Cleveland: The District of Design

I’ve been hearing a lot about Cleveland’s “District of Design” and I’m not quite sure what to think of it yet so I’m posting a link to the project web-site

Considering I’m highly interested in design and the impact it has on our lives, I’d like to do a lot more research into what the plans for this District of Design are and how those plans are to be implemented. The buzzwords are that the project when completed will make Cleveland a “Milan of the Midwest”. I have some concerns, apparently the project is relying on regional expertise, and while I believe this is essential, I’m not so sure that our regional brands are exactly the forefront of cutting edge design. While Hoover, Little Tikes and Rubbermaid do make some great products when I think of those names I certainly don’t think..”Oooh…stylish. So Milan” The web-site also says that “The climate for design has never been better, consumers are paying for better design and companies have begun to respond. ….. while retailers like Target and Lowes have integrated design into their business strategy ” I’d love to see what figures they have to back that up for Cleveland. While I agree, there is a growing national consumer trend, I’m not so sure how willing your average Clevelander is really willing to pay for it. (I mean imagine if Target didn’t have those great prices!)

I like the concept of “The Marketplace” which will open up some of this design district to consumers. I’m not so sure about the “periodic” way in which these showrooms will be open, nor their central focus on consumer products versus design and architecture. I’d rather see the district do more to fuse what I consider the more artistic aspects of design with consumerism.

Note: Looking back over what I wrote yesterday (See what happens when you post in the middle of the night), I feel that I may have put more of a negative tone than I wanted to on this. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of a District of Design, and really just wanted to play a little Devil’s Advocate I guess. I think above all I’m curious to see how this will work out, and interested in finding out more.

3 Responses

  1. Dan Cuffaro, one of the organizers of the project, is talking about it at Notacon this year.

  2. […] Cleveland: The District of Design « Art Addict Bookmark to: Posted in, Design | […]

  3. I attended the forum at Levin/CSU last month, and they say their next step is to get a core group of designers interested. I did not get the impression their efforts were Cleveland based, but ‘other State based.’ They include, btw, design to mean more than the typical manufacturers we think of. I did a blog on it too btw lol. Anyway, medical splints, architects, Insitute of Art design peeps, and everything that falls in the middle of the spectrum.

    I personally hope it works. The reference to Milan was not to be trendy and fashion oriented, that would be reinventing the wheel for no good reason.

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