce Design awards to take up the original concept. 

To demonstrate the impact of design on businesses and the vitality and vibrancy of commercial streets and communities, we met with shop owners and designers who have been recognized for their design efforts to hear what they had to say and understand the extent of the impact of design from the kitchen to the street. Our guests were won over!

For its part, the Bureau du design will draw on DC3's experience who launched a yearlong planning process to build a 10-year vision for Detroit’s designation as a UNESCO City of Design that will include principles for the initiative, an economic development strategy, a communications strategy and a declaration of design principles for Detroit. This project is expected to be completed by December 2017.

Meetings with business owners/designers: 

Boulangerie Guillaume (L. McComber)
Boulangerie Hof Kelsten (Atelier Zébulon Perron)
Restaurant Impasto (Atelier Zébulon Perron)
Restaurant Manitoba (La Firme design et construction)
Restaurant Le Parvis and Bar Furco ( Atelier Zébulon Perron)
Salon Privé par David D’Amours (BlazysGérard)
Café Crew (Henri Cleinge ARCHITECTE)

Quick visits  

Boutique Cahier d’Exercices (Saucier + Perrotte Architectes)
Boutique Harricana par Mariouche (Mariouche Gagné)

Delegation from Detroit :

Olga Stella, Executive Director, DC3
Ellie Schneider, Director, Advocacy and Operations, DC3
Bonnie Fahoome, Director, Business Programs, DC3
Charlie Klecha, Project Manager, DC3
Janet L. Attaria, City of Detroit Planning and Developement Department
Kimberly Driggins, City of Detroit Planning and Developement Department
Rick Rogers, President, College for Creative Studies
Mike Rafferty, Vice President, Small Business, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

From Montréal 

Véronique Doucet, Directrice, Service du développement économique
Marie-Josée Lacroix, Commissaire au design, chef d’équipe, Bureau du design
Sylvie Champeau, Conseillère en analyse et contrôle de gestion, Service du développement économique
Nancy Dunton, consultant, architecture guide


''... thank you all once again for spending time with us in Montreal to explore the relationship between design and local commerce. A special thank to Marie-Josee, Sylvie and Nancy for hosting us and curating an impressive line-up projects that demonstrated the value that design brings to local businesses and the community at large.''

Ellie Scheneider, Director, Advocacy and Operations, Detroit Creative Corridor Center

''A big thanks... for all the work and time you put into making this such a great learning experience for all.  I think I speak for everyone when I say, the trip was fruitful not only in what we were able to witness and learn in Montreal, but also for the time we were able to spend together outside the city and the commitments we made to each to continue moving this work forward here in Detroit. I'm looking forward to next steps on Commerce Design in Detroit, as well as our made in Detroit product catalog.''

Bonnie Fahoome, Director, Business Programs,Detroit Creative Corridor Center

''What impressed me most about the Commerce Design competition is that it is not a “wow” competition. It is really about celebrating the right design solution for the right space and awards businesses that embrace and cater to their local clientele.''

Charlie Klecha, Project Manager, Commerce Design: Detroit, DC3

''I was struck with how deeply the community understands and appreciates the value of design here. Clearly this has taken many years to develop, but there are a number of ways we can work to cultivate that sentiment in Detroit. Montreal presented a number of compelling examples of how to make that idea tangible.''

Richard Rogers, President, College for Creative Studies

''Design is not just about the facade. At the end of the day, it’s about uplifting local identity through brick and mortar spaces, and the entire neighborhoods benefits when someone makes that investment. I’m committed to help our community understand the value proposition that design brings to every aspect of business, and I’m thinking about how we can better leverage existing programs in Detroit to help small businesses do so.''

Mike Rafferty, Vice President, Small Business, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

''Good design is really a matter of context. The examples we saw in Montreal were compelling primarily because of their awareness and relation to the local context, taking into account the character of the building, neighborhood, and residents that would patronize the business.''

Janet Attarian, Deputy Director, Detroit Planning & Development Department

''It was powerful to hear about design from the perspective of the business owners, how it helped them to further their objectives. Each business owner spoke fluently about the value and impact of design. It was clear how important the match is between designer and business owner in order to maximize the outcome.''

Kimberly Driggins, Director of Strategic Planning/Arts & Culture, Detroit Planning & Development Department