Experience Design! Featured Event | Encore! An Eerie October Evening

The Resource Exchange presents Encore! An Eerie October Evening of Opera, Theatre, Art & Spirits

October 17 | 5:00PM to 9:00PM
The Resource Exchange 2829 Cedar Street
Free and open to the public.

design phila 2013 event description

This year for DesignPhiladelphia, The Resource Exchange is proud to present Encore! An Eerie October Evening of Opera, Theatre, Art & Spirits. Themed around Halloween, the evening will feature local visual and performing art works designed with reclaimed materials the artists have “encored” or given a new life. Hear The Philadelphia Opera Collective encore selections from their original performance, “Opera Macabre: Edgar Allan Poe,” and other unsettling songs while viewing a multidisciplinary exhibit of studio works, craft, and set designs that incorporate materials the artists have resurrected from the dead (saved from the landfill!) while sipping creepy cocktails and spooky spirits.

logo for Design Phila

“All the world’s a stage”

The Resource Exchange believes that the process of how art productions are designed, built and discarded is as important as the stories these productions tell. Karen Gerred, executive director, tells me, “It is critical to factor wasted reduction, climate protection, and resource conversation strategies into the creative process to ensure that our short term productions do not have long term environmental consequences. In the arts, as in all industries, prioritizing the environment alongside aesthetic considerations is an opportunity to see sustainable design constraints not as limitations, but as opportunities to be inventive. Creative reuse generates new possibilities from previously wasted resources.”

store from above pic

Accessible & affordable materials for reuse

Gerred believes, “Creative reuse generates new possibilities from previously wasted resources.” She explains the concept of The Resource Exchange; “We make reusable materials accessible and affordable in our creative reuse center; a 3,000 square foot retail space where all material is sold at reduced cost, typically half the cost of new products. We enable painters to create on reclaimed theatre muslin, sculptors to work with salvaged scenery and production discards, stage plays to be built from old film sets, mixed media artists to use photography and graphic art surplus, and fashion and costumes to be designed from what was left on the cutting room floor, and film and theatre designers can utilize salvaged scenery and set decoration in new productions.” But The Resource Exchange is not just for the creative design community. Gerred adds, “Home remodelers can find bargains and unique items for their renovation projects. Even teachers can promote reuse in the classroom by finding interesting, low cost materials that can easily be incorporated into art and environmental education programs in schools where funding is often limited.”

As Pretty Does Chair set design

Philadelphia: a new approach for green production

Where do all these things end up? Gerred tells me visual artists and craftspeople have made everything from mixed media works and installations to furniture and fashion. Their reclaimed building materials have been used in rowhomes, playgrounds, and community gardens throughout the city and in the performing arts, many local set designers, scenic artists, props/set dressers and shopcraft carpenters are beginning to incorporate sustainable design best practices in their work. “The Arden Theatre Company and The Walnut Street Theatre, as well as many smaller venues and Philadelphia Fringe performances…they are all at the forefront of a new approach in green production, and part of our mission at The Resource Exchange is to enable and expand their efforts in Philadelphia.

Chris Haig At The Old Place design + set

Looking to the future

Since the environmental impact of creative works are largely determined at the outset of the design process, Gerred hopes the DesignPhiladelphia event will expand the Resource Exchanges’ ability to, “incentivize creative reuse in the community across all design disciplines.” In the coming year, she tells me, the Exchange will be lengthening their hours of operation to better serve their customers and take advantage of a recent expansion, which will hold creative workshops and events in collaboration with other local arts organizations. They are also looking to expand their two core programs: reSETS, a green production program, and reCREATE, their program to incentivize creative reuse projects and works in the community.

For more on The Resource Exchange, visit their website. Follow them on Facebook.

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!

About Design Shaker

DesignPhiladelphia demonstrates, supports, and promotes the ability that design has to generate innovation, solve problems, enhance daily life and influence both the perception and economics of the region.
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