Pearl Street Passage: Team Spotlight 3!

We've announced the teams for DesignPhiladelphia's Pearl Street Passage and now's your chance to get to know them a little better! In the next several weeks we'll be profiling each team. Today, we are pleased to introduce you to teams 5 and 6!

Team 5: SELFless
Gensler, Postgreen, Serena Saunders & Richard Vilabrera

Gensler is widely recognized as the world’s leading collaborative design firm, not just the largest. The ability to work together as an integrated team is part of their DNA, and they’ve embraced it at every level, from Co-CEOs to studios and project teams. The focus of Gensler leadership is on serving clients effectively wherever they need services. Their one-firm firm ethos saves time, cuts costs and delivers innovation. They offer the design industry’s deepest bench of expertise, matched with experience gained by working with clients across the global economy. They bring that broad knowledge to bear on every project and location where they work.

Postgreen Homes & Hybrid Construction's mission is to provide lots of different by designing for you and building for tomorrow. Postgreen Homes creates sustainable communities through conscious development. They view social and environmental issues as opportunities to redefine modern living.

Serena Saunders says of her work: “Crayons when crawling. Uncle doodling Mickey Mouse. Easels for Christmas. Construction paper over dolls, color pencils over shoes. I always knew that my food would taste better with charcoal on my hands, clothes better with stains of paint. I clean my brushes on myself, it's better than rags. I give it all I am and I all I have.”

Richard Vilabrera is an architecture student at Philadelphia University who has taken several architecture courses at Cooper Union. Throughout his 4 years at PhilaU he has developed a deeper connection to the lack of artistic qualities of the built environment craft and how it relates to design. He hopes to work on this problem and design creative solutions with his work on Pearl Street Passage!

Team 6: James’s Fear No Kitchen Swell
Groundswell, FK Productions, Fear No Ice & James Bonney

Groundswell Design Group is at home in almost any setting. Their work ranges in scale from large, public spaces to the most intimate private ones. They move from interior to landscape with ease, often creating seamless connections between the two. And in every project their practice is consistent: they’re engaged in lifestyle design. Groundswell looks to evoke the emotions inherent in every place they work, curating the entire experience for their clients

FK Productions is a group of artists, engineers, dreamers & designers who specialize in creating unique and unusual spaces that tell stories and focus on the human experience.
Lighting, sound, large scale art, event production, anything that brings people together is what drives them. FK can make anything out of any material no matter what size.

Fear No Ice is the world’s first and only performance ice sculpting company. They’re an entertainment entity that will keep your guests on the edge of their seats. A combination of action adventure, slapstick, drama and audience participation, Fear No Ice offers an experience which will not soon be forgotten. As a promotional marketing vehicle and entertainment entity, Fear No Ice works with international companies to provide unique options for entertainment, product launches, set designs, ice lounges, and more.

James Bonney is a recent graduate of Philadelphia University with a bachelor of landscape architecture and area of concentration in environmental sustainability. He is interested in the connections we make with the environment and people around us, and how those connections impact the value we associate with ecology, places, and people. James is excited to gain knowledge from his work on Pearl Street Passage that can help him make a more positive impact on the built environment.

Get Involved!

While the teams are busy creating the next great public space in Philadelphia; we need programming to enliven the area! Event registration is now open for the 2015 DesignPhiladelphia Festival. There are also opportunities for sponsorship, advertising, and volunteering. To learn more, visit our website at

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