Archive for June, 2012

Creative Class Revisited

June 28, 2012

Richard Florida is out with his new book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited’ reports Jeff Finkle at IEDC.

Jeff says it has been ten years since Florida’s first book on the Creative Class was published, when he spoke at IEDC’s conference. He will be joining the IEDC again in Houston this year. There is a good article on Richard Florida at

The gist is that Detroit is drawing on a long legacy of creativity and innovation that’s a part of the city’s very DNA, from the industrialist Henry Ford to the architects and designers Albert Kahn, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Minoru Yamasaki.

And then there is Detroit’s incredible line of musical innovators. The blues’ John Lee Hooker moved to the city in the 1940s. The legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd grew up in Detroit and of course there was Berry Gordy’s Motown, which brought such artists as Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, The Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson, among many others, to national prominence. And it doesn’t end there. Detroit’s influence on rock ‘n’ roll goes back to the 1960s, with Mitch Ryder, the MC5, Iggy Pop, The Amboy Dukes, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice Cooper, Marshall Crenshaw, Glenn Frey, Bob Seeger and Kid Rock, not to mention hip hop’s Eminem, Insane Clown Posse and the late J Dilla. In recent years, the White Stripes and Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson of Detroit Electronic Music Festival fame have kept the city in the forefront of popular music.

Florida is basically proposing that Detroit can tap its creative roots as part of its adjustment away from the automotive and engineering industry. Indeed, the Chinese aren’t likely to be a threat in western music.