A $300,000 grant from the Hudson-Webber Foundation will support Lawrence Technological University’s new Detroit Center for Design and Technology (DCDT), which will include the new Design Incubator.
Lawrence Tech (LTU) is the anchor tenant for a 30,000-square-foot three-story commercial building developed by Midtown Detroit Inc. at the corner of Woodward and Willis, which is scheduled for completion this summer. Several existing LTU student programs in Detroit will be consolidated in the new educational facility of approximately 6,700 square feet that can expand to 12,000 square feet.
“Attracting and retaining young talent in Detroit is critical to the success of this region,” said David Egner, president and CEO of Hudson-Webber Foundation. “The Detroit Center for Design and Technology represents a great opportunity for LTU students to tap into the energy in the city and build networks that will help them stay and thrive after they graduate.”
Within LTU’s Detroit Center for Design and Technology, 1,200 square feet will be dedicated to the Design Incubator, which will educate young, creative talent and foster innovation, design thinking, and the commercialization of art and design ideas through active coaching and collaboration with industry professionals, in addition to providing access to state-of-the-art technology.
“The Detroit Center for Design and Technology and the Design Incubator are well-positioned to be a dynamic catalyst for attracting and developing top young talent and growing Detroit’s economy,” said LTU Professor Amy Deines, executive director for DCDT and associate dean of LTU’s College of Architecture and Design. “The fusion of budding creative talent with the experience of seasoned professionals should spark the next wave of energetic, committed urban entrepreneurs in Detroit.”
Located between the academic studio space and the office space of on-site partners, the Design Incubator will provide a dynamic co-working and collaboration space for students, faculty, designers and professionals, as well as community innovators and entrepreneurs, to creatively work and engage in facilitating new connections and ideas, as well as forming business and service opportunities.
“The galvanizing effect of co-locating academic and incubator programs, along with on-site partner relationships, will help DCDT and the Design Incubator make a positive community and economic impact,” Deines said.
This university-based co-working space is equipped with the latest technology and resources from LTU and its alliance partners. In addition to free access to Wi-Fi, students will have access to the professional expertise of faculty and designers, computers and software, and prototyping equipment and services.
“In addition to educating young people who want to make a difference in Detroit’s urban core, DCDT will facilitate new connections and accelerate commercialization of new ideas,” Deines said. “DCDT will help attract, establish, and grow the population and business density necessary for sustained urban economic development in the Midtown area.”
The Hudson-Webber Foundation funding will help programs managed by the DCDT and the Design Incubator to achieve a level of self-sustainability over a three-year period. These are facilities, technologies and programs that are not supported by academic tuition or direct university support.
“The addition of DCDT to the existing educational and entrepreneurial assets in the Woodward corridor will strengthen what is already a dynamic environment for learning, creating, and collaborating,” Egner added.
The Hudson-Webber Foundation was established in 1943 with major contributions from Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Webber, other members of the Webber family, and The J.L. Hudson Company. The Foundation currently has assets of approximately $170 million and concentrates its efforts and resources in the City of Detroit with a focus on greater downtown Detroit. The mission areas of the Foundation include support of physical revitalization, economic development, arts and safety.