Monday, August 31, 2009

Design Philadelphia 2009

It was gently brought to my attention that in highlighting NxtUp Philly in a recent post, I had not really devoted much attention to the individual components of that initative. Let's start with Design Philadelphia 2009.

Design Philadelphia 2008 was happening right about the time I was starting my position last October, and I have to say it was a great introduction to the robust design sector in Philadelphia, as well as the City's ability to come together and make great things happen. This is largest event of its kind nationwide, and just blew me away. So what is it? Here is how they describe it:

From October 7th to 13th 2009, over 125 diverse and dynamic exhibitions, lectures, building tours, book signings, open studios, runway shows, and workshops will take place in boutiques, galleries, museums, universities, warehouses and city streets, underscoring the impact creative industries are having on Philadelphia and the region.

As the city evolves from its industrial past, it is building a future founded upon knowledge, networks, and culture. We have a unique environment for design exploration and development ­­– an incubator – for students and professionals alike. In this setting, DesignPhiladelphia is making the case for the way in which design is central to economic, social and cultural growth.

DesignPhiladelphia emerged in 2005 to unite the design disciplines – from architecture to interior design, fashion to product design, multi-media to graphic design – and celebrate their contribution to this renaissance. This citywide cultural initiative recognizes this region’s distinguished design history and celebrates its contemporary significance as a center for creative advancement.

One of the things we struggle with in the arts, I think, is the increasingly gray area between for-profit art and non-profit art, between "art" and "design." The great thing abut Design Philadelphia is that it does away with those artificial dividers, and engages nonprofit arts organizations, for profit design firms, individual artists - and the entire city of Philadelphia - in an exploration of "everything design." Very cool!

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