Although one wouldn’t think of Philadelphia as a design hub in this day and age, it was a haven of artisans during the years of The United States’ founding. And, not far from the site where history was made when the country famously declared its independence from Britain, the newly-opened Design District made a declaration of its own—that design is here to stay in the City of Brotherly Love. “Philadelphia offers a rich history of design, craftsmanship and innovation, which has been a present energy here going back to the late 1700’s,” explains Eugenie Perret, président of the PDD and founder of Minima. Our country’s founders were creators and inventors; driven to build infrastructure and technology and create art and furniture, i.e. Benjamin Franklin. This type culture has remained in Philadelphia ever since and given way to cultivate such great designers as George Nakashima, Wharton Esherick, Harry Bertoia, Louis Kahn and many more. Currently, we are experiencing an influx of makers and craftsmen, who can’t help but be inspired by the artists that have created here,” she adds.
Spanning over six blocks in the city’s historic Old Town (not far from where Franklin himself tinkered), the district features boutiques, art galleries, ateliers and bistros that offer locals a true resource for design, “We felt that we needed a group that was solely focused on Design and raising the level of awareness in Philadelphia. We knew potential clients were looking to NYC for the products and services that they could find in their own backyard. And, finally realizing that we have been a design district for years, without the title, helped us to move in the direction of collaborations and forming a network,” Eugenie Perret explains.
The district will be hosting regular evening events which will invite Philadelphia residents to explore the crafts and curated collections of the Design District’s multi-faceted members.