May 4, 2017

Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program – Detroit


See testimonials from CKLDP Detroit Scholars, Alumni, Co-Chairs, & Co-Founders Here.

See the Recording of the 2020 Info Session + Q&A Here

For the second time, AIA Detroit is accepting applications for the Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program from potential scholars located all over the state of Michigan! All applications and supporting documents are due no later than 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 7th. Please see the 2020 CKLDP Info Packet for a full description of the application requirements. Interested Candidates are encouraged to reach out to the Program Committee at with any questions.

Dates & Deadlines:

  • June 1, 2020: The Call for Applications for the 2020-2021 Cohort
  • June 17, 2020: Virtual Info Session + Live Q&A
  • July 7, 2020: Application & Supporting Documents Deadline (APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED)
  • July 31, 2020: Notification of Acceptance into the Program

To begin the application process, please complete the following steps:

  1. Thoroughly review the full application requirements in the 2020 CKLDP Info Packet
  2. Solicit or draft a Letter of Interest
  3. Solicit 1-3 Letters of Recommendation
  4. Review and update a current Resume, focusing on relevant qualifications like volunteer activity, organizational involvement, and prior leadership opportunities.
  5. Complete, with your employer, the Memorandum of Understanding, affirming your commitment to the program, should you be selected to participate.
  6. Complete the online application form, including written essay responses, and upload the above supporting documents at the end of the of the application form.


The year-long program will consist of nine (separate) half-day sessions attended by a group of 16 emerging professionals from across the state of Michigan, selected by our hand-picked jury. The curriculum focuses on core skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management, the art of negotiation, bringing in new clients, community leadership, industry culture, and developing one’s future within the practice. The program participants are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions.


Sponsorship Opportunities for the 2020-2021 program are now available for both Benefactor (Annual) and individual Session Sponsorships.  The Program Committee is also for potential speakers.  If you are interested in speaking or providing financial support, please contact the Program Committee at




The 8 scholar-led sessions for the 2019-2020 curriculum included:


Thank you to our 2019-2020 CKLDP Benefactor Sponsors!

Thank you to our 2019-2020 CKLDP Session Sponsors!

Thank you to our 2019-2020 CKLDP Session Supporters!



Kevin Bouchey, Strategic Energy Solutions

Leland Curtis, SmithGroup

Ethan Dome, HKS

Justin Fiema, SmithGroup

Bria Johnson, Hamilton Anderson Associates

Joshua Maddox, SmithGroup

Frank Majewski, SmithGroup

Nate Meade, GMB

Timothy Morris, Bedrock Detroit

Karin Neubauer, Quinn Evans Architects

Lauren Pedigo, SmithGroup

Erin Porter, Spackman Mossop Michaels

Bryan Seef, SmithGroup

Samantha Szeszulski, Stantec

Zachary VanOverbeke, Integrated Design Solutions

Margaret Whitfield, Yamasaki

The 8 scholar-led sessions for the 2018-2019 curriculum included:

The AIA Detroit CKLDP is made possible with the support of the AIA College of Fellows 2018 Component Grant for Emerging Professionals, and 2018-2019 Benefactor Sponsors Quinn Evans Architects, SmithGroup, and The Eisen Group. For more information on how to support or sponsor the program or individual sessions, please contact



The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP) was founded in 2013 by the Emerging Architects Committee as part of the AIA|DC Chapter. The program is in memory of Christopher Kelley, an employee of Gensler and an active member of the DC architectural community. Christopher was a recipient of the AIA Young Architects Award in 2010 and an exemplary, emerging young leader. Since its founding, the CKLDP has been established in Washington DC, Denver, Detroit, and Miami, and strives to carry forward Christopher’s legacy by actively training and nurturing the next generation of leaders within the architectural profession.

The year-long program consists of nine individual half-day sessions attended by a competitively selected group of 16 emerging professionals from in and around Detroit.  The curriculum focuses on core skills such as entrepreneurship and firm management, the art of negotiation, bringing in new clients, community leadership, industry culture, and developing one’s future within the practice.

The leadership program participants are responsible for planning and participating in each of the individual sessions. Each year, scholars from the previous year are selected to help guide the next year’s class. In this way, the program is continually evolving, allowing the scholars to learn on an ongoing basis about thoughts and ideas relevant to the architectural profession today.

Congratulations to the 16 Scholars of the 2017-2018 Cohort
who recently completed the inaugural session of the AIAD CKLDP:

The 8 scholar-led sessions for the 2017-2018 curriculum included:

For more information about The Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program, visit

April 12, 2018

Commerce Design: DETROIT

Commerce Design: Detroit is an awards program that honors and recognizes commercial projects where business owners have hired professional designers to help them in the design or renovation of their space. This program aims to increase investment and growth in Detroit’s commercial corridors, promote accessibility, and preserve local identity. Licensed from Montreal City of Design, Commerce Design will recognize projects submitted jointly by the business owner and design team, completed within the last five years within the City of Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck. Commerce Design: Detroit is presented by Design Core Detroit and AIA Detroit.


Commerce Design: Detroit celebrates the impact of commercial design projects in neighborhoods while also:

  • Increasing competitiveness of local businesses
  • Growing the market for local design professionals
  • Preserving unique local identity and culture

From Eastside to West, every neighborhood in Detroit has a commercial thoroughfare that is home to shops, restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses open to the public. These districts are veins in the heart of the city, serving as gathering places for the local community and creating memorable experiences for visitors from near and far. Design has the power to make these spaces welcoming, attractive, and unique – inside and out.

Generously supported by: Bank of America, Hudson-Webber Foundation, New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan


Don’t forget to vote in this years People’s Choice Award.  The winner will be announced at the September drinks x design.


2019 Commerce Design: Detroit Winners


(North End, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Carlo Liburdi & Ashley Davidson,
and Design Team Citizen Brand & Story Lab

View their website:







(Eastern Market, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Kyle Hoff & Alex O’Dell,
and Design Team M1DTW

View their website:







(Eastern Market, Detroit)
Submitted by owner Gary Wasserman,
and Design Team Steven C. Flum

View their website:






Detroit Denim

(Rivertown, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Eric and Brenna Lane,
and Design Team Ware Mfg

View their website:






Meta Physica

(Corktown, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Anahi Hollis, Jenaveve Biernat,
and Design Team Anahi Hollis Design

View their website:






1701 Bespoke

(Midtown, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Max Schmidt,
and Design Team Patrick Thompson Design

View their website:






Central Kitchen & Bar

(Downtown – Campus Martius, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Dennis Archer Jr.,
and Design Team Ron And Roman

View their website:






Maru Sushi & Grill

(Downtown – Campus Martius, Detroit)
Submitted by owner Robert Song,
and Design Team ROSSETTI

View their website:






Detroit is the New Black

(Downtown, Detroit)
Submitted by owner Roslyn Karamoko with interior design by Gensler,
furniture and displays designed and fabricated by Donut Shop

View their website:






Ochre Bakery

(Woodbridge, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Jessica Hicks, Daisuke Hughes,
and Design Team Et al Collaborative of Detroit Llc

View their website:








2018 Commerce Design: Detroit Winners

AIA Detroit and Design Core Detroit announced the 10 businesses selected as the winners of the first Commerce Design: Detroit Awards. The winners were selected from a highly competitive group of 37 submissions and 18 finalists, representing a broad range of businesses, scales, neighborhoods, and business types.

Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Company

(Midtown, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Jeffrey, Joshua, and Justin Moss,
and Design Team D-Met Studio

View the Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Co. Video here!



Detroit Foundation Hotel

(Downtown, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Aparium Hotel Group and 250 Larned LLC,
and Design Team McIntosh Poris Architects

View the Detroit Foundation Hotel video here!



FOLK Detroit

(Corktown, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Kiki Louya and Rohani Foulkes,
and Designer Chris Stefani of CL Stefani Co., with Jessica Janda Design, CH Architects, and Donut Shop

View the FOLK Detroit video here!



House of Pure Vin

(Merchant’s Row, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Regina Gaines, Andrea Dunbar, and Terry Mullins,
and Designer Christian Unverzagt of M1/DTW

View the House of Pure Vin video here!



Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles

(University District)
Submitted by owner Ron Bartell,
and Designers Joshua Smith of Who’s That? and Jessica Janda of Jessica Janda Design,
with Fonath Architects and Shari Gamlin

View the Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles video here!



Lumen Detroit

(Beacon Park, Detroit)
Submitted by owners DTE Energy and Lumen Detroit,
and Design Team Touloukian Touloukian Inc
with Saroki Architecture, LivingLAB, Illuminart, and Republic

View the Lumen Detroit video here!


New Order Coffee Roasters

(Brush Park, Detroit)
Submitted by owner Elizabeth Rose,
and Design Team Et al Collaborative and Unsold Studio

View the New Order video here!



Sfumato Fragrances

(Midtown, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Jane Larson and Kevin Peterson,
and Designer Paul Karas of Ware MFG

View the Sfumato video here!




(Corktown, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Philip Kafka and Chef Brad Greenhill,
and Designer Ishtiaq Rafiuddin of Undecorated

View the TAKOI video here!



The Commons

(Islandview, Detroit)
Submitted by owners Ezekiel Harris of MACC Development,
and Design Team Laavu Studio,
with Ndubisi Okoye and BohoModern

View the Commons video here!




Commerce Design has been globally recognized as an innovative and effective tool for encouraging investment in commercial corridors. A collaborative project between UNESCO Cities of Design Detroit and Montreal, the initiative is built around a competition developed by Montréal in 1995 to promote the benefits of investing in the design and working with design professionals to local merchants and restaurant owners.

May 18, 2017

Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Interest Groups:


AIA Detroit Service Network

Categories: AIA Detroit News   Membership  
Previous Entries More Entries