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Buzz About the Center

June 7, 2013
Starting Monday, June 10th, Hilary Jay will step into a new role as director of the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. As the Center's first director, she will head the Center's fundraising efforts and programming initiatives. In addition, DesignPhiladelphia, of which Jay is the founding director of, will move from the University of the Arts to the Center for Architecture.
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 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?"
September 5, 2012
Hilary Jay is a dynamo. She presides over DesignPhiladelphia at the University of the Arts, an impressively democratic array of design events, exhibitions, lectures, open studios, demonstrations, and street happenings, reached by some 200,000 people each fall. Jay thus proudly stakes her claim on “design as destination.” DesignPhiladelphia follows Philadelphia’s great tradition of free access to many important cultural institutions. Jay notes, “Most of our programs are free and open to the public. I work hard to remove barriers to entry. DesignPhiladelphia is a great equalizer.”
October 25, 2011
They sound like lyrics from The Sound of Music: scissors and cameras and fashion store catwalks; chairs and eyeglasses and train station hallways; plaster gargoyles on historic facades. These are a few of Jay's favorite things. For seven years, Hilary Jay has been walking the talk: design is everywhere. As director of DesignPhiladelphia, she has assembled a dizzying array of subjects and objects; from things that can be held in your hand to the city grid that frames your imagination.The annual 10-day festival is created in partnership with the University of the Arts, but Jay still does a lot of the legwork. We tried to keep up with her as she criss-crossed the city, running from event to event. At the end, we developed a deeper appreciation for the designer of her shoes.
October 11, 2011
Its industrial-strength, big-manufacturing economy is long gone, and Philadelphia, like many cities, is embracing Richard Florida's much-vaunted "creative class" as a key to growth. But no other American city struts its creative stuff with more vigor than during the upcoming DesignPhiladelphia. For 11 days (October 13-23), DesignPhiladelphia propels design -- in its many disciplines -- to the forefront, with more than 150, mostly-free public events: movie viewings, runway shows, book signings, workshops, demonstrations, open houses, exhibitions and parties.
December 1, 2010
Two years ago, during the annual citywide fest DesignPhiladelphia, parking spots on a busy block in Center City were temporarily inhabited by “interventions.” They included a corrugated cardboard seating area for seven, an acid-green and blue napping module, and a waist-high wooden platform affixed with tens of tiny cars on springs that bobbed to and fro with the whoosh of each passing SEPTA bus. The installations were entries for “Spot,” a competition that challenged designers to reclaim the parking spot and to generate thought about public space.