DesignPhiladelphia 2018 Shines A Light On Design & Innovation At 120+ Events Citywide, October 4-13

The annual celebration of design returns with exhibits, parties, discussions, open houses and more...

DesignPhiladelphia, the city’s annual celebration of impactful design, returns October 4 to 13 to spotlight Philly’s diverse creative community and promote the city as a destination for design and innovation.

This year’s schedule features more than 120 excellent events, including special design exhibits, crawls, talks and parties.


  • DesignPhiladelphia 2018 runs from October 4 to 13, with a kickoff party on October 3.
  • The festival celebrates impactful and innovative design of all disciplines.
  • This year, the festival highlights purpose-driven design projects positioned to alter the landscape of Philadelphia.
  • A majority of DesignPhiladelphia events are free and open to the public.

For 2018, attendees can look forward to a giant kickoff party at the Bok Building in South Philadelphia, a workshop that tackles reimagining Philly’s “brand” using design thinking, a “cocktail crawl” that explores sensory design — and includes sensory-stimulating drinks — at 10 different galleries in Old City and dozens more awesome happenings.

Exhibition during DesignPhiladelphia
(Photo courtesy DesignPhiladelphia)
For 2018, DesignPhiladelphia hubs at the Center for Architecture and Design and Bok host interactive exhibits and other special events.

Festival Overview

Now in its 14th year, DesignPhiladelphia welcomes design lovers to take part in discussions about the industry, check out exhibitions, attend design-focused social events and encourage innovation via design thinking in industries like medicine and urban planning.

The Center for Architecture and Design and Bok in South Philly serve as festival hubs, housing installations, exhibitions and hosting events.

For this year’s festival, DesignPhiladelphia partnered with local creative agency Cohere to develop an overarching festival campaign: Design Purpose. Programming for 2018 aims to showcase purpose-driven design and mobilize the design community to use their skills to solve problems within the city and beyond.

Attendees socializing at DesignPhiladelphia event
(Photo courtesy DesignPhiladelphia)
DesignPhiladelphia 2018’s programming includes happy hours, studio open houses, interactive exhibits, talks with industry professionals and more.

Programs and Events

DesignPhiladelphia 2018 promises more than 120 events spanning a variety of design disciplines, including architecture, interior design, fashion, art and graphic design.

The festival kickoff party, hosted at Bok on Wednesday, October 3, offers design-savvy attendees ample opportunity to mix and mingle. Tickets to the event include access to a Forum on Architecture + Design keynote delivered by Paula Scher — an award-winning designer and principal of the international design consultancy Pentagram — along with light hor d’oeurves, complimentary drinks and access to the interactive installations located on the first floor of Bok.

After the official kickoff, festival programming and events — most of which are free — take place citywide.

Exhibition on display during DesignPhiladelphia
(Photo courtesy DesignPhiladelphia)
Exhibitions and events at this year’s festival aim to showcase design purpose, process and usefulness. 

Here are some events to look forward to:

  • The Lucas Alexander Collection’s creative director Gregory Augustine moderates a discussion about fashion’s influence on interior design with interior designer Kiley Baun. Tickets must be purchased in advance (Thursday, October 4).
  • The Old City Design Crawl allows guests to explore nine open studios and showrooms in the neighborhood, including The Center for Art in Wood, Land Collective and Stokes Architecture (Friday, October 5).
  • MinimaWexler Gallery and 10 more studios and businesses that are part of the Philadelphia Design District collective each host an individual exhibition or experience that explores the relationship between design and the senses (October 6-13, select dates). A “cocktail crawl” (registration required) to the participating galleries kicks off the showcase (Saturday, October 6).
  • Natalie Nixon (design strategist at Figure 8 Thinking) and Gary Kopervas (VP of Brand Strategy and Story Development at 20nine) lead a collaborative workshop that reimagines Philly’s “brand” using design thinking methods (Tuesday, October 9).
  • Dickson Despommier (one of the leaders of the Vertical Farm movement) talks with architects and urban farmers about agriculture, architecture and the work being done to improve agricultural infrastructure and global food security at Erdy McHenry Architecture’s offices, which will be transformed into an urban farm (Thursday, October 11).
  • Walé Oyéjidé, designer and creative director of fashion line Ikiré Jones, talks with Damon Reaves of the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Bok about his design purpose and work, which has been featured in exhibitions and the film Black Panther (Friday, October 12).
  • Ricardo Rivera, founder and lead designer of Klip Collective, closes out the festival with a talk about placemaking through art and design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building (Saturday, October 13).

To browse the full list of DesignPhiladelphia’s 2018 events, click here — and make plans now to join in on this enlightening and exciting celebration of design.

DesignPhiladelphia 2018

When:October 4-13
Where:Various locations including the Bok Building, 1901 S. 9th Street
Cost:Varies by event



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