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Design Superstar David Stark + Culture Lab Detroit

Celebrity event designer and lifestyle expert David Stark is designing the first ever pop-up shop for Culture Lab Detroit, which is an organization that fosters conversations and collaborations between Detroit and the international design community.


Tell us about what you’re doing with Culture Lab Detroit
For my third year participating in Culture Lab Detroit’s programming, it is a great honor to collaborate with CLD on its very first pop-up shop, which will live at local design store Nora and online. It has been great fun to conceive of a retail happening that is in direct conversation with Culture Lab Detroit’s recent exploration of ‘green spaces.’  Our store-in-store structure will house products from designers that I have great respect for, all relating to the land, which is truly exciting. For the store design, we’re building the pop-up space using straw bales from local Detroit farms, which will be returned to them afterwards, and incorporating metallic accents throughout the space.


How did you become involved with this project?
In Culture Lab Detroit’s very first year, I was  invited by founder Jane Schulak to participate in the CLD conversation and lecture series at the College for Creative Studies. In addition, I had the honor of designing a salon dinner for a fascinating group of creative minds from the Detroit area and beyond.  I was also able to spend some time with the talented students at the College for Creative Studies. Seeing all of their potential and passion was extremely inspiring. I have been hooked and a huge supporter of Culture Lab Detroit ever since.


Tells us about the piece you designed with Detroit ceramicist Victoria Ashley Shaheen and the vision behind it.
For my Culture Lab Design Shop product, I was paired with Detroit ceramicist Victoria Ashley Shaheen. Together, we created glazed, ceramic flower rests in various dimensions, paired with elegant, glass cylinders in a range of sizes. The pierced array of holes create flexibility for creatively arranged floral displays that can be more simplistic or lush and full – and they really help to demystify flower arranging.  The rests put the structure that florists (including myself) have historically hidden out front as an elegant, chic feature. Whenever I have the opportunity to design product, I like to create things that I want to own personally. I had the chance to use our flower rests for the first time as centerpieces at the Culture Lab Design celebratory dinner we hosted. Seeing them in action was really satisfying!


What are your thoughts on the public’s renewed curiosity of Detroit as an “art capital?”
There is so much happening there and the curiosity is well-deserved! You can look around and see all kinds of art emerging in unexpected places – sculpture parks popping up in abandoned lots, found objects turned into something beautiful. There are so many new businesses sprouting up everywhere – restaurants, stores, art spaces – and all bustling with creativity and optimism. It’s such an exciting time for the city and it’s continuing to draw creative minds from all over the world – everyone wants to be a part of it, and I am so fortunate that I have been able to through Culture Lab Detroit.


“Collaborating on the Culture Lab Design pop-up shop with David Stark and Nora Detroit has been incredibly rewarding on all levels.  The shop and our products are the first physical manifestations of Culture Lab Detroit’s goals. By inviting international designers to partner with local artists and businesses, we have truly harnessed the power of design to make business happen.” Culture Lab Detroit founder, Jane Schulak.


For more information on Culture Lab Detroit, click here.