How can objects tell the story of a place? Join educators from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and designers from Shinola as we explore historic and contemporary design objects from Detroit. From signage to buildings to family heirlooms, objects can tell a story about our home and our community. Educators will be encouraged to share objects of their own, and learn how to teach with objects to engage students in deeper thinking and support content learning across disciplines. Along the way, they will gain familiarity with Smithsonian Learning Lab, a tool for research and curricula development.


Greg Verras is Design Director of Watches at Shinola. He has a great appreciation for objects—how, why, and where they were made, and what they can tell us about the things we make today.



Michelle Potter is Brand Art Director at Shinola. She has great reverence for objects and their ability to change our perspective on the world through their relationship to people, culture, the past, and the future.




This free program will feature a moderated panel discussion followed by an audience Q&A hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in as well. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. This program includes closed captioning. For general questions or if we can provide additional accessibility services or accommodations to support your participation, please email us at or let us know when registering.


This program is being held as part of Cooper Hewitt’s NDA Cities program, connecting National Design Award winners with communities around the country. Find out about additional virtual education programs in Detroit:

ABOUT Detroit Month of Design

This event is an official part of the Detroit Month of Design program taking place September 1-30. Programmed by Design Core, Detroit Month of Design is a citywide celebration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a UNESCO City of Design.

Special Thanks

National Design Awards Cities: Detroit is made possible with generous support from The Hirsch Family Foundation.