Press Release | DesignPhiladelphia (09.10.12)

PHILADELPHIA – The 8th annual DesignPhiladelphia Festival, in partnership with The University of the Arts, will place a spotlight on Philadelphia’s rich design history and creative industries at work, Wednesday, October 10 through Sunday, October 14, 2012. The citywide Festival will feature five days of non-stop programming championing design, showcasing the work of more than 400 designers and creative thinkers in over 120 public events. Visit for a full schedule of events. “DesignPhiladelphia is one of the most important design festivals in the country, uniting and highlighting all design disciplines to promote a unique and innovative Philadelphia,” says Jason Schupbach, director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts. ”DesignPhiladelphia is a model for how cities can leverage their local assets and create a compelling urban brand, one that attracts visitors and new residents alike.” A vast majority of Festival events are free and open to the public. Programs – a diverse mix of exhibitions, lectures and public forums, runway shows, book signings, parties, workshops and open studios – cross design disciplines, from architecture and urban planning to industrial and fashion design, multimedia and graphic design, product and interior design. Set in boutiques, galleries, museums, universities, warehouses, public spaces and city streets, DesignPhiladelphia transforms the city into a stage for ideas and designs of the past, present, and future, highlighting the impact design plays in our everyday lives. DesignPhiladelphia envisions a future where innovative design is strongly associated with Philadelphia’s story, well beyond the lore of soft pretzels, Rocky movies, and the Liberty Bell. The organization emerged in 2005 to make the case that innovation and design is central to every city’s economic, social and educational growth. "Design is a thread that runs through everything,” says Hilary Jay, DesignPhiladelphia Executive Director. “The bottom line for the DesignPhiladelphia Festival is imagining the city as a robust, innovative, urban center – an excellent place to live, work, visit, and play.” New to the Festival this year are Design Districts, shaped to showcase the design strengths of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Hotspots include: Northern Liberties Wed. Oct. 10, Old City Fri. Oct. 12, South Philly and East Passyunk Sat. Oct. 13, with Citywide Festival Days being presented on Thurs. Oct. 11 and Sun. Oct. 14. On Wednesday, October 10, the DesignPhiladelphia Festival will open with PopUp Place – an evening of design exhibitions, fashion showcases, and outdoor revelry set on the fringe of the city’s Northern Liberties neighborhood. The event kicks off with a ticketed Cocktail Party + Benefit from 5:30 – 7:30pm at Provenance Architecturals (912 Canal St), a 10,000 square-foot salvage and restoration warehouse. The evening opens to the public with the PopUp Place Street Party, igniting the 900 block of cobblestone Canal Street just off Delaware Avenue from 7:30 – 10pm.


Included below is a sampling of 2012 programming. The DesignPhiladelphia Festival aims to make topics of design experiential and accessible for all audiences. The official Festival guidebook is available online and will distributed throughout Philadelphia in mid-September. For additional details, click on the program name to open the listing in the online events calendar.

  • In centuries past, a walk in the park was a chance to strut your fashionable stuff. The Park Promenade CandyCoated Trunk Show in Rittenhouse Square will feature an incredible collection of one-of-a-kind garments created with Lobo Mau, presented by Candy Depew and the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Models will promenade the Square's walkways to showcase the latest collection. Info: Free, Thurs. Oct. 11, 5:30pm, Rittenhouse Square Park, 251 South 18th St
  • Printing in the Open will bring together local designers for a one-night-only, live, interactive printing event at The Print Center. Artists will create unique designs inspired by the Op-art exhibition Color Motion: Edna Andrade Prints. Attendees are invited to bring their own t-shirts and tote bags and print designs. Info: Thurs. Oct. 11, 6pm – 8pm, The Print Center, 1614 Latimer St
  • Will Philadelphia's mega-museums snatch visitors from the city's smaller cultural institutions? Or will these legacy projects collapse under the weight of their own outsized ambitions? The Architect’s Newspaper weighs in on the trend in Philadelphia's Mega-Museums: iconic forms over function? Featuring Rosenbach Museum & Library Director Derick Dreher, Philadelphia Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron, Slought Foundation Executive Director Aaron Levy, and Peter Frumkin, PhD, Faculty Director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania. Tom Stoelker, associate editor at The Architect's Newspaper, will moderate. Info: Free, Thurs. Oct. 11, 5:30pm, Rosenbach Museum & Library, 2008-2010 Delancey Pl
  • Data Garden makes a return trip to Bartram’s Garden for The Switched-On Garden. Participants are invited to wander the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America, and connect with the space through live music, performance, and sculpture that blurs the distinction among biological, digital, and design worlds. Info: Free, Sun. Oct. 14, 2pm – 8pm, 5400 Lindbergh Blvd
  • The South Philadelphia Home Tour, presented by the Passyunk Square Civic Association will showcase homes with various architectural designs and creative decorating within the Passyunk Square District. Participants will be provided with a map for the self-guided walking tour and open house, offering a look inside this evolving South Philly neighborhood. Info: $20, Sat. Oct. 13, 12pm – 4pm
  • DuPont™ Corian®’s three-part Dialogues on Design series will explore contemporary design topics. Color doesn’t just happen by itself – Mark Woodman will talk Color Stories over lunch (Thurs. Oct. 11, 12pm at Corian Design Studio, 2400 Market St, Ste 403). In the Design of Healing, Rosalyn Cama jumpstarts a conversation about healthcare design, interior environments and healing arts (Fri. Oct. 12, 5:30pm at Corian Design Studio). Architect Richard Cameron presents The Creation of Ravenwood: M. Night Shyamalan's Home, sharing with the audience the timeless design methods employed in its creation (Thurs. Oct. 11, 5:30pm at Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch St). Info: Free
  • Four Corners: Design from Philly Surrounds, curated by Royce Epstein and Caroline Tiger, offers a window into Philadelphia’s current design identity and an answer to the question: What is Philadelphia design today? The exhibition will feature pieces by designers and brands based in and around Philadelphia, showcased in the familiar context of a lived-in loft. Special events include an opening party on Fri. Oct. 12 and the panel discussion Localism and Design on Sat. Oct. 13. Info: Free, Ongoing: Oct. 10-20, Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat, 11am – 6pm, Minima Gallery, 118 North 3rd St
  • Philadelphia-based publishing house Quirk Books has teamed with Drink Philly for the graphic design show, Alternate Book Covers. The Quirk team takes on book cover design with a gallery full of alternate covers – both actual designs that didn't make the cut and new works inspired by older titles, set at the Drink Philly headquarters. Info: Free, Fri. Oct. 12, 5pm – 9pm, 239 Chestnut St, 2nd Fl, Unit B
  • Inspired by the city's rich tradition of democracy and respect for free speech, Open Air by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will combine public art with mobile technology to create a spectacular participatory experience that will illuminate the night sky over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between 21st and 24th Streets. Using a free mobile app, participants are invited to record and submit messages — shout-outs, poems, songs, rants, and dedications — both onsite on the Parkway and online at In response, 24 powerful robotic searchlights, stationed strategically along a half-mile section of the Parkway, will create unique, dynamic light formations in the sky. Commissioned by the Association for Public Art, presented in conjunction with the DesignPhiladelphia Festival and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. Info: Free, Ongoing: Sept. 20-Oct. 14, Nightly: 8pm-11pm; Project Information Center at Eakins Oval (24th Street and the Parkway, Hours: 7:30pm–11pm) will be equipped with seating areas for watching the lights and listening to the messages, and free mobile loan stations.
  • Locks Gallery presents The Way Things Are – a contemporary exhibition with artists Ulla von Brandenburg (Germany), Florence Doléac (France), and Virgil Marti (USA). The sculptures, installations, and films dissect objects, scrutinize their hidden meanings, and question our relationships with things. Info: Free, Ongoing: Sept. 18 – Oct. 27, Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat, 10am – 6pm, Locks Gallery, 600 Washington Sq South
  • See fashion take shape at the MOBILEWORKSHOP – a roving modular sewing workshop. Presented by INSTITUTEOFDRESS, the MOBILEWORKSHOP will be stationed outside Minima Gallery in Old City on Oct. 12 with designer Abby Lutz sewing clothing and discussing the process with passersby. Info: Free, Fri. Oct. 12, 6 – 10pm, Minima Gallery, 118 North 3rd St


Download a PDF document of the print guidebook (will open in browser, 5.9 MB). Flip through a digital version of the print guidebook at Browse the Festival event calendar online at For ongoing updates, follow @designphilly on Twitter and

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To request additional information, interviews and images, please contact: DesignPhiladelphia Press Representative Emaleigh Doley, [email protected] office: 215-717-6515 | c. 610-331-3758

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