Sneak Preview of Cool Spaces! – the best new architecture

Sneak Preview Episode 3 of Cool Spaces!
Live Q+A with host, Stephen Chung, AIA
May 1 | 6:00-7:30PM
$5/person | @ Philadelphia Center for Architecture

The Philadelphia Center for Architecture is hosting a sneak preview of Cool Spaces!, a new TV show hosted by Stephen Chung, AIA, which will explore how architects use innovative technologies and traditional design skills to shape the world around us.

On the evening of May 1st, Stephen Chung, AIA will be on hand to field questions from the audience after an on-site screening of episode #3: Art Spaces, which features Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The full Cool Spaces! series will premiere on WHYY TV 12 on May 4, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.


About the Show:

The stakes are high when a client asks for a signature architectural design. All sorts of challenges stand in the way, from budget issues to site constraints to construction logistics. It’s the great buildings, interiors, and landscapes that not only meet these challenges but exceed expectations. Cool Spaces! The Best New Architecture is a TV series developed for public television that profiles these projects and takes the viewer on an up-close and informative tour — not just of the building, but of the design process itself, from idea to reality.

Cool Spaces! features some of the 21st century’s most provocative and innovative public space architecture in North America. Each hour-long episode is organized around a central building typology theme — such as Performance Spaces or Art Spaces — and profiles three buildings. Season 1 will consist of eight episodes in 2013: four aired in the spring and four in the autumn.

In each project segment, viewers will learn why something was designed, see how it was designed, and discover just what makes it so cool. Guided by architect and teacher Stephen Chung, we’ll set off to explore these exciting designs and decide for ourselves if something really is a “Cool Space”! Check out the show’s website for an in-depth look at producing the show, explore episode themes, and learn about the best new architecture here.

stephenCHUNG138About Host, Stephen Chung, AIA

Stephen Chung is a Boston-based architect. Before launching his own studio, Stephen worked with Philippe Starck and at Richard Meier and Partners and Machado and Silvetti Associates. An educator as well, he has taught at Cornell, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Yale, among other places. Stephen has appeared as on-air talent for design programs on HGTV, Travel Channel, and more. He is also the host of the live broadcast of the American Institute of Architects’ national convention.

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Kinetic Pilots + Derby Enthusiasts Wanted!

kinetic sculpture

The 2013 Judge’s Choice Award – Muybridge Marauders (courtesy of

Registration is Open for the 8th Annual Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby!
Classes on Participating | April 12, 2014
Derby | noon on May 17, 2014

If you’re thinking about participating in this year’s Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby (KKSD) and you don’t know where to start – consider taking tomorrow’s workshops. Join John at Frank’s Kitchen in Kensington, on April 12th, from 1-2pm, for How to Build a Kinetic Sculpture 2; an informative look at designing a kinetic sculpture from one of Philadelphia’s originators of this art form!  This class will cover basics including how to assemble a frame from torn apart bicycle frames, wheel considerations, durability considerations, steering systems, and more. RSVP here. (Part 2 of a 2 part course.  You may attend even if you didn’t attend part 1. $5 per day – but no one will be turned away.)

A second class runs on the 12th from 3-5pm at the Resource Exchange on How to Make Great Costumes and Art for KKSD. Join past winners of the Best Costume and Best Art Awards, as well as other folks with awesome costume making experience for a free panel discussion where you can ask questions and discuss ideas for concepts for costumes with the pros for free.  Refreshments will be provided by Philadelphia Brewing Co and Commonwealth Cider! Free, RSVP here.

What’s the KKSD?

If you don’t know by now, The Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, is a local design competition and parade of human powered vehicle floats, was started in 2007 as an Economic Development Initiative of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) to compliment the East Kensington Neighbors Association’s Trenton Avenue Arts Festival.  NKCDC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing the East Kensington, Fishtown, and Port Richmond neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Their mission is to strengthen the physical, social, and economic fabric of the community by being a catalyst for sustainable development and community building.

The KKSD is not a race, but rather a design competition and parade celebrating human powered transit and art in Kensington. Award Categories include- Best Art, Best Costume, Best Engineering, People’s Choice, Best Breakdown and a special secret judge award. People get to vote for their favorite entry at the event, so come to the fest and VOTE!

What’s a Kinetic Sculpture?

A Kinetic Sculpture is a human-powered vehicle that also has an artistic theme. Think of parade floats on bicycles, or mummers on hand crank driven pirate ships, or an alien space ship on 2 welded together bikes, it’s zombie amish folks, it’s a bar and bar stools on a bike, it’s anything you can dream up. A Kinetic Sculpture Competition is all about fun and ingenuity, making the wackiest, most interesting contraption is the goal- finishing the course or winning is not.  Kinetic Sculpture Competitions have been taking place all over the world since 1969 when a California artist named Hobart Brown made some artistic improvements to his son’s tricycle.

For more information on participating, sponsoring, and attending the KKSD visit

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The Philadelphia Design Center


Partners for Sacred Places is creating the city’s first shared membership-based design center. The Philadelphia Design Center will take over a former Catholic School building in South Philadelphia, and will be fully equipped with meeting spaces and mixed use studio spaces for making and creating: building a community and workplace for graphic and industrial designers as well as designers  in theater, architecture, and fashion.

The Center will be community driven and membership-run, and in order to meet the needs of Philadelphia’s diverse group of design professionals, Partners for Sacred Places would like to hear from you about what you need. Click here to fill out a survey and to learn more about The Philadelphia Design Center.


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DesignPhilly’s Picks for Philly Tech Week


ptw2014Philly Tech Week 2014
140 Events running April 4-12
Various locations throughout Philly

Philly Tech Week 2014 – presented by AT&T - is a week-long celebration of technology and innovation starts today and runs through April 12th. With over 140 events organized by 300 partners, we wanted to highlight some that caught our fancy here at DesignPhiladelphia for the design aficionado in you. Hope to see you there!

Coinciding with Philly Tech Week, AIGA Philadelphia SPACE will feature interactive design and web animation for it’s April exhibition, opening First Friday, April 4. Alongside projections, we will be covering SPACE with QR codes for a new kind of gallery experience, including animated GIFs, old school flash, after effects, interactive artwork, etc. (FREE)

The Design Slam is a collaborative event in user experience design where participants compete in teams to develop the best design solution for a given challenge. In an effort to introduce emerging talent to industry professionals, this year PhillyCHI has teamed with Philadelphia University. The 2014 Design Slam is an opportunity for students to work side-by-side with user experience professionals. Each team will develop a compelling solution to this year’s challenge using the materials provided. Teams will pitch their designs to the group and a panel of judges will select the winning design. Spectators are welcome. (FREE; advanced registration required.)

Celebrate technology and innovation at the Philly Tech Week kickoff event, Arcade @ The Oval. We’ll be playing Tetris® on the Cira Centre building, Guinness Certified as the world’s tallest video game! Local apps, games and community partners will be highlighted during this outdoor “arcade.” Enjoy food from 10+ Philly food trucks, a Yards beer garden and live performances. (FREE)

Artists, data scientists, technology geeks, graphic artists, computer science nerds all come together for one hour to show their finest visualization of data sets (provided 48 hours in advance). Judges include: – George Brunner, CTO of Acumen Analytics – Dan Murray of Interworks, Surprise Local Celebrity Judge – TBD judge. They will be judging the visualizations based on criteria which will be announced shortly. (FREE; advanced rsvp required)

Join GeoPhilly for a screening of short archival films related to mapping, cartography, and planning from as early as the 1940s. “Data for Decision” (1967), our feature for the evening, celebrates the first ever use of digital analytical map making. Other films will explain how to deter everything from boredom in suburbia to mob fights through proper planning. Doors at 6:30 PM, films start at 7:00 PM. (FREE, advanced rsvp requested)




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Creative Mornings comes to Philly April 11

cm-philadelphia-logoCreativeMornings | Philadelphia
April 11 | 8:30am – 10:00am
FREE; ticket required | Center for Architecture

CreativeMornings finally arrives in Philadelphia!

Speaker, Eric Smith, will tackle the topic of: SEX! Eric Smith is the author of the Geek’s Guide to Dating, a fabulous guide to geek courtship, love and all things that lead from there. It is also a beautiful book decorated with lush and hilarious 8-Bit graphics. This event is free at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, but space is limited and advanced tickets are required (see link above). Co-sponsored by Bluecadet & DesignPhiladelphia


Eric is also the co-founder of Geekadelphia and the Philadelphia Geek Awards , as well as the social media and marketing manager at Quirk Books. By day he works in publishing and social media, and by night, he writes. His book, The Geek’s Guide to Dating, is out now, and his debut Young Adult novel with Bloomsbury Spark publishes this Fall. He’s written for BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, BoingBoing, and is a contributor to BookRiot and Geekosystem. Follow him at @ericsmithrocks

What’s CreativeMornings?

In 2008, Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swissmiss) started CreativeMornings out of a desire for an ongoing, accessible event for New York’s creative community. The concept was simple: breakfast and a short talk one Friday morning a month. Every event would be free of charge and open to anyone. Today, attendees gather in over 70 cities around the world to enjoy fresh coffee, friendly people, and an international array of breakfast foods. Volunteer hosts and their team members organize local chapters that not only celebrate a city’s creative talent, but also promote an open space to connect with like-minded individuals. The growing archive of past breakfast talks is humbling. From design legends to hometown heroes, speakers are selected by each chapter based on a global theme. CreativeMornings remains free thanks to the support of local sponsors, generous venues, and longterm partners.


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TEDxPhilly Happening Tomorrow!

TEDXTEDxPhilly: The New Workshop of the World

MARCH 28 | 9:00AM-6:00PM

TEDxPhiladelphia will present a daylong multidisciplinary conference championing great ideas, bringing together engaging speakers, performers, participants and exhibitors to examine the 2014 conference theme “The New Workshop of the World.” The event will be held at Temple Performing Arts Center, one of our city’s premiere venues, located at 1837 North Broad Street on Temple University’s campus. As of today, it’s sold out – BUT on the day of a live video webcast of speaker talks will be available to anyone with an internet connection. Or you can attend a free webcast viewing party on the conference day at one of many unique spaces across the city; The Center for Architecture being one of them! The free webcast viewing parties include a “party box” from the TEDxPhilly team and complimentary lunch provided by Chipotle. 

About TEDxPhilly: The New Workshop of the World

From the 1860s through the early 1970s Philadelphia was known by the well-earned moniker, “Workshop of the World.” Now it’s reemerging as a home for makers, entrepreneurs, artists, and a dizzying array of thinkers and doers. Tomorrow, TEDxPhiladelphia will spotlight those at the intersection of community, business, and culture, as we explore the revitalization of an old urban center. The 2014 conference celebrates this New Workshop of the World, an idea and image the city embodies as it reclaims its position on the global stage as a center for innovation.

See who’s speaking

See the conference schedule




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Placemaking: The Artist’s Role | March 27

cfeva_logo_med_resPlacemaking: The Artist’s RoleMarch 27 | 5:30-7:30PM
University of the Arts, Gershman Hall Chapel
$10-$12 | Free with UArts student/alumni ID

The importance of the artist’s role as “placemaker” has grown significantly in recent years. With increases in funding and visibility for artists that are working in this way, placemaking has established itself firmly in the world of visual art.  Join us for a conversation that will explore the role of artist as placemaker, the social responsibility of working outside of the studio and the benefit of involving artists to define, create or alter place.

Join The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, The Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at The University of the Arts and Flying Kite for a conversation that will explore the role of artist as placemaker, the social responsibility of working outside the studio, and the benefit of involving artists to define, create, or alter place.

The evening’s panelists include:

Lily Yeh is an internationally celebrated artist whose work has taken her to communities throughout the world. As founder and executive director of the Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia from 1968 to 2004, she helped create a national model of community building through the arts. In 2002, Yeh pursued her work internationally, founding Barefoot Artists, Inc., to bring the transformative power of art to impoverished communities around the globe through participatory, multifaceted projects that foster community empowerment, improve the physical environment, promote economic development and preserve indigenous art and culture. In addition to the United States, she has carried out projects in multiple countries including Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Rwanda, China, Taiwan, Ecuador, Syria, Republic of Georgia, Haiti, and Palestine. (

Benjamin Volta is an artist that earned a certificate in sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2002 and a BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. For the past 10 years, he has been developing a collaborative art-making process that builds upon partnerships with public schools, art organizations and communities. He’s received funding from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education to work in over 35 schools on hundreds of projects, some of which are on permanent display at The National Academy of Science’s Keck Center in Washington, D.C. Using the same collaborative process, he has developed many public art works, including murals at The Philadelphia International Airport, The Center for Art in Wood, and the 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University, as well as the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in NYC and the Regina Public Library in Saskatchewan, Canada. In 2012, he founded the Volta Studio School, which functions as a classroom for youth, a fabrication studio, and a playgroup space for parents and kids. He is currently working on multiple projects in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and is represented by Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia. As a young artist he was a member of the groundbreaking art collective Tim Rollins and K.O.S.

Dan Schimmel is a practicing artist and founder of STEAMworkPHILLY, a creative network of artists, designers and social entrepreneurs who believe in the power of collaborative design, access to new technology and arts-based teamwork to solve intersecting business, civic and educational challenges. Dan has 12+ years experience as a non-profit arts administrator at the University City Science Center directing the Esther Klein Art Gallery (2001-09) and Breadboard (2010-2013). Both were award-winning programs at the intersection of art, science and technology, along with a commitment to community engagement and youth advancement. As a curator Dan introduced the first olfactory art exhibits to Philadelphia, Scent is Life and Odor Limits; and the city’s first Augmented Reality (AR) public placemaking project using mobile media and smartphone technology. Dan also developed and implemented award winning programs such as Art in the Air, Operation Eve, and the ground-breaking Artist Residency Program at NextFab Studio. Dan has a knack for creating symbiotic partnerships, collaborating with the likes of Monell Center, PECO, Philadelphia’s Office of Arts Culture and Creative Economy and the Mural Arts Program on projects that gained regional and national attention. In 2012 Dan was named by Philadelphia Magazine as one of the city’s smartest people in the Arts & Culture sector. That year he also received the Arts & Business Council’s Business & Arts Partnership Award for the Breadboard & NextFab Studio collaboration.

This session is free for UArts students and alumni (with ID) and $12.00 general admission. Artists affilalated with The Center for Emerging Visual Artists and AIA receive a $2 discount. Pre- Registration is required. Individuals who have not pre-registered are not guaranteed a seat. To reserve a space or to receive more information about The Center for Emerging Visual Artists or Direct Dialogues Lecture Series, please contact Genevieve Coutroubis, by phone (215) 546 – 7775 x 11 or by email

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“On the Rise” Exhibition Opens March 26

on the rise receptionOn The Rise Exhibition | Opening Reception
March 26 | 5:30 – 9:00PM
FREE at Center for Architecture

Explore the creative designs from rising stars of AIA Philadelphia. On the Rise features work by the 2013 Philadelphia Emerging Architect Prize winning firm, Stanev Potts Architects, and the 2013 Young Architect Prize winners, Brian Szymanik and Denise Thompson. Join AIA Philadelphia at the Center for Architecture for food, drink, friends, and fun to celebrate the opening of the 2014 On The Rise exhibition. As always, this opening reception is FREE!

At 6:30pm, Petra Stanev and Stephan Potts will discuss a core of projects showing the range of their firm’s work and interests; from a focus on form, surface and light as a visceral experience to a commitment to merging emerging technologies such as 3-D printing, rapid prototyping and off-site fabrication with traditional production methods. Brian Szymanik will also talk about his design philosophy and showcase work from his portfolio. Denise Thompson will also present her designs and working style from her time as an associate at Francis Cauffman Architects.


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March 11 Lecture: Penn’s Plan & Founding the City

penns plan

Building Philadelphia Lecture 1 of 10
Speaker: John Gallery, Former Executive Director, Preservation Alliance
Tuesday, March 11 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
$10-$20 ticket | at Center for Architecture

John Gallery, Former Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, investigates William Penn’s plans for the grand city in his colony of Pennsylvania. Did you know that Pennsylvania was given to William Penn’s father by the King of England to pay off a personal debt? It remains the largest grant of land to an individual in history. Learn how Penn took his inheritance and created plans for a major city that would take 200 years to match his vision. And learn how Philadelphia’s current-day form reflects his philosophical ideals and business plans.

This is the first talk in the Center for Architecture‘s annual 10-part “Building Philadelphia: Architecture, History, & Politics” lecture series, which takes place on 10 consecutive Tuesday evenings from March 11 – May 20. Discounted pricing is available for those who purchase the entire package. Those who attend at least eight of the lectures are invited to continue training on Tuesday evenings for three additional sessions weeks after the series ends to become certified as a volunteer tour guide for the Philadelphia Center for Architecture and/or the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia – a terrific opportunity for students seeking to expand their immersion in Philadelphia’s rich history, for business professionals seeking a creative outlet for their passion for Philadelphia, and for recently retired individuals (or couples!) looking for ways to stay engaged with their community and to share their knowledge with visitors. For a look at all 10 lectures, visit the Center for Architecture’s Facebook page.

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REMIX: Book Talk March 20th

remix book cover

FREE Book Talk/Panel Discussion
The REMIX: Discovering Cultural Content in Modern Design
March 20, 2014 | 5:30-7:30pm
at the Center for Architecture

RSVP here

In REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects and Soul, authors Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason explore today’s most popular cultural design trends and how they can fit into the modern interior. On March 20, Hays and Mason will continue the discussion! Join them with panelists Craig Wilson of Gallery 51, Jamila Payne of Soul Purpose Company and Sharne Algotsson, author of The Spirit of African Design, as they explore the hidden meanings woven into today’s most popular cultural accessories from throughout the African Diaspora and the various ways that contemporary African American decor styles incorporate and build on those meanings in modern homes and interiors. This event is presented by the Center for Architecture in partnership with the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Books will be available to purchase the evening of the event at the AIA Bookstore, located in the front of the Center for Architecture.

About REMIX:

AphroChic bloggers and designers Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason along with Lonny co-founder and photographer Patrick Cline take you into homes where cultural, global décor breathes beauty and soul into contemporary interiors. Whether you love to source pieces from your travels or simply wish to evoke the destination of your dreams, Remix shows how bold color, unique patterns like ikats and suzanis, original art, and handcrafted furnishings and accessories can help you express your cultural experiences in stylish, unforgettable rooms. With a foreword by HGTV Design Star Danielle Colding, Remix is both a striking object for your shelf and a book that restores meaning to the idea of “eclectic” decorating with genuine, personal style.

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