Design Philadelphia

Yesterday kicked off DesignPhiladelphia, Philly's contribution to an accompanying National Design Week, an annual homage to the role of design in our culture. It hosts a staggering number of lectures, exhibits, demonstrations, screenings, discussions and recreational activities for the aesthetically minded. Sound pretty broad? Well, it is. In the best possible way.

DesignPhiladelphia boasts events in many many types of venues addressing issues of sustainability, including the technology of green materials, context and innovation across an expanse of medium. And the hosts include people from both traditional fields, like architecture, craft and textiles and not so traditional fields only now factoring into design, like food and ahem, cycling.

Daily Program maps, originally designed by Brian Kelly, available for download on the DesignPhiladelphia website

Here is the link if you'd rather head straight over to the event's calendar. But these are some of my picks for things I wouldn't miss if, alas, I were in the vicinity of Center City this weekend:

Hard Hat and Finished Tour of Green Affordable Philadelphia for a tour of Philadelphia's first affordable LEED certified homes by Habitat Philadelphia
Date: October 18, 2008
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: 4200 block of Stiles Street
West Philadelphia

Craftadelphia! hosted by Philly Etsy at Mew Gallery
Date: October 18, 2008
Time: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Location: Mew Gallery
906 Christian Street

Bikes and Bricks, a slide show and demonstrative talk at Trophy bikes on the history of urban cycles from the 1930's to the present, including test riding.
Date: October 18, 2008
Time: 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Location: 3131 Walnut Street
University City

Lecture, Sustainable Strategies for the Urban Infrastructure hosted by Minima & UArts, discusses components associated with sustainable urban life: food production & bicycle culture. Contributors include Spencer Finch – Director of Sustainable Development Programs, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Alex Doty – Executive Director, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Mary Seton Corboy – Founder and President, Greensgrow Farm & Nursery. This is presented along with A Clean Break, "an exhibition of modern, pre-fab architecture and high-design, low waste innovations for the urban environment" up at Minima Gallery. The exhibit allows visitors to wander through an urban green development and showcases the role of prefab components in urban design.
Date: October 18, 2008
Time: 3:45pm - 5:00pm
Location: The University of the Arts
CBS Auditorium in Hamilton Hall
320 South Broad Street (across from the exhibition lot)

Art Buggy Derby 3.0 presented by MAKE:Philly, a competition of buggies built from recycled materials judged on speed and ingenuity.
Date: October 19, 2008
Time: 2:00pm
Location: Washington Square Park
(south side of park)

DIRT - clean design on 4th Street: Bicycle Revolutions, showcasing custom built bicycles for urban riders and especially hand built wheels in custom colors and unusual spoke lacings.
Date: October 19, 2008
Time: 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Bicycle Revolutions
712 South 4th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

This expo seems much more inclusive than I would have expected before reading the schedule. It brings together designers in Philadelphia that I associate on a theoretical level, but that rarely seem to be collaborating the rest of the time. Hopefully the event will bring together the disparate parts of Philly's very talented creative community and make design in Philadelphia a more cohesive force.

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