Design Philadelphia 2011

The 10-day celebration covers all things design from Oct. 13-23.

From Oct. 13-23, design invades Philadelphia.

For the past seven years, DesignPhiladelphia partnered with University of the Arts has been celebrating Philadelphia’s growing design presence. Local and international designers from all disciplines such as architecture, fashion, illustration, furniture, crafts, product design and graphic design come together to show their best work.

The goal is to showcase local designers and bring their work to the public’s attention. Gallery owners will open their doors, red carpets will unroll and notable designers will share their passion and knowledge with the public. Many of the events are free and open to the public.

“What continues to amaze me is just the number of new groups of collaborations or individuals who are coming up with extraordinary events for the public to attend,” said Hilary Jay, executive director of DesignPhiladelphia. “It’s a two door thing. It’s such a community output.”

What separates this year from previous years is the growing number of do-it-yourself workshops that give the general public  hands-on design experience. Some of the workshops running during the event are a letterpress, custom book, hat making and jewelry-making workshops.

Some events are ongoing and most take place on the street. Oct. 19-23 “Not a Vacant Lot” produced by artist and curator Marianne Bernstein will take place at 313 S. Broad St.

“Bernstein continued to create marvelous street side art to draw in innocent bystanders to the area,” Jay said.  “She activates place and an interactive experience for the people who are just going by.”

The dirty and unused lot will be transformed into a piece of art during the course of the week.

“Design is what creates culture. It’s has a significance to everything in life,” Jay said. “I really feel like people are getting that more and more and they get more and more excited and there’s a commonality and being a part of a bigger picture.”

“[People] in Philadelphia can truly embrace our creative class and strive for stuff in a way that no other city gets,” Jay added. “We are very unique.”

-Stephen Rose

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