Detroit? Detroit!

People may still remember Detroit as a stage for Robo Cop movies, broken and abandoned houses, fallen auto industry and bankruptcy. There are many reasons why this once-magnificent city received such negative reputation. This has been giving College for Creative Studies (CCS) a hard time attracting students from outside of the region.

One of the major reasons is a downfall of automotive industry that happened about 10 years ago, which forced to close lots of factories and businesses across the city and the region. Many people left the city when they lost jobs. Ironically though, this downturn pushed the housing prices down and made it attractive to many people to consider coming to the city and the auto industry is now at its best. This made Detroit a “comeback city” and some call it a rebirth, which is in French, Renaissance. There are signs of changes, pleasant changes.

In 2016, many were surprised to hear that UNESCO designated Detroit as City of Design, which is the first and only city of design in the US. A recent Department of Labor census found that the State of Michigan (mainly due to the industry in Detroit area) has more industrial designers than any US states. Michigan is a home for big three in automobiles -GM, Ford and Chrysler, big three in system furniture — Herman Miller, Haworth and Steelcase, largest appliance manufacturer — Whirlpool, one of the largest corporate design centers — Newell, a new icon of American luxury lifestyle brand — Shinola and many more.

CCS recently added three new programs — MFA Color & Materials Design (the only color and materials design program in the US), MFA Interaction Design (Detroit already has ton of UX and UI designers) and BFA Fashion Accessories Design. These programs are already collecting strong attention from industry and students across the world. CCS Transportation Design has been one of top premier programs in the field, Entertainment Arts program (Animation, Game Design and Digital Films) is the largest and very successful program at CCS just to mention a few. Student Exhibition Opening (SEO) in May is one of the must-see event in Detroit and over 3,600 attendees were at the opening in 2016. Still, regardless of these positive changes, it has been our understanding that the location of CCS — Detroit — has the negative factor to our current and prospective students when they choose which school to attend.

In our most recent survey, though, students — both current and prospective students — picked the location as the biggest draw to CCS (besides the quality of faculty, programs and ranking so on). This certainly a great news!