Philadelphia is a unique environment with a strong history and tradition in design, manufacturing, and architecture. The days of being called “the workshop of the world” are in the past, but Philadelphia’s identity as a hub for creative activity never vanished - instead it was transformed. The opportunities for design exploration and innovation through the wealth of cultural institutions, universities, and an expanding entrepreneurial base are endless.

In this setting, the DesignPhiladelphia Festival emerged in 2005 to identify, celebrate and raise the profile of this city’s creative economy, all 50,000+ of them. In addition, DesignPhiladelphia demonstrates Philadelphia’s reemergence as a 21st century city - one shaped by design, technology, and collaborative business practices.

Over the course of nine days, places such as universities, cultural institutions, civic associations, city agencies, retailers, manufacturers, startups and the like across the city, participate in more than 120+ distinct events - everywhere from street corners to creative studios. DesignPhiladelphia’s events not only showcase the opportunities and talents inherent in this region, they are also instrumental in incubating start-ups, instigating neighborhood change, assembling thought leaders, and fostering positive community growth.


Hilary Jay - director, Center for Architecture & DesignPhiladelphia

Nova Harris - program manager

Katrina Virbitsky - program assistant

Maureen Ferguson - kickoff/benefit project manager