Festival fosters the vision for Philadelphia design

DesignPhiladelphia is one of the nation’s largest and oldest design events.

Bryan Satalino sits at a table with three Tyler students.

Pencils make adjustments to sketches as the creative minds critique one another’s thoughts. On the table are simple hand drawn blueprints of designs that only exist in his and the young designers’ minds.

For this year’s 10th anniversary of the DesignPhiladelphia Festival, it is Satalino’s intention to change that and make these products available to the public.

Satalino, a master’s of fine arts candidate at Tyler, and his students, are just a few of the designers presenting at this year’s DesignPhiladelphia Festival, running from Oct. 9-17. Showcasing more than 400 practicing architects, designers and creative professionals, it is one of the nation’s oldest and largest design events.

For the last decade, the DesignPhiladelphia Festival has brought together designers from various fields – graphic design, fashion, urban design, interior, architecture and many more – to demonstrate Philadelphia’s comeback as a modern city influenced by technology and design. The festival is a signature event of the Center for Architecture.

“We really hoped to make it clear that there was so much more going on Philadelphia than anyone could imagine in the creative area,” said Hilary Jay, cofounder and director of DesignPhiladelphia. “We have so much going on and we just don’t recognize it. We see New York, we see L.A., we see [San Francisco], we see Paris, we see London, but we don’t see what’s going on in our own backyard.”

Philadelphia, a growing leader in the design community, boasts seven universities with quality design programs.

Over the course of the nine days, attendees can learn about the world of design by visiting any of the more than 120 exhibits, workshops, demonstrations, tours, lectures and events. Guests can also purchase locally designed and produced products at several boutiques and pop-ups throughout the city. Most of the events are free to enter. A few of these events include the first Old City Fest, StylePOP at Dilworth Park and the AIA Bookstore Makers Market.

The event draws a wide demographic of people of all ages and professions and has had more than 235,000 guests attend in previous years.

“We get all sorts of people that are interested in how design changes lives,” Jay said. “Design is a thread that runs through everything and it affects everything we do everyday, from how we get dressed in the morning to the path that we take on our bicycles or on the train or bus or car. I think that it’s an awakening for people to realize that really everything we do is influenced by design.”

Among these presentations will be Satalino and his three students. Part of a collaborative independent study program called, “The Hatchery,” these design students, or “hatchlings,” are given the opportunity to create a product from start to finish and put it up for sale. This year, the hatchlings will be selling their products at the Hatchery Pop-Up Market from Oct. 10-11 and 16-17.

In its third semester, the Hatchery has created various types of products, including iPhone cases, a fashion clothing line and a chicken shaped clock called a cluck. Satalino hopes that the art market will be a good opportunity for the students that plays into the vision of the program.

“My dream would be that these students go on and start their own companies,” Satalino said. “[That] they become successful graphic designers obviously, but they go on and have these amazing companies; that they’re able to produce really great goods and solve problems that people didn’t even know existed.”

This vision of the power of design is fostered by DesignPhiladelphia, stating on its website that its events are “instrumental in incubating start-ups, instigating neighborhood change, assembling thought leaders and fostering positive community growth.”

“I want my students to feel like they have the ability to make change,” Satalino said.

In addition to the Hatchery Pop-Up Market, Temple will be presenting a lecture from graphic designer Paula Scher on Oct. 16 and the Art Market at Tyler on Oct. 10 and 11.

Jared Whalen can be reached at  jared.whalen@temple.edu

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