DesignPhiladelphia’s 9th Annual Festival, EXPERIENCEdesign! kicks off this year on the evening of October 9th with PopUp Place and festival events running from October 10 through 18. As a signature event of the Center for Architecture, DesignPhiladelphia showcases Philadelphia’s strong design and creative communities through more than 100 exhibitions, workshops, tours, lectures, open studios, and parties that celebrate design’s many dimensions, dynamics, and applications.
To give you a sneak peek of things to come, we will be featuring 24 events on our blog; discussing their details and introducing you to the people behind them. Join us on Facebook and Twitter – where you can catch all 2013 Festival announcements and info!
NextFab Studio presents the Yards Tap Handle Throwdown Gala
Sunday, October 17 | 6:00PM to 9:00PM
2025 Washington Ave
$10 ($5 for NextFab members) | Ticket required
For the 2013 DesignPhiladelphia Festival, NextFab Studio, Philadelphia’s gym for innovators, and Yards Brewing Company are teaming up to bring you a gala unlike any other. The Gala is the finale of The Yards Tap Handle Throwdown.
NextFab Studio founder and president, Evan Malone, describes The Throwdown as “a unique opportunity for Philly designers, makers, and craftspeople to showcase their talents by competing to make a new tap handle for Yards Brewery. The Gala event on October 17th is the big unveiling – a celebration of all the hard work of the contestants and a chance for Yards and the public to judge which handle is best. Of course, Yards beer will be on hand to enhance everyone’s judging abilities!” The winner will receive some pretty awesome stuff: a gift card from Yards, an afternoon at the Yards tasting room, a six month NextFab membership and a chance to see reproductions of their design on display and in use at bars across the city. Malone says, “It’s a great chance to observe how Philadelphia’s designers sketch out their ideas, go through the detailed design process, and create their vision out of a wide range of materials and using a wide range of processes.”
The Gala is a homage to the creativity and capability of Philadelphians— qualities that Malone believes are merely hinted at by Yards’ excellent craft beer, the design and fabrication work of the Tap Handle Throwdown contestants, and the fantastic capabilities that NextFab Studios offers. He hopes the Throwdown contest and event will engender pride in Philly and inspire attendees “to take on a new challenge; perhaps to build something they never thought they could, or make the world a little better, knowing others are rooting for them.” To see all the entries, check out NextFab’s Pinterest Board.
NextFab Studio exists, according to Malone, to help creative people solve problems, express themselves, or innovate new technologies and new businesses by making the best tools, training, and collaborators more affordable and accessible than ever before. Their 21,000 sq ft studio, located on Washington Ave, boasts the latest tools, expert staff, and classes to get Philadelphia creating.
Why is Philadelphia a hotbed for creatives?
The numbers and types of maker spaces, incubators, accelerators, collectives and other skill-based communities in Philadelphia are expanding rapidly. Malone believes this is in response to unmet educational and technical needs and strong creative urges in the population here. “It may be too soon to tell, but I expect that this will eventually grow to replace the vocational education system that has all but disappeared, or cause a resurgence of that older system. Philadelphia feels more real to me than most other places I’ve known. I don’t mean that it doesn’t have problems, but the problems feel more out in the open, embraced, and argued about — not prettied up or hidden away. That makes me feel like I can do something to help here, and that others will know (and hopefully appreciate) what I am trying to do. That Philadelphia realness infuses NextFab – we see the problems together — staff, community, members, and clients — and help each other solve them, and that feels great.”