10 DesignPhiladelphia events for the tech design nerd in you

Our picks for the annual festival. Plus, a ticket giveaway for the kickoff party.

Tour the Pennovation Center during DesignPhiladelphia.

(Courtesy photo)

At this year’s DesignPhiladelphia, you can experience a self-assembling structure at Jefferson University’s public plaza, watch Klip Collective take on interior design and preview Penn’s new incubator space on Gray’s Ferry.
That’s just a taste of the roughly 100 events featured at the annual festival run by the Center for Architecture and Design. This year’s theme is “home” and aims to highlights local artists, designers and creators and the positive impact they have on the city. It runs from Oct. 6 – Oct. 16.
We’re giving away two tickets to DesignPhiladelphia’s kickoff party (tickets are $30 – $60 each). The party’s on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Provenance warehouse in Kensington.
For a chance to win them, sign up for the Philly newsletter, which sends you a roundup of our headlines every day. When you sign up, use the code “DPHOME.” If you’re already getting our newsletter, sign up for’s national newsletter for headlines from all across our markets, using the same code. Sign up by Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m. We’ll alert winners that evening.
Get tickets
Here’s the design-meets-tech events you should check out. They’re all free but some require you to register.

Sew Tech

Sew Tech is part of the Next Generation category which features events specifically for kids. Sew Tech is hosted by Handwork Studio and allows kids to explore technology, science and textiles. At the event, kids can learn how to build a soft circuit with conductive threads and LEDs. No experience is necessary and all supplies are provided.
Where? The Handwork Studio (35 N. Narbeth Ave. in Narbeth)
When? Oct. 9, 3 p.m.- 5 p.m.



The BEACON in collaboration with Jenny Sabin Studio is presented by MEDstudio@JEFF, an “anti-disciplinary education and research catalyst” at Thomas Jefferson University. The BEACON is a structure that people can interact with via an app that asks users questions about health across a number of themes. The results will change the sculpture’s surface behavior and it will self-assemble at sunset based on live feeds of Rail Park landscape data and the data from the app.
Where? The Sidney and Ethel Lubert Plaza (1001 Locust St.)
When? Oct. 6-10 and Oct. 13-16, 24 hours a day

Industrial Design NOW

Work from University of the Arts industrial design students will be on display at the Industrial Design NOW exhibit Oct. 6-10 and Oct. 13-16. The exhibit seeks to solve real-world issues with design, creativity and innovation. Students explored skills like digital fabrication (a manufacturing process where the machine used is controlled by a computer), research and photography.
Where? 211 S. Broad St., 5th floor
When? Oct. 6-10 and Oct. 13-16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Pennovation Open House

The Pennovation Open House will introduce visitors to the Pennovation Center, which includes an entrepreneurial coworking space run by Benjamin’s Desk, labs and inventor garages. The center is part of Pennovation Works, a blend of offices, labs and production space developed by the University of Pennsylvania.
Where? 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue
When? Oct. 6, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

New Inside World: Light and Form

Interior design meets tech at New Inside World: Light and Form, an exhibit that explores the relationship between old and new inside the intimate home space. The show is a collaboration between the Minima showroom and Klip Collective, an experiential light shop that blends large-scale projection lighting and storytelling.
Where? Arch Street Meeting House at 320 Arch St.
When? Oct. 6, 6-9 p.m.

MIO miXer

MIO miXer is a collaboration between MIO, Bose Professional and DJ Ben Arsenal. Visitors can mix sounds and create “immersive sound experiences” in an “acoustically tuned space.”
Where? 511 N. 13th St.
When? Oct. 7, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

How Technology is Changing Our Homes

How Technology is Changing Our Homes is hosted by Philadelphia University. Discussions, student exhibits and hands-on activities and challenges are centered around how tech can improve people’s day-to-day lives in their homes.
Where? Philadelphia University (4201 Henry Ave.)
When? Oct. 13, 2-6 p.m.

The Great Innovation Debate

The Great Innovation Debate will seek to argue and answer whether new design and innovation is driven by research or technology. Two teams of industry professionals will engage in the debate and the audience will decide the winners. The event is hosted by Bresslergroup, an innovation lab and design consultancy in collaboration with UPenn’s Integrated Project Design master’s program and the Design Management Institute.
Where? Bresslergroup (1216 Arch St., 7th floor)
When? Oct. 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Design Research Symposium

The Design Research Symposium includes an introduction lunch and guest speaker, break out sessions, a panel discussion, a design exhibit reception and a screening of the short film Nurturing Emergent Synthetic Life, all focused on design research. The event is hosted by Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
Where? The URBN Center (3501 Market St.)
When? Oct. 14, 12:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Geodesign Forum

The fourth annual Geodesign Forum at Philadelphia University will be centered on planning and design for sustainable communities. Presentations by educators, practitioners and industry leaders will be about using technology like GIS and 3D for designing and building. The keynote speaker will be Maria Aiolova, the co-founder of Tereform One, a design and architecture innovation hub.
Where? The DEC Center at Philadelphia University (4201 Henry Ave.)
When? Oct. 10, 1-6 p.m.

Companies: Klip Collective
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