Experience Design! Featured Event | Making Spaces Open House at Drexel's URBN Center

September 16, 2013 | DesignPhiladelphia, 2013 Festival

Drexel's Westphal College of Media Arts & Design presents Making Spaces | Open House at The URBN Center

Thursday, October 10 | 6:00PM to 9:00PM 3501 Market Street Free and open to the public; light refreshments served. To RSVP, email Lisa Visco or call 215-895-1029

Drexel's Westphal College of Media Arts & Design invites you to experience first-hand one of our region's premiere design educational institutions as part of the 2013 DesignPhiladelphia Festival. The URBN Center, a 140,000 square foot facility of immersive and collaborative learning spaces, includes a state-of-the-art Hybrid Making lab, Gaming Lab, Motion Capture studio, computerized knit prototyping studio, and outstanding studios dedicated to architecture, fashion, product design, graphic design and interior design. Experience one of the region's hidden treasures - Drexel's Historic Costume Collection, featuring over 12,000 historic and iconic garments and fashion accessories, as well as demos of 3D printing and laser cutters. For architecture buffs, this is also a chance to see MS&R's masterful re-purposing of Robert Venturi's noted 3501 Market Street, which the Philadelphia Inquirer's Inga Saffron calls, "a buzzing, creative hive" and "one of Philadelphia's most thrilling new designs." By experiencing the intersection of design thinking, high-tech fabrication and creativity, those attending will come away with a sense of how interdisciplinary collaborations can address important real world problems and create products, spaces, and designs that improve and beautify our everyday lives. With a highly focused, rigorous and professional approach to studio-based education, the Westphal College provides creative students with hands-on, experiential learning that prepares them for success in highly competitive and rapidly changing creative fields. Lisa Visco, director of Creative Services and Events, tells me, "We empower students to become creative problem-solvers and we encourage them to collaborate across disciplines. In the new URBN Center, where learning spaces and resources spill into one another across open floor plans, an interdisciplinary spirit thrives and cross-pollination leads to new approaches and outcomes in design, media, and the arts."

Philadelphia's Impact
Lisa credits the headquarters of Comcast and URBN Outfitters, a population of young creative people populating Fishtown, South Philly and other up-and-coming neighborhoods, and an abundance of world class museums, art institutions and performing arts groups with making Philadelphia a city with a thriving creative economy.  "At Drexel, we value daily connections with that rich tapestry of business and culture.  From Drexel’s nationally known co-op program—which has all of our undergraduates working for six months in their chosen fields--to the dozens of top professionals who teach in our programs, to the projects we take on for industry and community, we see Philadelphia as a city of endless opportunity for our students to learn, engage, and make a difference." She challenges you to check the rosters of the region’s design and media firms, or at the performing arts companies and venues - there you’ll see how Westphal graduates are contributing to making a Philadelphia into a truly great city of the future.

Industry Trends Drexel University and its Westphal College are dedicated to a rapidly changing and challenging future. Lisa adds, "one where students and faculty will play a role in creating, not following, the next big thing. There are so many trends rapidly changing our diverse fields. Sustainability and protecting our precious resources must be the major concerns for architects and interior designers working in the built environment. Gaming and virtual simulations are just beginning to make a huge impact on general and specialized education. The exploding interactive world of smartphones, tablets and applications is impacting almost every aspect of human existence. And product, graphic and fashion designers are working ever more closely with businesses, engineers, and scientists drawing upon the designers’ and artists’ expertise in multi-disciplinary collaboration and creative problem solving." Learn more about Drexel's Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Watch a video of Westphal students' achievements here.

DesignPhiladelphia’s 9th Annual Festival, EXPERIENCEdesign! kicks off this year on the evening of October 9th with PopUp Place and festival events running from October 10 through 18. As a signature event of the Center for Architecture, DesignPhiladelphia showcases Philadelphia’s strong design and creative communities through more than 100 exhibitions, workshops, tours, lectures, open studios, and parties that celebrate design’s many dimensions, dynamics, and applications. To give you a sneak peek of things to come, we will be featuring 24 events on our blog; discussing their details and introducing you to the people behind them. Join us on Facebook and Twitter – where you can catch all 2013 Festival announcements and info!

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