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Brand Labs
Brand Labs
Some of the most innovative work done in Southeast Michigan comes from a large, renowned field of top-notch designers, including cool furniture makers in Royal Oak, cutting edge fashion labels in Detroit, and a much-sought-after tile-works in Ann Arbor. And don't forget the gleaming cars that come from the creative minds all over metro Detroit.

Design Features

Maker Faire at five: The community it's forged and the future it needs

This weekend marks the fifth summer The Henry Ford has produced Maker Faire, showcasing local inventors, innovators, artists and creatives to tens of thousands of metro Detroiters. Metromode chats with a trio of makers who've been involved since the beginning about why the fair is important to them and what it needs to continue.

COOL JOBS: Zack Green - Guitar Maker Extraordinaire

When your client list includes Kid Rock, Meshell Ndegeocello, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, and The Cure's Reeves Gabrels, you know you're one of a kind. There is nothing luthier Zack Scot Green loves more in the world than a guitar, which is probably why working at internationally renowned Reverend Guitars is more than a job, it's a calling.

The Secret Life of Planterra

When it comes to buying plants you can be forgiven if florists and highway greenhouses are the first thing to come to mind. But let us open your mind (and eyes) to an entirely different level of horticultural design. Let us cultivate in you an appreciation for the entrepreneurial ambitions of Planterra, a West Bloomfield company that brings new meaning to organic design.

One Foot in Farmington Hills, the Other, Everywhere Else

In 30 short years Scott Brills has visited 70 countries, launched a website development firm, raised funds for international charities, and is now launching a safari company. And he's doing it all from his home base in Farmington Hills. Still think you lead a busy life?

Made in Michigan: Modernism

Michigan is home to an impressive list of inventions and innovations, but few would give a shout out to Modern design. Cranbrook, the state's Historic Preservation Office, and Preserve America would like to change that. This week launches an effort to raise awareness about the Mitten's profound contributions to American Modernism.
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Design Blogs

Mark Nickita

Ideally Detroit's buildings should be as changeable as a set of Legos; the reality is a bit different. Architect Mark Nickita, co-founder of Archive Design Studio, returns to write about the repositioning of under-producing properties and why cities are best seen on foot.

Nick Britsky

There is a method behind the madness associated with creations like a Red Green Robot or a Cupcake Electric Vehicle, we promise. Their inventor, i3 Detroit hackerspace co-founder Nick Britsky, is here to talk this week about his community toolbox, the Maker Movement, and the state of DIY.

Norm Silk

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." –Anais Nin. Take it from Norm Silk, owner of Blossoms florist, who discusses the growth and challenges (the Iceland volcano) of the floral industry. Then follow his rehab of Detroit's only Frank Lloyd Wright property, and progress report on the Woodward Avenue Action Association's work on 6 to 8 Mile's commercial strip.

Charlie Wollborg

Metro Detroit recently got its own version of the venerable Chautauqua gathering of thinkers with the inaugural TEDx Detroit intellectual and creative conference. This week, TEDx organizer and ad man Charlie Wollborg, founder of Curve Detroit Advertising, Marketing & Design, presents another Chautauqua of the mind with his collection of videos aimed at refilling Michigan's economic fountain of ideas.

Michael Poris

From a master plan for North Corktown to designing public spaces for the Michigan Opera, Michael Poris, has his hand all over downtown Detroit. A principal of architectural firm McIntosh Poris Associates, Michael continues to offer up solutions for the city's revival. Key points: Down with demolition and a call for an economic development czar.
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Design Videos

A Life Reconstructed

In a warehouse off 9 Mile Road in River Rouge, Brian DuBois has decided to leave behind the world of architecture and construction and launch 2:37am studios, a furniture design firm that constructs products to last. Oh, and he likes to breakdance.

Can You say "Pecha Kucha"?

From Istanbul to Indianapolis, Dresden to Detroit, Pecha Kucha is spreading. No, it's not a fungus. It's Show n' Tell for smart people. Designers, artists, architects, filmmakers and all species of creatives get roughly 7 minutes and 20 slides to strut their stuff. Innovation is a must. Mileage may vary.

College For Creative Studies

For nearly 100 years the College for Creative Studies has influenced the world of design. From automobiles and advertising to fine art and film, its students represent the creative class professionals Michigan needs to transform its economy and communities.

RTT, USA

The virtual world is their oyster. Royal Oak's RTT, USA has turned its virtual prototyping technology into a must-use strategy for companies developing new products. It can then use that same technology to virtually market the product to an endless Internet audience. Cool.

Laptop Design

Think of them as high-tech tattoos. Dearborn's Laptop Design customizes your computer to express your brand, identity or fetish. From company logos to famous works of art to personal photographs, they can transform your laptop or keyboard into the ultimate fashion statement.
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