The 11th annual DesignPhiladelphia Festival invites us to SHIFT our thinking about the design of our city and its design community. The festival, running from October 8-16, offers plenty of chances to explore the city and engage with design ideas from Philly’s past and for its future. Here’s are 10 picks for this year’s events – many free - including one presented by PlanPhilly.
Pearl St. Passage: October 8-10, 10am-10pm; October 11, 10am-5pm
The 1100 block of Pearl Street will go from alley to “passage” thanks to installations by 10 design teams interpreting the festival’s theme: SHIFT. Though this installation is short-lived the Asian Arts Initiative, whose back door opens onto this block of Pearl, is working with neighbors on a long-term vision to bring Pearl Street from alley to a space for public gathering and artwork al fresco. Free.
Art of Active Play: October 8-16, 10am-4pm
DesignPhiladelphia is also for next-generation designers. All week Smith Memorial Playground will host events that are part of the larger Play Space initiative from the Community Design Collaborative and Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children. A conversation about the power of play to support healthy kids and communities will take place on October 8th from 6-8pm and there will be a Family Play Day on October 12th from 11am-2pm.
Monument Lab: Panel & Party: Thursday, October 8, 5:30-8pm
Remember Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia, which inhabited the City Hall courtyard in spring? Curator Paul Farber join Metropolis Magazine editor Avi Rajagopal in conversation about the public engagement / art installation and public proposals collected for a contemporary civic monument. Free.
Fast Forward >> Philly: Friday, October 9, 5:30-8pm
Explore rapid-fire presentations that answer the deceptively simple question: What’s next for Philly? $5.
Chinatown North Neighborhood Design Crawl: Friday, October 9, 6-9pm
Visit the design studios and galleries of Callowhill/Chinatown North, including the Asian Arts Initiative, Metcalfe Architecture and Design, and MIO. Pocket maps available at Pearl Street Passage. Free.
Mode Shift: Sunday, October 11, 1pm
Join PlanPhilly, Drexel’s ExCITe Center, and Code for Philly to explore the ways the city is shifting its approaches to mobility, infrastructure, and planning. Code for Philly will share a visualization of Philly transit frequency and usage. And I’ll host a discussion with Rina Cutler (Amtrak Senior Director of Major Stations, Planning & Development), Greg Pastore (Zoning Board of Adjustment appointee), and Christine Knapp (Philadelphia Water Department, Director of Strategic Partnerships) to talk about accomplishments during the Nutter administration what the new administration ought to tackle next. Free. RSVP as space is limited.
Corridor Realities – Taking it to the Streets: Tuesday, October 13, 1-4pm
Discuss lessons from the streets of Philadelphia and New York City about bolstering commercial corridors and transforming streetscapes. Join a conversation with Paul Levy (Center City District), Giana Lawrence (Philadelphia Commerce Department), Renee Gilinger (East Passyunk BID) and Curt Alexander (Urban Jungle), Rosamond Fletcher and Chat Traveiso (Design Trust for Public Space) and Neil Gagliardi (NYC Department of Transportation), moderated by Alan Greenberger (Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Director of Commerce). $5-$10
A 300 Year Tradition: Pennsylvania Design Now & Then: Tuesday October 13, 5:30-8pm
See Pennsylvania craft and design from 1700 to the present, including works by George Nakashima and Philip Lloyd Powell, during a wine reception and auction preview at Freeman’s auction house. Free.
Signs of Change: Reception + Street Art Panel: Wednesday, October 14, 6-9pm
Can art increase voter turnout? That’s the hope behind a project that commissioned “Vote Here” signs from 60 Philadelphia artists. See all 60 signs at once and enjoy a discussion moderated by Conrad Benner. Pay what you wish.
OLIN Bainbridge Green Walking Tour: Thursday, October 15, 6-7pm
Friends of Bainbridge Green and OLIN will lead a walking tour of the would-be Bainbridge Green improvements and consider programming ideas. Free