DesignPhiladelphia is the oldest design event of its kind in the country and the signature event of the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. Working with over 150 partners each year, we offer a wide range of public programming to demonstrate Philadelphia’s re-emergence as a 21st century city shaped by design, technology, and collaborative business practices.

Over the course of nine days, universities, cultural institutions, city agencies, retailers, manufacturers and startups across the region participate in more than 130 events on topics spanning across all design disciplines.


This year’s theme is SHIFT. We are inspired by the rapid changes in Philadelphia’s skyline and urban landscape; and how these changes have the power to SHIFT perceptions about our great city. This year’s festival will explore the SHIFT in design process, education, and practice towards a multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach.

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DesignPhiladelphia’s Story

Our Mission & Goals

About the Philadelphia Center for Architecture


This year, we’ve streamlined our programming into tracks for two main reasons - to guide event planners towards developing events in line with DesignPhiladelphia’s mission, and to make attending the Festival a little more easier to navigate for attendees. Each of the six tracks corresponds to one of our program goals and is geared towards a specific segment of our audience.

  • Patron

    Support Philadelphia's makers; source creative vendors and purchase design-forward products.

    Target Audience: Consumers/Buyers with purchasing power interested in high quality design/locally made products and creative services.

  • Advocate

    Learn about the power design has to solve problems, create innovation, and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and city.

    Target Audience: General public, civic/community leaders

  • Practitioner

    Network and get inspired through professional development opportunities for design professionals, faculty and students.

    Target Audience: Design professionals, college/graduate students, and design faculty

  • Explorer

    Engage with design and learn about Philadelphia's historic and contemporary assests through hands-on workshops and neighborhood tours.

    Target Audience: General public; both Philadelphia residents and out-of-towners interested in the built environment, history, and DIY activities

  • Next Generation

    Children and young adults explore design; its ability to shape their future and create positive change.

    Target Audience: Families with and educators of children, grades K-12

  • Enthusiast

    Meet the people, explore the ideas, and see the things inspiring the latest trends in design.

    Target Audience: General public, design aficionados/trend watchers