With the legendary Cranbrook Academy of Art – the Saarinens, Charles and Ray Eames, and Florence Knoll are just a few of its prominent design alumni – a mere 30-minute drive away from Detroit, it’s no wonder that Jane Schulak founded Culture Lab Detroit  – the organisation whose goal is ’to foster conversations between Detroit and the international design community’, she explains.

’We do this in a variety of ways,’ Schulak says. ’Public discussions, exhibitions, public art projects, and creative partnerships.’ This year, the fall programming for Culture Lab Detroit focuses on green space. Starting 9 September, the Lab brought an impressive roster of names to Motor City to continue to engage the public. On 10 September, Alice Waters, Will Allen and Patrick Blanc  participated in a discussion moderated by Stephen Henderson titled ’Greening the City: The Politics and Possibilities of Green Space’. Today, Reed Kroloff will moderate a talk between Walter Hood and Sou Fujimoto titled ’Architecture and Nature: Designing for Today’s Urban Landscape’. Finally, Fujimoto will be honoured with a cocktail party and dinner at the city’s lauded Selden Standard restaurant.

’While experience, interests, and methodologies of our brilliant participants vary, at the core of each dialogue and program we foster through Culture Lab is the belief that art and design can be agents of positive change,’ says Schulak. ’How we’re thinking about and approaching our green spaces in Detroit, and internationally, is a significant, and necessary piece of this larger conversation.’