African-American women are propelling Detroit’s architecture and interior design scenes | News


In August, Archinect explored a variety of topics related to the changing landscape of the city of Detroit, including new initiatives in design and public order, academics, and architectural practice.

Towards the end of the month, we will focus on architects, designers, urban planners and community-centric programs in Detroit who have worked together to enrich the neighborhoods and develop stronger examples of justice in the area.

According to Erica Snow of Business of Home, a 2018 report by Design Core Detroit indicates the nature of Detroit’s growth. “Design flourishes in the Motor City [..] Architecture and interior design for the city’s metropolitan area were $ 489.6 million and $ 148.6 million, respectively, and the overall design industry grew 15 percent between 2012 and 2016. ”

That kind of growth and focus on design has made Detroit a must-see city. The area has a vibrant past and a bright future thanks to dedicated personalities such as urban planner Clarinda Barnett-Harrison and designer Tiffany Cobb who make up the Rivet Design Collective, a collective that reflects the city in which they practice. Barnett-Harrison told Business of Home, “Detroit’s rapid growth has sometimes failed to reflect the diversity of the city.”

Top row: Clarinda Barnett-Harrison and Tiffany Cobb. Bottom row: Chandra Moore, Loretta Crenshaw, Heanin Haith and Danae Hoerauf. Image courtesy of Rivet Design Collective, Brandy Baker / The Detroit News, Danae Hoerauf, and Michigan Municipal League

“Tiffany and I debunk the notion that these professionals are not available,” added Barnett-Harrison. “We can really shed some light on people who have been here and done the job and can be part of the redesign of the city of Detroit.” The two are joined by the talents of architect Chandra Moore, director of COG Studio, Loretta Crenshaw, director of Crenshaw & Associates, Jeanine Haith, director of Show House Interiors, and multidisciplinary designer Danae Hoerauf as some of the thriving color designers in the Detroit scene.

In September, the city lays the groundwork for Detroit Month of Design, a citywide celebration that showcases the work of designers, educational institutions, and emerging businesses in Detroit. An exciting time for the city. Architectural firms such as VolumeOne and Neumann / Smith Architecture will participate in exhibitions and installations during the event. The Rivet Design Collective is also hosting a panel discussion entitled “Multicultural Design in an Emerging City”. The designer Jeanine Haith shares: “There are voices and faces in color in design. There are opportunities out here to influence the rebirth of Detroit.”


Dusty Kennedy