Pearl Street Passage: Team Spotlight 4!

The installations for Pearl Street Passage are being fabricated, and we’re counting down the weeks until the 1200 block of Pearl Street is transformed into an interactive design experience during the DesignPhiladelphia Festival October 8-11. But who’s behind all of this? Meet “Periscope Tower” and “Emoji Gate”

Team “Emoji Gate”: Amy Syverson, a project designer from Sikora Wells Appel; Keith Hartwig, an architect from KRH Design; Uri Pierre Noel, experience designer from Neuro
Native Labs; and Carter Smith, an artist and mechanical engineer.


Amy Syverson is a Project Designer at Sikora Wells Appel. She has been vital to conceptual design and production for the firm, ensuring that design communications clearly and thoughtfully illustrate design intent. Sikora Wells Appel specializes in landscape architectural design. Committed to the synthesis of design, ecology, and economy, their approach to design is rooted in an understanding of a community’s history and culture, a site’s context and ecology, and our interest in art in the landscape. Sikora Wells Appel’s services include land planning, landscape architecture, and urban design.

Keith Hartwig and Uri Pierre Noel are representing Neuro Native Labs & KRH Design. Uri Pierre Noel is an Entrepreneur and Experience Designer that works with cross functional UX/U Designer, Developer and Engineering teams to create digital experiences and products within the Internet of Things space. Keith Hartwig is a 2011 graduate of the BArch Architecture program at Tyler School of Art. His current research and practice focuses on creating works of art and architecture that promote user participation and civic dialogue. His work explores how design operates as a mediation and extension of human experience into the built environment. The production, driven by a collaborative and interdisciplinary process, results in projects deeply embedded in site, accessible to a diverse community and engaging through a multitude of perceptual inputs.

Carter Smith is an  installationist, mechanical engineer, and idea refiner He’s been involved with the Burning Man culture for years, and the general theme is impermanence; at most his installations are only set up for a week, after months of design and building, then set up and torn down in a matter of days.  He’s also been building and designing a giant kaleidoscope over the past few years.

Team “Periscope Tower”: Justin Dula, an Urban Planner from Queer Urbanist Exchange; Mike Cucinotta a landscape designer from SHIFT_Design; Mario Gentile, CEO & Founder of  SHIFT_Design, and Michael Morgan, a brick artist.  

Justin Dula is an urban planner and a lead organizer for the Queer Urbanist Exchange (QUE). QUE is a social group for the LGBTQ community interested in the design of the built environment. The group is open to planners, architects, landscape architects, real estate agents and developers, and anyone who has an interest in the structures of our cities. QUE provides monthly working meeting happy hours where they plan larger social and educational events.

Mike Cucinotta and Mario Gentile are representing SHIFT_Design, a Philadelphia-based company that designs and manufactures sustainable products that enable the creation of unique outdoor environments. Mike is a  a landscape designer from SHIFT_Design, and Mario is the CEO & Founder. They are focused on local manufacturing, where all of their products are sourced and made in the USA. The company core is within its design studio where industrial designers, architects, landscape designers and fabricators create products based on mass- customization, material engineering and flat pack shipping. Through a blend of precision technologies and traditional fabrication, these products facilitate a way of living that brings sustainable practices into daily life.

Michael Morgan’s work is nonrepresentational. It centers mainly around the brick, both as a sculptural medium and a building unit. In general, Morgan makes connection between the rigid brick and its raw, amorphic material, clay. He sees brick as an expression of a symbol for natural limitation, which is in fact the central idea behind all symbolism. This effect is achieved by the carving or placement of the bricks, also through incorporating landscaping.  Morgan often includes utilitarian elements, e.g. walls, patios, benches, and fountains, partly to reference brick's traditions but also to invite the spectator to become physically involved with his work.

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