DC3 engaged The Work Department, a women-led social innovation design firm comprised of Detroit-based architects, designers, curators, and other creative professionals, to curate the exhibition for Saint-Étienne. The result is “Footwork: The Choreography of Collaboration”—a vision of collaborative design and innovation featuring the work of more than 60 individuals, collectives, and corporations, on the topic of evolving work practices.
“The show we’re presenting feeds into a global conversation about the way people work and the future of work,” says Work Department partner Nina Bianchi.
Though obviously a widely relevant topic in an age of automation, issues of the evolving workplace have particular resonance in ex-industrial cities, such as Detroit and Saint-Étienne—both of which are leveraging design as a gateway to renewed economic and cultural cohesion in a post-manufacturing era.
“One of the things that we struggled with as a curatorial team,” says Bianchi, “was how do we represent the two extremes of what is happening at a grassroots artistic level in the city, and supporting the larger design-based businesses that wanted to be involved?”