Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Talk about changing perceptions: Cleveland's District of Design
Forty years ago, the Cuyahoga River that cuts through the heart of Cleveland caught on fire for the thirteenth time. Yesterday, I mentioned to a coworker that Mrs. bluegill and I might be headed that direction soon to visit friends. Less than impressed, my coworker only curtailed her explanation of how awful Cleveland is when I explained that she actually knew the friends we're going to visit. "Well," she said, "if you're going to see them."
Dates and plans are yet to be finalized but we will, in fact, be going to see them. Lots of them. Despite Cleveland's decades-long reputation for nastiness, somebody was smart enough to recognize its assets AND to formally announce a collaborative plan to capitalize on them in an effort to attract like-minded people.
We are those people.
The high-level objective of the District of Design Project is to define Cleveland as the product design capital of the US…the Milan of the Midwest.
Fostering a culture that values design and innovation is critical to this project and three key elements are critical to this effort: 1) creating a definable heart to the design community, 2) improving our ability to manage the creative process, and 3) raising awareness.
The District of Design takes the first step in fostering a design culture. The district is a concentrated area of Downtown Cleveland that is comprised of wholesale consumer product showrooms, design studios and the infrastructure to support world-class design and product development.
Northeast Ohio possesses many of the key ingredients to be a leader in design and innovation. By fostering a design culture, drawing on regional assets and capitalizing on the increasing design awareness, the region can position itself as a long-term leader in design and innovation. This emphasis will result in top-line revenue growth that will strengthen the regional economy.
So, regardless of how far along they actually are in realizing their vision, sometime in the near future we'll be spending time and money in the blocks above looking to find not only innovative design or redevelopment strategies to steal but little bits of ourselves as well. It's almost as if we want to identify with something and they know it.
Agreed upon message : Identified target : Intended result : Shazam.