The nation’s oldest architecture and design festival celebrates resiliency and tenacity of local designers

PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 15, 2020 /Neptune100/ — The Center for Architecture and Design is excited to present the upcoming 2020 DesignPhiladelphia Festival, October 7 – 18, with Jefferson once again supporting as title sponsor. The mostly virtual festival – anchored by the Kickoff Party on October 7 from 6:30 – 8:00 PM. – will be offered to the public in a variety of ways including through an online platform which will serve as the hub for featured festival programming. In spite of an incredibly tumultuous year, the local design community has rallied around its favorite festival to present an impressive line-up of more than 50 programs and exhibitions that reflect the challenges of 2020.

“We are thrilled to have such a thoughtful and engaging lineup of programs this year considering all the obstacles and unknowns we’ve faced since planning started,” says Rebecca Johnson, executive director for the Center for Architecture and Design. “There are several do-not-miss events, such as the launch of our virtual exhibition, Establishing a New Centennial: Designs that Advance Equality; or the program preview of Designing Motherhood, an exhibition with national clout opening in Philadelphia in 2021, or the presentation by Amuneal, which I hope inspires all of our small design businesses who may have struggled this year due to the economic impacts of the pandemic.” Johnson continues, “These are just some of the programs that demonstrate that despite a pandemic and widespread social unrest, the Philadelphia design community is still creating solutions that can help make our lives better.”

Festival Highlights:
DesignPhiladelphia KickOff Party – October 7, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
The virtual KickOff Party will launch the festival on October 7, 2020 at 6:30 PM as a livestream event with previews of Festival events and exhibitions, live chats with designers, interactive cocktail making, a virtual tour, and a special DesignPhilly Roll Call where designers from across the region share their thoughts and hopes for 2021 and beyond. The event is free to attend.

Amuneal: Design Optimism A 55-Year Case Study – October 17, 2020, 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Every year, Collab, a group of design professionals and enthusiasts who support modern and contemporary design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, partners with the Center for Architecture and Design to co-host a conversation with a noteworthy Philadelphia designer. This year that designer is Amuneal Manufacturing Inc., a Philadelphia family-owned business that continues to evolve in order to succeed.

Establishing a New Centennial: Designs that Advance Equality Exhibition – October 12, 2020 Brought to fruition as a National Endowment of the Arts Grant, this exhibition although initially conceived over a year and a half ago to commemorate the Suffrage Centennial, is focused on how securing the right to vote was a significant step towards a more equal society. “But it was an incomplete step,” comments Johnson, “we retooled the concept for the exhibition to feature projects that examine all types of inequality and marginalization, and present design processes and solutions as advancing both large and small goals in advancing equality.” This exhibition will have a unique AR component that will launch during the Festival, keep an eye on the DesignPhiladelphia Instagram for more information.

Designing Motherhood Exhibition: A Conversation with the Curators – October 14, 2020 8:30 – 9:30 PM
The Designing Motherhood Exhibition, coming to Philadelphia in 2021, highlights the arch of human reproduction and will manifest as a multi-site exhibition (at the Mutter Museum and the Center for Architecture and Design), book (MIT Press), and series of public programs helmed by Philadelphia-based thought leaders, Maternity Care Coalition (MCC). MCC seeks to improve the health and well-being of pregnant people and parenting families for an equitable future.

Other Festival Programs of Note:
• October 8, 2020, 6-9 PM | Creative Plating with Felt + Fat x Chef Erik Oberholtzer – in partnership with Cohere at the Viaduct, a food presentation, and tableware design followed by a demonstration of tips and tricks to make your meals look their very best! **OUTSIDE IN-PERSON EVENT

• October 13, 2020, 6-7 PM | Fast Forward >>Philly! A lineup of presenters from various creative backgrounds will Fast Forward through 20 slides at 20 seconds each to answer one question: What’s Next for Philly?

• October 14, 2020, 5-6 PM | CreateXchange + Haworth – a virtual event focused on the future of design. Interview with design and trend teams at Haworth and CXC about the design process and changing workplace

• October 14, 2020, 12-1 PM | Bressler Group presents Digital-Physical Workflows: Designing a New Tool for Designers of Hybrid Products

• October 17th, 10-11 AM | Fabric Workshop: Virtual Family Workshop 20/20

More details and the full calendar of events available at

“Even amidst a global pandemic, we are delighted to bring together an eclectic and supremely talented group of premiere designers, planners, innovators and architects of national and international acclaim to showcase and discuss their respective creations and ideas with the public,” said Johnson. “This all-star lineup is truly a celebration and reflection of what DesignPhiladelphia aims to do through creativity, collaboration, and community.”

DesignPhiladelphia, a signature event of the Center for Architecture and Design, is the oldest design event of its kind in the country and annually showcases the work of practicing architects, designers, and creative professionals. Experience design in unexpected ways through more than 100 exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, tours, talks, and events held in venues across the city. Learn about wide-ranging topics, including architecture, urban planning, landscape, graphic, multimedia, product, furniture design, fashion, and the like. For more information on planning an event, sponsoring, advertising, or attending the 2020 Festival, visit