DesignPhiladelphia 2017 Kicks Off on October 4th

October 4, 2017

The nation’s longest running design festival with over 100 events in nine days from Oct. 5 to 14


Philadelphia, PADesignPhiladelphia, the Center / Architecture + Design’s (the Center) signature public festival, will return for its 13th year with over 130 events from October 5th to 14th. DesignPhiladelphia highlights the work of thousands of local designers, architects, and creative professionals to demonstrate Philadelphia’s reemergence as a 21st century city shaped by thoughtful design, collaborative business practices, and community engagement.


The festivities officially begin on October 4th at the much anticipated Kickoff Party at Jefferson University, highlighting the exciting merger of a Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University. This year DesignPhiladelphia and five curated design teams teamed up with A.C. Moore to create a series of installations that will spark conversation and pique curiosity.


“DesignPhiladelphia has continued to grow in quantity and quality each year, which speaks volumes about the depth of design talent in the region. Our goal is to highlight the best designers in Philadelphia, as well as introduce new, cutting edge designers to the public,” said Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director, Center for Architecture and Design. “This year we are offering more events than ever before, with innovative design installations at our kickoff party, the student designed and constructed Merge outdoor sculpture on Lubert Plaza at Jefferson, neighborhood design crawls, new programming and exhibits, and a special DesignPhiladelphia Pop-Up Shop at the AIA Bookstore, where attendees can purchase works from some of the artists featured at the festival.”


As one of the oldest design events in the nation, DesignPhiladelphia annually welcomes more than 25,000 attendees during its ten-day run. Attendees can view Festival events by picking up an event guide at various locations throughout the city or by visiting


Some highlights of 2017 DesignPhiladelphia Festival include:


Kickoff Party

Wednesday, October 4 from 6:00PM to 10:00PM

Jefferson University, Dorrance H. Hamilton Building

1001 Locust Street, Philadelphia

This year’s kickoff party is designed to be a showstopper. Located in the heart of Center City on the Jefferson campus, DesignPhiladelphia teamed up with A.C. Moore and five curated design teams to feature a series of installations that will spark conversation and pique curiosity.


Neighborhood Crawls

Old City Design Crawl, organized and presented by Old City District

Friday, October 6 from 5:00PM to 9:00PM

152 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia

Old City is Philadelphia’s hub for art and design and long-time neighborhood supporter of the festival. Experience this special First Friday Design Crawl featuring a diverse group of showrooms and retailers.


Tyler Hays: The Art of Making Everything

Organized and presented by COLLAB

Wednesday, October 11 from 6:00pm to 8:00PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Tyler Hays is a world-renowned designer as well as the founder and lead designer of BDDW in Philadelphia, an American furniture company dedicated to the creation of well crafted timeless designs. Following Tyler’s presentation, guests will be invited to embark on a treasure hunt in the Museum’s 17th and 18th century decorative arts galleries, where they will find some of Tyler’s pieces temporarily positioned within the elegant sweep of design history.



Organized and presented by Health Promotion Council and AIA Philadelphia

Thursday, October 12 from 8:30AM to 5:30PM

FitCityPHL is an annual full-day symposium that explores design strategies in workplaces, neighborhoods, and cities that improve health. It brings together individuals representing the sectors of public health, architecture, planning, design, landscape architecture, development, research and evaluation, academia, philanthropy, and government to learn about how the built environment can have a positive impact on the negative health trends currently facing communities


Behind the Scenes: Bok Bar Furniture Design

Organized and presented by Scout and the Center for Architecture and Design

Friday, October 13 from 5:30PM to 7:30pm

Bok Bar commissioned eight local individuals and small teams of designers, makers, and artists to create bespoke furniture for Bok Bar. The teams are diverse, from emerging visual artists to long-time Philly furniture designers. Guillio Cappellini of the world renowned Italian furniture company, Cappellini, will moderate a panel of these designers to learn how their unique pieces were designed from concept to final product.


To learn more about DesignPhiladelphia 2017, visit:


DesignPhiladelphia festival is made possible through event partners and sponsors, most especially this year’s Presenting Sponsor, Jefferson University.





About Center / Architecture + Design

Founded in 2002 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Philadelphia), the Center / Architecture + Designprovides the public a place to explore architecture, urban planning, and design, allowing them to understand how these creative professions affect us all in our daily lives. Using Philadelphia’s distinctive breadth of architecture, pioneering urban design, and manufacturing heritage as the foundation for discussions, we educate the public with walking tours, guest speakers, exhibitions, hands-on workshops, design competitions, festivals, and children’s programming. The Center / Architecture + Design brings together architects, designers, developers, thought leaders, and the public under one roof and also serves as the physical home for AIA Philadelphia, the Community Design Collaborative, and the AIA Bookstore. The Center is open to the public six days a week.


About DesignPhiladelphia

DesignPhiladelphia, a signature event of Center / Architecture + Design, is the oldest design festival of its kind in the country, highlights local and global design excellence, promotes local designers and design firms, and engages the general public to experience and understand how design impacts their everyday lives. Over the course of ten days each October, universities, cultural institutions, civic associations, city agencies, retailers, manufacturers, and startups across the city participate in over 100 engaging events including panel discussions, participatory workshops, studio tours, book signings, professional development classes, design exhibitions, and imaginative celebrations. DesignPhiladelphia 2017 begins the evening of October 4 with a Kick Off Party. Events run from October 5 to 14.

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Upcoming Events

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