news + commentary on design
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..
October 2, 2012
On Wednesday, October 10, a diverse lineup of speakers will take the spotlight at the Center for Architecture (1218 Arch Street) and give their take on What's Next for Philly using 20 slides at 20 seconds a piece Pecha Kucha-style. Fast Forward >> Philly, which will take place on the first day of the 8th annual DesignPhiladelphia Festival, was organized by designers Erike De Veyra and Kathy Lent. We checked in with Erike and Kathy to talk about the future of Philadelphia's design community and learn more about their Festival event.
September 28, 2012
As a preview to the DesignPhiladelphia Festival, join us for an inside look at the architectural influences of the interactive public art project Open Air, Wednesday, October 3 from 6 - 8 PM at The University of Pennsylvania. PennDesign welcomes Richard Sommer, Dean of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, in conversation with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, creator of Open Air. Open Air, commissioned by the Association for Public Art, combines public art with mobile technology to create a spectacular participatory experience that illuminates the night sky over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, between 21st and 24th Streets. The project is now on view during the hours of 8pm – 11pm nightly from September 20 - October 14, 2012. Ken Lum, Professor and Director of the Undergraduate Fine Arts Program and noted public artist himself, will introduce the PennDesign discussion, and Penny Balkin Bach, Artistic and Executive Director of the Association for Public Art, will moderate.
September 26, 2012
Join DesignPhiladelphia for an evening of design exhibitions, fashion showcases, and outdoor revelry, set on the fringe of Northern Liberties at Provenance Architecturals, a 10,000 square-foot salvage warehouse. We're kicking the festival off on Wednesday, October 10 with two back-to-back programs - a Cocktail Party + Benefit celebration (ticketed) that will roll into the free PopUp Place Street Party, igniting the 900 block of cobblestone Canal Street, at the doors of Provenance.
September 26, 2012
Free DesignPhiladelphia Festival Guidebooks are available at loads of locations across the city. If you haven't nabbed a copy yet, check-in at one of these four hot places with an endless supply - Center for Architecture 1218 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19107
September 10, 2012
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.