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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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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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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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Lots of Power: A New Mentoring Program


AIGA Philadelphia is partnering up with Clean Currents, Kensington Renewal, and Delaware Valley Green Building Council to introduce Lots of Power, a new mentoring program where creative professionals team up with high school students to address vacant lots in Philadelphia. The goal is to find innovative design thinking solutions for vacant lots in Kensington. Philadelphia teens involved in local community programs will have the opportunity to work with design professionals from local studios, firms, agencies, universities and design students to get the full experience of using design thinking to impact their neighborhoods. Students will be matched up with professionals on a 1:1 basis.

“A major initiative for AIGA Philadelphia is something called, “Design for Good,” says Alex Zahradnik, Ethics Chair of the Board. The organization sees design as an agent of positive social change. “The designer’s natural ability for problem solving lends itself to creative solutions, creative strategy and information theory.” Design initiatives in the community such as this propose new challenges to designers.

Design has the power to have a positive impact. AIGA Philadelphia believes change has to move beyond awareness and inspire. Nick has spent much time working with non-profits and he believes that creating positive environments for communities helps foster a positive change in people. The importance of instilling the belief of change in the youth is an invaluable idea. “The visual and physical presence of the end result of a young person’s creativity in the community will help grow that belief,” he says.

Are you a creative professional or student who is interested in getting involved? There’s still time to sign up here – but hurry! The deadline is Friday, June 14th.



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Perspectives: UArts School of Design Final Exhibition









The University of the Arts: School of Design Final Exhibition – May 11-17, 2013

The UArts School of Design will be having a final exhibition of their best senior and master’s studio work. It will include pieces from students graduating from the BFA in Graphic Design, BFA in multimedia, BS in Industrial Design, and MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning & Design programs.

You are all invited to attend!

Saturday, May 11th through Friday, May 17th – 9am-5pm – Design Exhibit – Center for Architecture

Saturday, May 11th – 6pm-9pm – Exhibition Opening Reception – Center for Architecture

Monday, May 13th  – 4:00-9:00pm – Design Portfolio Reviews with Professionals Night – Design Marketplace

For more information and to RSVP, visit:



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{ArtsTechPhilly} The Art of Fashion Meets Technology




ArtsTech Philly Presents The Art of Fashion Meets Technology

ArtsTech Philly teams up with FashionTechPHL and several local innovators in the field of fashion and tech to curate a panel on the intersection of fashion and technology to present The Art of Fashion Meets Technology. The meetup takes place as part of Philly Tech Week.

There is a growing relationship between technology, fashion, science, and design interests in Philadelphia and this panel will be an open discussion exploring those local relationships and projects.

How have image-based social networks changed the way consumers relate to fashion brands? What technological innovations are taking place in fashion? Has the rise in tech and fashion collaborations given birth to a new movement of wearable technology? Where is fashion and tech intersecting in Philadelphia and what opportunities exist?

These questions and more will be answered as the panelists and audience discuss this landscape together. The panel will be moderated by FashionTechPHL’s Nelly Arnold. Click here to register.

Friday, April 26th

6:00pm – 9:00pm

James Oliver Gallery

723 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA






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Eric Corey Freed to speak on Biomimicry





ArtsTech Philly and YAF Present Architect Eric Cory Freed: Attack of the Dodo Sapiens

ArtsTech Philly, in collaboration with Young Architects Forum, presents “Attack of the Dodo Sapiens: Innovative New Models for Sustainable Development”, a talk by Eric Cory Freed about biomimicry and its applications to sustainable architecture.

“Our way of life is killing us. Our cities, buildings and surroundings have been designed around abundant and cheap oil, but now we have painted ourselves into a corner and are stuck there. The next generation of buildings will have to do better than just energy efficiency and recycled materials. Our lack of foresight has made our building toxic, wasteful and unaffordable. In order to undo the damage of the past, we need innovative, new models for how to build deep green, bio-based buildings. By examining the emotional, psychological and financial reasons why we build we find new and better arguments for greening buildings. With this talk we will learn how to use biomimicry and organic principles as a guide, teaching us how to transform our built environments through bio inspired design and design solutions modeled on designs found in nature.” – excerpt from Freed.

Tuesday, April 23rd

6:30 – 9:30pm

Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts

211 S. Broad Street, Room 513, Philadelphia PA 19102



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Spring Lecture Series Goes Out With a Bang

Creating with Constraints - Spring 2013 Lecture Series

Creating with Constraints – Spring 2013 Lecture Series








Thanks to all who attended the third, and final, installment of our Spring 2013 Lecture Series, “Creating with Constraints” last night. It was the highest attendance we’ve had to date!

Friends of the Rail Park drew our biggest crowd to-date.

Friends of the Rail Park drew our biggest crowd to-date.








Leah Murphy and Andrew Goldblatt discussed how two former railway lines, a stretch of fifty city blocks in Philadelphia, can be transformed into a future green space. Representing Friends of the Rail Park (formerly known as VIADUCTgreene), Murphy and Goldblatt unveiled their plans for the first time to the public and discussed the internal and external constraints surrounding the project. The lecture ended with an outstanding Q&A session and comments from the crowd.

Goldblatt and Murphy discuss the project.

Goldblatt and Murphy discuss the project.








If you weren’t able to make it out, but are interested in learning more, Hidden City’s recent article, Plan for City Branch Rail Park Emerges, is a great overview and has the latest project images/renderings. To keep up with the project and learn how you can show your support, visit and friend them on Facebook.

The plans propose a Rail Park spanning 50 city blocks in Philadelphia.

The plans propose a Rail Park spanning 50 city blocks in Philadelphia.












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Free Lecture for 16mm Film Fans






Join Arcadia University Art Gallery Director, Richard Torchia, for a free lecture:

On the making of Tacita Dean’s new 35mm film JG

Torchia’s lecture will explore the process of bringing Dean’s 35mm, Cinemascope film to Arcadia University. A friend of the artist since 1996, Torchia assisted in the production of several of her films. His illustrated slide presentation will provide background on the location research and documentation of the film shoot. It will also address the underpinnings of JG, especially as they relate to Spiral Jetty.

6:00pm – Monday: April 15, 2013 (reception to follow)

At University of the Arts, Gershman Y, Levitt Auditorium (Broad & Pine Streets)

The lecture is part of an ongoing series on the work of Tacita Dean which includes film screenings, performances, and lectures.

For more info & the full line-up:

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Philly Tech Week 2013 coming April 20-27

Philly Tech Week 2013




Philly Tech Week, a week-long celebration of technology and innovation, is intended to grow the impact of this innovative region through programming focused on technology, collaboration and improving Philadelphia.

This year, events are scheduled into the following five tracks:

  1. Entrepreneurship/Investment
  2. Design/Development
  3. Arts/Creative
  4. Access/Policy
  5. Media/Transparency

Here’s our picks of great design-specific events you shouldn’t miss!

Mon., April 22nd3D Printer/OpenSCAD Modeling Class – helping people model ideas on OpenSCAD and Illustrator, and then allowing them to print on the studio’s 3D printer. (5-10pm @ Hive76)

Tues., April 23rd – Useful, Usable & Desirable: Designing for Users – explores the fundamentals of user experience, industry best practices and examples of websites that solve real problems for real people. (12-1:30pm @ Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce)

Wed., April 24th – Product Prototyping in 60 Minutes – step by step case study with live demos on CAD, 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC machining, and Arduino microcontrollers. (10am-12noon @ NextFab Studio)

Thurs., April 25th – Left to Your Own Device Contest Reception – celebrate the conclusion of the contest which challenges 16 artist to create using just one tool; with hands on experiences. (6-8pm @ Philadelphia Art Alliance)

Fri., April 26th – The Art of Fashion and Technology – innovators in the field from Philly Fashion Week to remote parts of the world tell how they leverage the playing field. (7-9pm @ 732 Chestnut St, 4th Floor)

Sat., April 27th – Make & Toss: Light Graffiti and Cocktails at 3rd Ward – join 3rd Ward in their new coworking space for music, food, beers, cocktails; make LED magnets for a temporary light graffiti installation on Germantown Ave. (8-11:59pm @ 3rd Ward)

For a full list of events, details, and to register:



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