As the place where the middle class was invented and where renowned designers sparked ideas that quickly spread around the world, Detroit deserves to be recognized as the city that in many ways designed the modern world.

Now, as the city seeks to define what it means to be a livable, sustainable community in the 21st century, Detroit is once again looking to design as a touchstone for its future success.

In 2015, Detroit became the first and only city in the U.S. to receive the UNESCO City of Design designation, joining 116 cities worldwide as members of the international organization’s Creative Cities Network.

To celebrate our city’s rich architectural legacy, Detroit Public Television has produced an original documentary – “Detroit Designs the World” — telling the Detroit design story and how it influenced the thinking of modern masters, nationally and globally.

The film highlights the city’s most iconic treasures — Cranbrook, the Highland Park Ford Plant, Lafayette Park, the GM Tech Center and other landmarks.

These historic and significant structures are symbolic of Detroit in many ways: as a city that was an economic powerhouse and aspires to be one again, as a community that has always nurtured bold and creative talent, and a metropolitan area where much of modern history and culture were forged.

Albert Kahn, Mies Van der Rohe, Eero and Eliel Saarinen and Minoru Yamasaki, who are among the greatest names in 20th century architecture, all worked here and left an indelible impression on the design world.

The documentary’s stunning photography captures the power and grace of their revolutionary design, and the expert commentary from some of our finest current architects, art critics and thought leaders provides insight and an appreciation of what Detroit has offered the world.

Making this remarkable documentary possible were our sponsors: Lawrence Technological University, Midwest Steel and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more on Detroit Designs the World, click here >

Stay Connected: 

Subscribe to One Detroit’s YouTube Channel & Don’t miss One Detroit Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.

Catch the daily conversations on our website, Facebook, Twitter @DPTVOneDetroit, and Instagram @One.Detroit

View Past Episodes >

Watch One Detroit every Monday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.