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Note about the Founder/President

The Metropolitan Museum of Design Detroit was established in 2015 by Founder, Detroit native, and lifelong Designer Leslie Ann Pilling. Pilling is joined by a distinguished group of people from the community to represent and guide MM-O-DD. The mutual vision is to engage and provide innovative education on an experiential platform to the public. Her experience in collaboration and extensive relationships has served MM-O-DD's existence in mobile programming and the current brick-and-mortar location. Pilling’s intention is to continue to embrace the future thru forward-thinking programming and exhibitions as an out-of-the-box museum.


Economic Impact: Showcase Designers, Engage in Design conversations for workforce development, and network talent for direct economic activation.

Social Impact: Provide safe environments for inclusive freedom of cultural conversations.

Mental Wellness Impact: Awareness of Brain Health and the Power of Creative Expression

Environment Impact: Programming with Biomimicry and Regenerative Design


American Alliance of Museums American | Association of State And Local Historical Museums | Belle Isle Aquarium | Belle Isle Conservancy | Center For Creative Studies (CCS) | Detroit Center For Design & Technology (LTU) | Detroit Design Core | Detroit Design Network | Detroit RiverFront Conservancy | Downtown Detroit Boxing Gym Youth Program | Global Ties> Detroit | GOAL Line (Community Education Committee) | Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program (U of M) | Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center (ISAIC) | Michigan Museum Association  | Michigan Science Center  | TEDX Lab (Heal.Be.Live)

DEFINITION OF SUCCESS: Past, Present, Future


  • Promote Detroit as an international destination for Design.


  • Promote the quality and quantity of Design which attracted the naming Detroit as a Unesco City of Design.


  • Be an organization with local-to-global high visibility, to serve the community as a cutting edge cultural organization.


  • Empower the public to feel ownership of MM-O-DD, as an inclusive and accessible platform.


  • Establish mobile and virtual programs and exhibitions.


  • Build a limited premier curated collection from private collectors, public institutions and/or foundations.


  • Collaborate with other cultural, educational, social and business engagement organizations


  • Enhance design appreciation among diverse populations.

  • Action steps to social justice and inclusive freedom.



  • Quality: We strive to bring high quality to all that we do.


  • Collaboration: Our partners are essential. We work to build partnerships to co-create with.


  • Curiosity: We are interested in learning and teaching which most of the time pushes the boundaries of tradition and embraces innovation.


  • Culture: Our culture supports Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics, Design (S.T.E.A.M.E.D.), sustainability, a local-to-global perspective, social responsibility, A dedication to experiential learning and strategies as actionable steps for inclusion and accessibility.


  • Accountability: We exist to benefit the community. We demonstrate our success and value to the community.


  • Stewardship: MM-O-DD strives to build on the strong foundations of Detroit innovative predecessors and to leave a legacy for future generations. This includes the preservation of our collections, as fiscal stewards of foundations and partnerships.

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