Architecture Walk & Experience Design Tour


Join the Michigan User Experience Professionals Association on September 6th for its contribution to Detroit Month of Design, a citywide celebration of Detroit’s role as a national and global design capital. Our independent happening connects architecture and design in the built environment with digital spaces.

We will explore places made of atoms and discuss how to design places made of bits.

The event is a half-day workshop that helps participants learn from more than a century of design inventions (in the form of buildings and urban planning) and event design (such as theatrical performances) in downtown Detroit.

Participants will study the evidence of what people built and ask questions about why they did what they did. Participants can also get behind-the-scenes looks at stage design, lighting, costumes, and other aspects of theater design.

Dan Klyn One group of participants will go on a 2.5-hour walking tour of downtown Detroit, led by Dan Klyn, an information architect whose research focus is applying built-environment architecture theory and practice to what we do in digital.

Dan will take participants by buildings and explain their history and relevance. The group will stop in a few buildings to see the interior architecture. Along the way, Dan will mention aspects of architectural thinking from the built environment that could be utilized in the design of places made of information.

A second group will go on a tour of the Detroit Opera House to learn its history, meet the people behind the scenes, visit the stage, and see how it operates. During the tour, the group will discuss how lighting, costumes, and other aspects of the theater are designed to create an experience for the attendees of performances, and how this is the same or different from other types of experience design.

DOH architecture

The workshop will end with both groups coming together for a directed discussion to reflect on applying some of the observations and conversations from the walk and tour to the design work that they are engaged in daily.

For user experience (UX), information architecture, and interaction design professionals, the workshop will help participants connect the built environment to the world of software, apps, and websites they work in. For people experienced at designing built environments and producing in-person events, their interactions with UX experts will help them see some of the opportunities and challenges in the convergence of physical and digital spaces.

Draft ScheduleBrick Sidewalk with Directions

  • 11:30am: Attendees gather at the Detroit Opera House’s Cadillac Cafe for lunch, to meet each other, and get an introduction to the event
  • 12:30pm: The Architecture Walk (group 1) and Detroit Opera House Tour (group 2) begin
  • 3:00pm: Both groups gather again at the Cadillac Cafe to recap what they discovered

Individual tickets went on sale starting on August 1st: $40 with discounts for AIA Detroit and UXPA members. See our Eventbrite registration page for details.


Organizations are needed to sponsor the event! Sponsors will get free tickets and be recognized before, during, and after the event in marketing material. Show your support of MiUXPA, Detroit Month of Design, and the user experience community in the region.

See our Call for Sponsors for details on the various packages.

Sponsors can pay by credit card at our Eventbrite registration page or contact us at to request an invoice or to use PayPal.

OrganizerMichigan UXPA Logo

MiUXPA is the Michigan chapter of the international User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). UXPA, with members in more than 60 countries, supports people who research, design, and evaluate the user experience of products and services.

Host Partnermotlogo

Michigan Opera Theatre is the premier multi-disciplined producer and presenter for opera, musical theatre, and dance in the Great Lakes Region. Based in the city of Detroit, the organization engages artists of national and international stature for stellar main stage and outreach performances, and provides compelling cultural enrichment programs for the diverse audiences and communities that it serves, making it one of Detroit’s pillars of arts and culture.

Marketing Partnersaiadetroitlogo

AIA Detroit, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is the most prominent voice for the profession of architecture in the Detroit metropolitan area. AIA Detroit seeks to improve the practice of architecture and the quality of the built environment.

Michigan CHI, the local ACM SIGCHI chapter, has a scope that includes the assessment, design, evaluation, and implementation of computing technology to facilitate work, education, entertainment, and social interaction.

Detroit UX, an active, local meetup groupdetroitux-logo founded in 2013, is focused on helping members make connections and creating opportunities to learn more about UX.

Detroit Month of Design Organizerdesigncoredetroitlogo

Design Core Detroit champions design-driven businesses and their role in strengthening Detroit’s economy.


Dexterity User Experience


Book Give-aways

GiveawaysThanks to the following companies and individuals for donating books for us to give away to attendees:

We also have a copy of AIA’s Guide to Detroit Architecture and bookmarks from WSU Press.