news + commentary on design

2012 Festival

November 12, 2012
Dear Design Champions! Thank you for joining us in celebrating the DesignPhiladelphia Festival in October. What a marvelous community celebration it was! As we evaluate future projects, it's really important that we hear from all the people who help make the Festival a success. This means its survey time, and we say that with love and excitement. So please, if you attended a Festival program or produced an event, take 5 minutes out of your day to complete the Audience Survey or the Participant Survey and tell us what you think!
October 22, 2012
Studio Nine Photography explores /adaptations/ - an exhibition showcasing leading developments in sustainable, emergent, and regenerative systems, particularly th
October 20, 2012
Happening video by Studio Nine Photography's Jonathan Rubin featuring gorgeous photos from PopUp Place, the opening night party of the 2012 DesignPhiladelphia Festival, set at Provenance Architecturals. Are you in it?
October 13, 2012
You’ve probably passed it many times and not noticed it, sandwiched as it is between fruit and fish stands. It’s the “Drink Buttermilk and Live Forever” sign in the southeast quadrant of the Reading Terminal Market (12th and Arch Streets). Another colorful fragment in an amazing place that is full of them, this sign reminds us of a simpler time when shopkeepers wrote their own taglines, designed their own signs and, quite possibly, hand cut the letters in their basements. Few modern retail signs can beat it for heart-on-the-sleeve enthusiasm and sheer charm.
October 13, 2012
If a movement can be defined as a moment when people across time zones and borders act simultaneously on the same idea, then the design week movement is verifiable. In the last three years, design festivals and design weeks have mushroomed across the U.S. in cities including Columbus, Portland, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Baltimore, and Detroit, as well as abroad, in Beijing, Singapore, Moscow, and Paris.
October 10, 2012
Philadelphia’s grid plan makes for lots of corners; it’s always a pleasure wondering what’s around that 90-degree bend. But sometimes you want a little something different. And in the heart of Philadelphia, you can find that urban rarity—the inside corner. Namely, where West Washington Square and South Washington Square meet. Usually you turn a corner—here, the corner turns around you.
October 9, 2012
For the DesignPhiladelphia Festival guidebook this year, we asked four members of the design community to reflect on iconic design in the city - from places to objects. First up, Elise Vider writes about the PSFS sign. Timely, as the PSFS building is back in conversation. As you're walking the city, consider - What design elements make Philadelphia unique to you? Think about the spaces and places that make you linger.
October 5, 2012
There are not one but three DesignPhiladelphia Festival events exploring the viaduct! SURFACE is an exhibition by Julia Blaukopf of wallpaper and tile imprinted with photographic images of the historic Philadelphia and Reading Railroad just north of Center City. The images were taken upon the viaduct and from within the submerged sections. The exhibition is designed to draw attention to VIADUCTgreene's vision for a 3-mile linear park through the heart of Philadelphia.
October 5, 2012
If London is the international pioneer of the citywide design week, our own DesignPhiladelphia, launched in 2005, is the U.S. pioneer. It was the first not to be centered on a trade show and the first to act as a platform and bullhorn to define and promote a city's sprawling design talent. After Philadelphia came San Francisco, and in the last three years a wave of others around the world have followed, giving rise to a bit of a "what have we wrought" moment in London. One of the panels at its festival last month was called, "Design Festivals: Who Needs Them?"
October 3, 2012
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? Or, will all boats be lifted? Join in the conversation at Philadelphia's Mega-Museums: Iconic Forms Over Function? - a panel discussion presented by The Architect's Newspaper as part of the DesignPhiladelphia Festival on Thursday, October 11 at 5:30pm, fittingly at the Rosenbach Museum & Library, a museum housed in two historic townhouses on a residential block in the city's Rittenhouse Square neighborhood..