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Design Core Detroit outlines inclusive design action plan for city

Students at work inside CCS's A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education

One of the topics discussed in a recent Q&A we did with Olga Stella, executive director of Design Core Detroit (DCD), was her organization's soon to be released action plan. The goal of the plan, she said, would be to outline how Detroit can drive growth through the practice of inclusive design.

"If you can do that," Stella said, "not only will it have a positive impact on the city, but it will also bring to the forefront something of global relevance."

That action plan was released this week. And while the 75-page plan makes many recommendations, it's evident that inclusive design is at the forefront of its efforts. According to DCD, "inclusive design takes into consideration the spectrum of human diversity and the individual experiences of each person to create solutions who have a broader social impact."

Since being named an UNESCO "City of Design," DCD has shepherded Detroit's efforts to build on that significance of that designation. Two other focus areas include attracting talent that's representative of the city and investing to advance design-driven initiatives. 

The report engaged over 1,000 stakeholders and analyzed Detroit's design ecosystem, identifying the number of jobs and salaries for employees in various industries, which sectors have the greatest potential for job growth, the city's advantages and disadvantages, and more. 

Lastly, DCD outlined its vision for inclusive growth, which included such recommendations as providing training for people of all skill levels and creating an Inclusive Design Certification program that educates designers in culturally competent design practices.

Read more articles by Aaron Mondry.

Aaron Mondry is the managing editor of Model D and a Detroit-based freelance writer. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @AaronMondry.
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