In Detroit for the very first time August 12-14, DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation FIghting Aids www.diffa.org) invites local designers to design dining table vignettes as part of their big nationwide fundraiser. The first big event to be hosted at the top floor of the new Taubman Center at the Center for Creative Studies, The Heritage Co.2 and Richard Gage Design Studio took the opportunity to showcase current work Rick is doing for the revamped museum store at the Detroit Science Center and the material I continue to mine from Detroit's rich industrial heritage and offer for sale and rent at my store.
Our table featured wood foundry molds (which will be part of two sculptural front entrances for the remodeled store), steel factory table from a now defunct Detroit tubing fabrication shop, Detroit Public Works stencil "A beautiful Detroit begins with you" c. 1950, "Joe the Tinner" commercial advertisement from a sheet metal fabricator that had been on Grand Blvd in the 1940's, assortment of letters reclaimed from local commercial signage, vintage theater spot lights on surveyors stands, vintage lunch boxes.
Not done until it's over done, I stubbornly insisted on creating a "costume" to go with our installation. Much as I imagine all of those clothing designers do before a big runway event, I feverishly spent 2 hours before the opening event decorating my sister Alyssa's destroyed 1970's Levis with reclaimed workmen's badges I have in droves at the store. To think of all the talented designers and artists who have lost their lives to AIDS, it seems only fitting that at the ninth hour I should become a slave to fashion as well.