Detroit may be emblematic of enduring urban challenges in post-industrial America; but for a growing number of residents and cultural advocates, the city offers the chance to reinvent the very way we work and live. Out of Site, a carte blanche exhibition curated for the 10th edition of the St. Etienne International Design Biennale, brings the city’s evolving ideas and resourcefulness to the foreground. With catalytic initiatives and collective pop actions, Akoaki reveals underexposed narratives about how Detroiters are changing work paradigms through music, agriculture and pioneering cultural production. The Out of Site exhibition shares those insights with a broad international audience by bringing three original installations ‘used’ from Detroit to St. Etienne.  Along with the full scale artifacts, programming by Detroit’s top artists, performers, and urban advocates animate the installations and continue public conversation about equitable redevelopment in the city.

Out of Site, 2017

St. Etienne, France



Anya Sirota

Jean Louis Farges


In collaboration with:

Detroit Culture Council, Power House Productions, Afrotopia, ONE Mile, DAMI

Project team:

Jonathan Watkins

Sam Okolita

Patrick Ethen

Taylor Montgomery

Lindsey Karasik

Ian Donaldson

Christopher Holder



Anne-Laure Lechat


Thanks and support:

Cite du Design, St Etienne International Design Biennale, Knight Foundation, Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the Ford Foundation, Creative Many, Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, University of Michigan Office of Research, Lear Corporation, Detroit Creative Corridor Center