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The Philadelphia Art Alliance // September 6 - November 25

online at www.phillyworks.net

Published in Philadelphia, PA by Philly Works // October 2012 Design & Layout by Will McHale, Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich, and Katie Winkler Copyright Š 2012 Printed by Michel Pinto @ Imaging Zone in Springfield, VA

This Philly Works publication is dedicated to those that inspire us to work towards a better quality of life. F端chschen Mchale Gentile & Karl Schweda 1930-2012

“We were not in a hurry, except occasionally when it threatened to shower or when sap buckets were running over... All such emergencies we tried to anticipate as much as possible, in order to avoid haste, which according to the old saying, results in waste. We took our time, every day, every month, every year. We had our work, did it and enjoyed it. We had our leisure, used it and enjoyed that. During the hours of bread labor we worked and we worked hard. We have never worked harder and have never enjoyed work more, because, with rare exceptions, the work was significant, self-directed, constructive, and therefore interesting.�

Helen and Scott Nearing, The Good Life

Introduction 10-11 12-15 16-19 20-25

Introduction 2009 Philly Works 2010 Philly Works 2011 Philly Works

Exhibit Projects 28-29 30-33 34-35 36-37 38-39 40-43 44-45 46-47 48-51 52-73

VIADUCTgreene Food for Body and Spirit Into the Fold In a State Far From Equilibrium HONEYSTONE The Kiosk: First Edition, “Rent-A-Grandma” The Philadelphia V.O.I.D. Project B.Y.O.B. - Build Your Own Building Philly Fuel Co. Qualities of Work in Philadelphia Documentary + Photo Essay

106-117 118-121 122-123 124-125 126-127 128-129 130-131 132-133 134-135 136-137 138-141

Structure and Surface Philly Stake SHIFT Cynwyd Recumbent Tricycle Stick-lets: Reconnecting Urban Children with Nature Vacant Lots and Vegetation Dynamics across Philadelphia / 1999-2009 Examining Accessibility & Ridership of SEPTA ADMK BLUEREDYELLOW A Day by the Goat The Lure + the Perch

Writing 76-79 80-83 84-89 90-91 92-95 96-97 98-103

Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia by Mayor Michael Nutter & Katherine Gajewski The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program by Jane Golden The Community Design Collaborative by Elizabeth K. Miller The Head & The Hand Press by Nic Esposito CHAD - Charter High School for Architecture and Design by Andrew P. Phillips The Food Trust by Yael Lehmann Penn Praxis by Harris M. Steinberg & Andrew Goodman

Sponsors 144-145 The Philadelphia Art Alliance 146-147 Design Philadelphia Corzo Center for the Creative Ecomony at the University of the Arts 148

Philly Works organized its first two exhibits in 2009 and 2010 during Design Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design. Our aim was to highlight the thriving community of design, craft, and production by exhibiting existing work in the Philadelphia professional community. Both exhibits generated public interest and feedback, encouraging us to shift into a more proactive role in exhibiting work in 2011. We used several vacant storefronts and row homes to assemble a series of installations and workshops. In collaboration with Katie Winkler of Better Blocks Philly and Andrew Dalzell of SOSNA (South of South Neighborhood Association), we retrofitted a soon-to-be-demolished corner property to house several installations and events that provoked and challenged our thinking and understanding. Work such as an interactive mural, a series of machineknitted symbols, a letterpress workshop, a kid’s quality of life studio, and a collection of public seating, all raised awareness and focused conversation around a growing number of topics.


This and other new work completed during 2011 led to the generation of a design brief focusing on the qualities of life in Philadelphia for 2012. We began by hosting a series of discussions oriented around topics such as Food, Land Use, Work, Education, and Water, inviting professionals in these areas to join the conversation. Through additional events and investigations, new collaborative efforts were initiated. The work derived from the diverse skill sets of those involved formed the 2012 Qualities of Life Exhibit. We are excited about our collaboration with the Art Alliance in sharing this body of work with the city for an extended period of time and grateful for their foresight in supporting such an endeavor. In order to preserve and allow for the conversation to continue post-exhibit, we have collected the contents of this exhibit in the following pages. In addition, we invited individuals and organizations at the forefront of these discussions in the Philadelphia community to submit written contributions that help form a larger understanding of where we are at this moment in time as a city. The result is exciting! There is a lot going on, a great deal of thinking, momentum, and action. It has been an incredible and rewarding journey this year. We are hopeful that the conversations that emerge from this exhibit and book take root and are able to get community support through further investigation and discussion. We hope you enjoy+



2009 Philly Works Exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design Organized by Andrew Dahlgren and Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich Photos by Bryce Gibson




Photos by Bryce Gibson




2010 Philly Works Exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design Organized by Andrew Dahlgren, Leah Grubb, Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich and Will McHale Photo by Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich


Photo by Will McHale



2010 Philly Works Publication


Photos by Alexandra Schmidt-Ulrich and Will McHale



Qualities of Life Stamp Set by Will McHale Kid’s Quality of Life Studio facilitated by Julie Althoff-Bush





Qualities of Life Panel Discussion 2.0 water



The Philadelphia Art Alliance and Philly Works present the second panel discussion on:

Philadelphia Qualities of Life Thursday, March 22 @ 7:00 PM 251 South 18th St Walnut St RittenHouse

The Art Allliance

Yael Lehmann Executive Director of The Food Trust

Spruce St 18th St

Tiffany Ledesma Groll Outreach Specialst and Program Coordinator for Philadelphia's Green City and the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds

Locust St

Broad St

Panelists: Matthew Honea Project Manager/ Planner at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation

Visit phillyworks.net or philartalliance.org for more information




2011 Philly Works: Workshop on Interdisciplinary Collaboration Organized by Prad Selvan and Johan Widjaja Photo by Prad Selvan and Johan Widjaja


2011 Philly Works: Interactive Mural by Adam Carrigan and Shira Walinsky Philly Works Benches / Urban Seating by Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich Photo by Will McHale



2012 Qualities of Life Projects



A Continuous and Connective Vision for the Former Philadelphia and Reading Rail Line Aaron Goldblatt Liz Maillie Leah Murphy Paul vanMeter liz@viaductgreene.org www.viaductgreene.org VIADUCTgreene, a 501(c)(3) organization, advocates for the preservation of the elevated 9th Street Branch [“Reading Viaduct”] and City Branch rail cut of the former Philadelphia and Reading Railroad and seeks to re-establish this historic infrastructure as an asset to the City of Philadelphia and its communities by transforming its soaring and submersive landscape into a three-mile linear gardenpark and recreation path through several neighborhoods and connecting to Fairmount Park and a number of major cultural destinations. Until 1984, the 9th Street Branch of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad brought passengers in and out of Center City, terminating at Reading Terminal at 12th and Arch Streets [now the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Reading Terminal Market]. The construction of SEPTA’s Market East Station and a parallel tunnel system built to accommodate regional rail service, among other factors, eventually led to the abandonment of the 9th Street Branch. Today, about six tenths of a mile of the elevated rail line remains, its trestles and massive masonry walls distinguishing the streets of Callowhill and Chinatown North; its serpentine swath of spontaneous vegetation visible from below providing visual respite from the hardscaped streets and neighborhoods devoid of green space. The below-street-level City Branch is a former freight rail line that was at one time the lifeline of one of the nation’s most heavily industrialized corridors. A massive urban renewal plan replaced heavy industry with a Parisian-style Boulevard—the Benjamin Franklin Parkway— lined with arts and cultural destinations beginning in 1917, but the City Branch still exists today, hiding 25 feet below street level but mostly open to the sky. Taken together, these two former rail lines present the opportunity to create what could become one of Philadelphia’s most striking civic spaces, simultaneously serving as a recreational amenity and a powerful setting to tell the story of Philadelphia’s industrial heritage. VIADUCTgreene strives to achieve a holistic vision for the entire three-mile route by engaging city agencies, local organizations, community groups, and interested individuals in dialogues about its future. Through a Community Design Collaborative grant, VIADUCTgreene is currently working with OLIN Partnership, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, CVM Engineers, and VJ Associates to develop conceptual designs for a segment of the City Branch centered on connecting the former rail right-of-way to the Avenue of the Arts and the growing momentum of North Broad Street.


While New York’s High Line, the Promenade Plantee in Paris, and Sßdgelände Nature Park in Berlin, among many other rails-to-trails projects, serve as inspiring precedents for possibility, VIADUCTgreene shares the sentiment voiced by many of its fellow supporters: the 9th Street and City Branches have their own distinct character that must be preserved through design concepts that preserve and enhance their own power of place.


Food For Body And Spirit

A collaborative exhibit about a collaborative project Brad Carney Kate Jacobi Jane Rath Scott Ritchie Aaron Roche

Artist, Mural Arts Program Project Manager, Mural Arts Program Principal, SMP Architects Associate, SMP Architects Cost Estimator, STV, Inc., Delaware Valley Green Building Council

This exhibit piece attempts to capture the drama of the incredible transformation of 1901 North Front Street, the site of the Kensington High School of the Creative and Performing Arts, in the last five years. From a throw-away site, contaminated by industrial pollution and neglect, the property has become a symbol of community hope. As a testimonial to the importance this project has become in the community, neighbors, students, teachers and friends joined together for an Earth Day of Service. Last year, an organic vegetable garden and outdoor classroom, designed by the students and built by student and community volunteers, provided both food and learning experiences for the school and neighbors. The project illustrated how urban agriculture can provide healthy food to citizens with poor food choices and empowered students, by showing them that green jobs are within their reach. This project was further celebrated in a mural painting project begun that same day with the help of the Mural Arts Program. The students’ design combines architectural images from the building with representations of native species planted on the site. This summer, student poetry and additional artwork were incorporated into a second phase which is nearing completion. This exhibit, a collaboration of key participants of the garden and mural projects, consists of two parts: a projection showing the process and the incredible number of people who transformed 1901 North Front Street over the last five years

and a “seed tray” that conveys the tapestry-like interweaving of the garden plants, art and poetry which is really what a viewer experiences when visiting the site - a student dream realized over the course of the last two years.

Garden and Mural Project Collaborators: Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts:


Debora Borges Carrera, KCAPA Principal Josh Kleiman, KCAPA Special Education Teacher Rachel Jordan, KCAPA English Teacher and Advisor

Mural Projects: School District of Philadelphia Student Artists: Amber Burnett Bobbi Hoggard Josh Cruz Mariam Konate Kaira-Lynn Garcia Jordan McCullough Brianni Gomez Raymond Millhouse Marisol Gonzalez Elizabeth Morales

Careanna Quiros Diana Sarita Paris Womack Savion Young

Mural Arts Program: Brad Carney, Philadelphia Artist and Mural Arts Instructor Kate Jacobi, Project Manager, Mural Arts Program Lisa Murch, Project Manager, Mural Arts Program Louis Radochonski, Art Education Program Manager, Mural Arts Program Sean Small, Artist Assistant, Mural Arts Program Scott Bickmore, Artist Assistant, Mural Arts Program Jane Golden, Executive Director, Mural Arts Program Garden Project: Delaware Valley Green Building Council: Garden Organizer and Fundraiser: Aaron Roche, Cost Estimator, STV Inc., and DVGBC Metro Sally Azer, Interior Designer, HDR Inc., and DVGBC Metro Kate Jacobi, Project Manager Mural Arts Program and DVGBC Metro Janet Milkman, Executive Director, DVGBC SMP Architects: Architects of KCAPA and Garden Project / Mural Volunteers: Jane Rath, Principal and Designer of KCAPA Scott Ritchie, Associate and Designer Gilmore & Associates: Landscape Architects of KCAPA and Garden Volunteers: Chris Green, Landscape Architect Matt Hostander, Soils Engineer New Kensington CDC: Community Partners and Fundraisers: Sandy Saltzman, Executive Director Shanta Schachter, Deputy Director Veronica Erenberg, Project Coordinator Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: Horticultural Consultant: Larry Stier, Project Coordinator Urban Tree Connection: Garden Consultant: Skip Weiner, Project Coordinator




Into the Fold Meghann Hickson Brittany Schrum Collaborators: The Free Library of Philadelphia bschrum@uarts.edu mhickson@uarts.edu The purpose of Into the Fold is to raise awareness about the necessity of public schools and accessible learning in our city. As more and more public schools are threatened by closure everyday, this project is actively spreading the message that these places are not budgetary constraints, but rather places where kids grow up, meet their best friends, and discover who they are. Located at a few library branches around the city are donation boxes where community members may drop off folded paper flowers. These flowers hold a precious school written memory or drawing. These little sculptures are being collected and displayed as “memory gardens” at three schools in North Philly, Center City, and South Philly. Into the Fold hopes to preserve the memory and integrity of public schools in Philadelphia. These schools are crucial community anchors which undoubtedly affect the quality of life for students of Philadelphia. The project is ongoing through September and each school location will accumulate more flowers as they are received. Participating library branches include: Parkway Central, 1901 Vine Street, 19103 Whitman, 200 Snyder Avenue  Philadelphia, PA 19148 Cecil B. Moore, 2320 Cecil B Moore Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19121



In a state far from equilibrium The Think Tank that has yet to be named As organisms and networks, cities live and breath, ebb and flow, change according to the myriad complex currents that are social, environmental, political, economic, historical, cultural, psychic, and so on. Buildings fall down, vacant lots become overgrown, and neighborhoods falter. People hold on, others leave; the same is true of institutions, businesses, entire ways of life. In the process called forest succession, catastrophe and disaster — whether caused by human or non-human forces — are catalysts for regeneration and reorganization. In this moment of environmental crisis, usually suppressed species of plants assert themselves and thrive in the cleared places where decimated trees and other vegetation once stood. The first signs of this regeneration are grasses, weeds, and fast-growing perennials, not majestic oldgrowth trees towering above. Slowly the forest evolves from weedy plants and brush to large trees. The forest is always changing; even a forest of 500-year-old pine trees will eventually fall, inviting new hardwoods to take their place. Imagine a process like forest succession occurring in cities: call it urban succession. A moment of stress is often a moment of transformation, an invitation for more agile and aggressive pioneer species to be the first to establish roots and claim the land. These colonizers will lay the groundwork for a changed landscape. In time, they may rejuvenate the ecosystem and usher in mature, healthy organisms, which grow tall and build strong foundations for future generations – that is, until, as the cycle dictates, a new disturbance advances the process again. Urban succession describes a state of continual change, a constant state of flux. We exist in a state far from equilibrium, with a torrent of forces swirling around us, changing our lives, our environment, and our universe. The occasion of disturbance in the urban environment, while devastating and demoralizing, can be viewed as an opportunity. It is a call to collective action that beckons individuals to become engaged subjects who strive to make (and remake) the world as they want it to be. Philadelphia is — as it has been throughout its history — at such a crossroads. Institutions are faltering, people are leaving, and it appears that the economic and civic foundations of yesterday are in decline, or at least tenuous. The cycle of transformation we propose in our model of urban succession is visible in the landscape itself. It can be seen in the bifurcation of Chinatown by the Vine Street Expressway; in the rapid wave of gentrification exploding outward from the city center; in the doubling down on extravagant starchitecture such as the Barnes Foundation on the Parkway; and in the unimaginative building of a casino on our abandoned waterfront, cynically named to reference a long-gone industrial past. Who and what held these landscapes in their


previous states? And what forces propelled them from one state to another? What will change the city tomorrow? What role will we play in guiding that transformation? We invite you to use this analytical tool and make visible this evolutionary process in order to see how abandonment and regeneration are possibly related. Over time, watch the system in the model grow, look for patterns, and build a baseline of understanding that might inform future actions in the city. Photography by Jerry Mann/SPACES and Danielle Muzina



Hexagonal Modular Deck System with prevegetated greenroof modules Joel Erland & Kate Kaman (HumanKind Design) humankind.design@gmail.com humankind-design.com

HumanKind Design debuts a hexagonal modular roof deck system to improve the quality of life in Philadelphia and help save the planet. Now you can create an eco-friendly rooftop oasis with precast HoneyStone tiles and StoneCrop greenroof modules. Perfect for people who love sunshine and spending time outdoors, these tiles add useful space to your home or office. Benefits include reducing cooling costs during hot summer months and extending your existing roof’s service life by protecting it from damaging UV rays. HONEYSTONE: Self-Cleaning Concrete Tiles Not only does the bright white surface of HoneyStone tiles keep your roof cool, but these tiles actually absorb and reduce atmospheric pollutants deemed harmful to human health and our environment through their use of sunlight-activated titanium nanomaterials. When empowered with the photocatalytic properties of TX Active®, concrete surfaces keep clean and effectively abate smog and many other urban pollutants.  In a large city such as Milan, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai etc. researchers have calculated – on the basis of test results – that covering 15% of visible urban surfaces with products containing TX Active® would enable a reduction in pollution of approximately 50%.  STONECROP:  Prevegetated Greenroof Modules These greenroof modules contain several types of sedums-- a mixed bouquet of heat and cold resistant plants that require minimum maintenance. Inspired by Philadelphia beekeepers with an extensive greenroof full of sedum, StoneCrop greenroof modules beautify your rooftop and help make bees happy.  



The Kiosk

First Edition: Rent-A-Grandma Amy Linsenmayer Eliza Stamps Collaborators: The Best Day of My Life So Far: Senior writing workshop participants and coordinator Benita Cooper my.awesome.grandma@gmail.com https://myawesomegrandma.wordpress.com/ http://thekioskproject.wordpress.com/ The Kiosk: In many countries, kiosks serve a grander purpose than selling tickets or dispensing information. They are micro-spaces that function individually and collectively to shape the surrounding physical, social and economic environment. The Kiosk is a mobile, micro-environment that activates public space by engaging communities in interactive projectsThrough its flexible programming and location, this modest structure provides a physical space for the emergence of social sculpture. On a given day, the Kiosk may be a puppet theatre, a tiny dance hall, a barbershop, a site for fortune-telling and more. For its first iteration, the Kiosk has been transformed into a grandmother’s house. Rent-A-Grandma: Rent-a-Grandma addresses Philadelphia residents’ needs for grandmotherly love and connection. It celebrates the wisdom and significance of senior women in our community and examines how familial ties and physical exchange between individuals of differing generations make Philly “work.” The exterior of the Kiosk remains unchanged while the interior has been transformed with an amalgam of knick-knacks and sundry items you may find in a grandmother’s home. Featured alongside the structure are portraits and first-person stories of local Philadelphia Grandmothers who are part of the Senior Writing Project “The Best Day of My Life So Far.” Viewers are encouraged to interact with the sculpture and reflect upon the roles of elder maternal figures in their lives. If you are a grandmother or grandchild who would like to share your experiences or memories, email us at my.awesome.grandma@gmail.com, where we can include your stories on our blog. If you visit the sculpture on the right day, you just may be able to meet and talk with grandma in her house, hear her stories and ask advice. After “Rent-A-Grandma,” the Kiosk will undergo its next transformation. Subsequent editions of The Kiosk, may include the Oracle Center, the Barbershop, the Soup Shack, the Dance Stand, and more. Check in with us to see what the Kiosk will become!


The Design: The Kiosk’s design is based on the archetypal structure that one might find in any part of the globe. It is simple, modular, and easily replicated and modified. To a certain extent, the design and fabrication of this structure was informed by the procurement of local salvaged material, including wood from a local 18th century church and the former Schmidt’s Brewery (Manayunk Timber), salvaged doors and windows (ReStore), and used lauan board from a disassembled film set (The Resource Exchange.)




The Philadelphia V.O.I.D. Project Jason Austin, Austin+Mergold Alex Mergold, Austin+Mergold Sally Reynolds, OLIN Marc Krawitz, Austin+Mergold Ann Dinh, Austin+Mergold; Temple Architecture Student Melhissa Carmona, Austin+Mergold; Temple Architecture Student ausmer@austin-mergold.com www.austin-mergold.com Urban voids, the neglected and forgotten spaces within an urban fabric, may in fact be the secret for the revitalization of the 21st century post-industrial city. These voids need not be considered blight on urbanity, nor merely a vacancy, but a series of opportunities for activities decidedly un-urban: esoteric, fun, and just plain weird, that help reimagine and eventually renew the vision of the city and quality of life of its residents. What if the vacant lot that currently serves as the community dumping ground can turn into a neighborhood recycling center? An outdoor “walk-in” movie theatre? An impromptu Commedia dell’arte stage? A swimming hole? A memorial ground? A beer garden? A community roof-deck? And what if these voids become networked yielding city-wide enhancements, such as an urban arboretum? An outdoor laboratory for the public school system? A sponge landscape for rising tide waters? Urban cabinets of curiosity? An urban carnival operating year round throughout the city fabric? And what if the public sidewalk doubles as the conduit that supports these networks? So how does this happen? How can these urban artifacts of vacancy be preserved and reprogrammed to generate new economies for the city, the neighborhood and the individual? The Philadelphia V.O.I.D. (Variably Optioned Incisions into Density) Project attempts to re-evaluate such urban vacancies to accommodate social, ecological and cultural needs for the future city – prioritizing lifestyle value over real estate value, public space over private development, presence over absence. Fundamentally, this project attempts to re-imagine the voids as a new public space typology generating bite-sized management opportunities for neighborhood organizations and periodic episodes of play for citizens of all ages.

Photography by Bob Trempe



B.Y.O.B. - Build Your Own Building Halee Bouchehrian, phenomenArch halee@phenomenArch.com www.phenomenArch.com Under the label of luxury condominiums, many developers use such buzz words to market new development to potential buyers. In developers’ terms, the “luxurious” aspect manifests itself in stainless steel appliances, and other short-lived trends. Buyers choose from identical templates of studio, one-, two-or three-bedroom floor plans. Developers have to recoup their investment so these mass-produced “luxury” developments offer little value at a high price.  This model known as “Baugruppenmodell” already exists in countries like Germany, where cities encourage new development of vacant lots with tax incentives. Pooling together a group of five or six families’ and individuals’ capital to buy land, design and build our own homes, would not only cut the cost of new housing, but allow home buyers to take total control: from location, to customized floor plans with true lasting luxuries such as high ceilings, outdoor space, double height space and lots of natural light. Home owners will also have control over the mechanical systems used, allowing them to take charge of their energy bills over the life cycle of the building eliminating exorbitant predetermined monthly condo fees. Working together with an architect, home buyers can make a wish list to customize their homes that are tailored to their current needs and flexible enough to accommodate future needs. Instead of being given limited options for finishes, building your own offers opportunities to house finishes as extravagant as your budget allows and not calculated to maximize a developer’s profit margin. The possibilities are endless.      About phenomenArch phenomenArch is a small architecture office with an interest in meaningful space making.  phenomenArch approaches architecture as a problem-solving proposition and seeks thoughtfully practical solutions to spatial challenges at any scale. phenomenArch is committed to identifying unmet human needs in any geography, using innovative thinking coupled with modern technology to work within the limits of regulatory and budgetary constraints. phenomenArch sees constraints as opportunity for innovation. Design challenges of any scale are treated with equal attention to detail resulting in functional, economic and beautiful objects, buildings and cities, always mindful of the end user’s experience.  Halee Bouchehrian is the founder and principal of phenomenArch. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a Master of Architecture from the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. She lectures in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.



Philly Fuel Co Will Belcher, Molly Henry, Andrea Landau, Chris Landau, Danni Sinisi, Autumn Visconti mollyhenry.mjh@gmail.com www.facebook.com/phillyfuelco Philly Fuel Co is a dynamic group of planners, artists, and designers promoting microalgae as a viable alternative energy source. Our research found that algae biodiesel is a clean and efficient resource which should be recognized as a major asset in the alternative energy landscape. Through a guerilla marketing campaign influenced by art, architecture, and propaganda strategies, Philly Fuel Co presents a project which reveals an impressive and untapped energy resource. The goal of this work is to raise public awareness about the capabilities of algae derived fuel and its ability to reduce dependency on the current drivers of domestic fuel and foreign oil. Our vision unlocks the potential for a future beyond Philadelphia’s post-industrial landscape. A Brief History of Fuel: 4500–3500 Ma (million years ago): Planet Earth is submerged by water. From its cavernous depths, the first plant organisms come into being. Microscopic algae grow well beyond the essentials of sunlight and carbon dioxide and proliferate by the billions. Ultimately creating an atmosphere rich in oxygen that made all life on earth possible. 1750–1850: The Industrial Revolution thrives off combustible energies derived from coal and steam power. 1859: The first commercial petroleum oil well is discovered in Pennsylvania by Edwin Drake (American Oil Driller)–the acquisition of oil as an indispensable commodity alters the industrial landscape towards rapid technological advancement. The need for petroleum, while essential to all manufacturing industries, becomes detrimental to Earth and the health of society. 1973: OPEC Embargo - US Oil Crisis - In search of alternative energy solutions, Harry Truman and the US Department of Energy form the Aquatic Species Program (ASP) focus on producing algae derived biodiesel as a possible solution to the energy crisis. The fossil fuel industry ultimately wins when funding for the microalgae research shuts down in 1996. Twenty years of potentially transformative data is set on the shelf to collect dust. 2000–present: Concerns for peak oil and climate change become a reality. However, the potential of microalgae is buried deep away from the public eye and since then fails to enter the conversation. In 2010, as an environmental and urban planning student, Molly Henry, observes the swampy surroundings of the Sunoco Oil Refinery. She imagines the possibility of redeveloping the site as an alternative renewable energy resource; a Philadelphia-based microalgae farm.


2012: Molly shares her idea with Philly Works where she meets artist and designer Chris Landau. Together they assembled a team of artists and designers to form Philly Fuel Co, devoting their efforts to promote microalgae as an energy source. The group believes that integrating microalgae systems reinforces Philadelphia’s commitment to green infrastructure leadership, and fosters a future of dependable domestically sourced energy, local job opportunities, and cleaner air.




Qualities of Work in Philadelphia // A Documentary Adam Carrigan Will McHale Humankind- Joel Erland and Kate Kaman Peg & Awl- Margaux and Walter Kent Reload-  Roland Burns Lila Stuempfig  Jason Roberts will@phillyworks.net ac.carrigan@gmail.com www.phillyworks.net The Qualities of Work documentary is the first installation of what will be a longer term project that aims to engage the creative community in Philadelphia in conversation about their practice. The people we interviewed are living life very consciously according to thinking and principles they value. We are hoping that by better understanding these examples of people who are living and working according to their own chosen qualities of life, that we can engage the larger community in a discussion of how we work. This discussion is critical to the larger conversation about Qualities of Life in Philadelphia. Our hope is that there are common threads connecting the different makers with the viewer and his or her own practice. Over the coming year/s we will add to the list of people interviewed, returning to the various studios and work places to film more process and work. The documentary, which is in its early stages and an initial edit of that, will grow to give a more comprehensive understanding of the growing Philadelphia creative community. Photography by Will McHale


Photos by Will McHale, Adam Carrigan, and Katie Winkler


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2012 Qualities of Life Writing


Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability

by Mayor Michael Nutter & Katherine Gajewski

In Spring of 2009, we released Greenworks Philadelphia and announced our ambitious plan to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the country. We’re well on our way to achieving many of the Greenworks goals. We’ve reduced our municipal energy use by 5%; more than tripled our curbside residential recycling rates; increased access to healthy, affordable food for more than 200,000 Philadelphians; and completed 428 miles of bike lanes. Halfway through our implementation timeline, we’ve completed or started work on 148 of 167, or 89% of the Greenworks initiatives. We’re proud of the significant progress we’ve made toward the measurable goals outlined in Greenworks and of Philadelphia’s growing reputation as a leader in urban sustainability. With three years of work on Greenworks behind us, we’re taking an indepth look at the plan, cataloging opportunities and hurdles, and updating goals to accommodate changes in context that have occurred since its release. We’re adding new commitments and initiatives and updating baselines where we have new and improved information to guide our decision-making. As we promised in 2009, we’re sharing both our successes and our challenges so that others can learn from our experiences. Greenworks is and always was an expression of Philadelphians’ commitment to sustainability, and businesses, institutions, nonprofits, and residents have proven their dedication to making Greenworks succeed. One of many examples is the energy efficiency work booming across all sectors of Philadelphia, from companies developing cutting-edge technologies, to builders prioritizing efficiency in new projects, to homeowners retrofitting their houses. Local technology company Bulogics, with funding from the Greenworks Pilot energy technology Program, developed energy-efficient light and metering controls, which they first installed at a commercial scale at the Inn at Penn. Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and other nonprofit housing developers are committed to building green affordable housing, and neighborhoods from Queen Village to West Oak Lane are working together to drive energy efficiency at the community level. We’re proud that Greenworks has become a model for other organizations around the city, including SEPTA, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and the University City District, to create their own sustainability plans, and we’re pleased that the Greenworks goals and brand have been useful to efforts outside of city government. Together we’ve integrated sustainability not only into the city of Philadelphia’s


everyday work, but also into our residents’ routines, our businesses’ plans, and our partners’ priorities, and everyone’s efforts have begun to pay off in just three short years. We’re committed to sustaining our sustainability work well beyond the 2015 timeline of Greenworks, and we look forward to Philadelphians reaping the benefits for many years to come. Sincerely, Michael Nutter – Mayor Katherine Gajewski – Director of Sustainability




The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program by Jane Golden

In the mid 1980’s when Mural Arts worked under the aegis of the Philadelphia AntiGraffiti Network, our meetings with community residents were ventures into uncharted territory, so we didn’t dare expect too much by way of interest or support. We would arrange for a space in a local home or church, walk up and down blocks slipping our handwritten meeting notices into hundreds of mail slots (promising refreshments), set up the lemonade and cookies, and wait – hoping for the best. And, when people came through the door, in fact many of them, you can imagine our surprise. In living rooms and church basements, we would ask people what kind of mural they would like on their walls. And, over and over again we were met with incredulity. They responded, “In this neighborhood things are either done or not done to us, no one asks us what we want.” It turned out that the prospect of murals in communities decimated by blight was an almost revolutionary idea. Two of the first community leaders we met with, Ms. Bagby and Ms. Bullock, told us that the only visual stimulation in their neighborhoods were billboards advertising alcohol and tobacco. They told us their kids were starved for beauty and they clearly had an inkling of how big paintings on walls might literally and figuratively create new perspectives into their past and futures. And so we moved forward looking with our work, creating partnerships with neighborhood after neighborhood - creative collaboration that drew out of city residents what their neighborhoods meant to them and what they might become. People talked about their histories, stories, struggles and triumphs - and through the collective process and the dialogues with artists and each other, the murals that resulted went beyond beautification to becoming catalysts for positive social change, fueling ambitions for neighbors to clean lots, plan community gardens, plant street trees, organize educational programs, and launch community development initiatives. Murals, while not a panacea, tapped into elements of community culture and resilience, and provided the first visible symbols of reclamation and hope on neglected and dangerous blocks. Some 28 years later, Mural Arts’ models for community engagement have changed and proliferated, and now we meet with city departments and organizational leaders as often as we meet with individual block captains. Our “art” materials have expanded from house paint to durable mural pigments, mosaic, mirror, wheatpaste, and even light and sound. And our subject matter has evolved from idyllic landscapes and community heroes, to collages and text-based series of murals that transform


commercial corridors, gateways that welcome residents and visitors alike, outdoor classrooms that animate the spaces around public schools, and fencing that marks the transformation of an abandoned lot into an urban farm. Still, the intent of co-creation, of working with artists and community members to create meaning and to transform their experience of public space has been a constant in our practice. How we interpret muralism in the 21st century – as well as how we understand quality of life issues -- has ever greater potential now as the tools at our disposal expand, and our engagement with new creative and civic partners grows. We have gradually learned to build coalitions of social service agencies, city departments, activists and local residents to address a range of quality of life issues: behavioral health, housing insecurity, workforce development, environmental stewardship and education. The list goes on, but at the heart of it is the power of civic engagement and its visualization through community-based public art. Mural Arts is a laboratory, a research hub, a civic forum and a factory that works across an expansive and ever changing campus. For example, in 2009 we were asked to support Philadelphia’s Streets Department’s investment in recycling efforts and we responded by partnering with the Design Center at Philadelphia University, youth in public schools in various neighborhoods, and artist Desireé Bender to create bold designs using elements from Philadelphia textiles and children’s drawings to wrap a fleet of 20 recycling trucks. In 2011, the Recycling Trucks then spawned a group of 500 Litter Critters, eco-friendly Big Belly trash receptacles for center city streets designed by Ben Woodward and Thom Lessner. And, when the long-term capital project to re-build SEPTA’s Market-Frankford stations in West Philadelphia resulted in business stagnation along Market Street, Mural Arts turned to one of West Philadelphia’s most creative and successful graffiti writers, Steve Powers, to create Love Letter, a series of 50 evocative textbased murals that have since become one of Philadelphia’s most popular tourist destinations outside the city’s historic sites. Restored Spaces, that began as a single project to support environmental education in the public schools, has grown into a replicable model of practice that uses Philadelphia public schools, recreation centers, and commercial corridors as permeable sites on which to convene cross-community gatherings, raise awareness


about public assets and services, and integrate public art with sustainable revitalization strategies. To-date Restored Spaces has worked at six sites in five neighborhoods in collaboration with a growing list of stakeholders, including the School District of Philadelphia; Home and School Associations, student government, and faculty and staff; neighborhood community development corporations; the Philadelphia Water Department; and the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The most recently completed of the Restored Spaces projects, Bodine High School for International Affairs, included murals and mosaics on four sides of the school by artists Beverly Fisher and Eurhi Jones that: visualized an environmental education curriculum, offered job training workshops, and created an outdoor environmental classroom by architect Scott Shall that was included in the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennial. With Structure and Surface, still in its planning phase, artists will illuminate and contextualize the historic legacy of the city’s textile industry along with its past and present impact on the region’s landscape and people. When completed, through the lens of contemporary art and design, the final project will produce a series of experiential interventions that will help build momentum toward a revitalization of Philadelphia’s artisanal and manufacturing textile sector. From investments in encouraging community recycling, to re-claiming failing business districts, to convening multiple stakeholders in long-term environmental sustainability efforts, to understanding the power of the creative economy to help revitalize Philadelphia’s textile and garment industry, Mural Arts continues to expand the agency of art to transform lives, public spaces and contribute to a wide range of “qualities” of life. Jane Golden, Executive Director has been a driving force for the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, overseeing its growth from a small city agency into the nation’s largest mural program and a model for community development across the country and around the globe. Under Golden’s direction, the Mural Arts Program has created over 3,500 landmark works of public art through innovative collaborations with communities, grassroots organizations, city agencies, schools and philanthropies. Image Credits 1. Open Your Eyes (Artist Steve Powers). Photo Adam Wallacavage 2. Mount Kilimanjaro (Artist Jane Golden). 3. Design with Motion (Artist Desireé Bender. Photo Steve Weinik 4. chainlinkGreen (Artist Scott Shall). Photo The International Design Clinic / Keith Hartwig 82






The Community Design Collaborative: Pro Bono Design

by Elizabeth K. Miller

The Community Design Collaborative is a community design center that provides pro bono predevelopment design services to nonprofits, offers unique volunteer opportunities for design professionals and promotes the importance of design in community revitalization. For more than twenty years, the Collaborative has been connecting nonprofits with pro bono design services. Founded in 1991 by a group of young design professionals with a deep desire to use their skills for good, interdisciplinary teams began providing conceptual design for community based nonprofits. Over the past decade, with the ongoing support of AIA Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Community Development and many other funders, the Collaborative has completed more than 300 preliminary design reports, matching 1,500 design professionals with nonprofits. In ten years, the Collaborative has leveraged a collective 55,000 volunteer hours, a value of more $5,000,000. Service Grants Service Grants, initiated by nonprofits, combine in-house project management with the talents of architects, landscape architects, engineers, cost estimators and other professionals in a potent multidisciplinary mix to capture community visions on paper. Working side by side with neighborhood leaders, teams help community organizations assess options for site-specific projects. Typically groups receiving our services convene a local task force to develop their ideas and, likewise, volunteer teams test their design interventions through peer-to-peer project reviews at a mid and final point in their conceptual design. While not all service grants turn into built projects, every project uses the community design process to help nonprofits engage stakeholders, establish priorities, create design concepts, evaluate costs and make a “go/no go� decision about moving the project forward. This first 10% is a critical step in community leadership and advocacy for change. The process, perhaps more then the project itself, helps communities make key decisions about how best to advance their goals. That said, many projects move forward. Community groups proceed, undertaking capital campaigns to hire design services that further develop phased, deliberate steps toward the overall vision. And occasionally, when the stars align, nonprofit developers are able to realize their projects creating tangible positive change that is physical and visible.


Commercial Corridors and Infill Philadelphia In addition to providing responsive Service Grants to twenty nonprofits annually, the Collaborative has developed two additional programs – rStore and Infill Philadelphia - at the micro and macro scale. Focused on the micro, rStore provides preliminary design services to organizations working to improve the city’s commercial corridors, the “zippers” that bind neighborhoods. rStore bundles façade improvement consultations for groups of six storeowners at a time, recruited by corridor managers. Storeowners may use renderings to apply to the Philadelphia Department of Commerce’s Storefront Improvement Program (SIP). The SIP program has been quite effective in providing direct economic benefit to residents and the local economy, with 79% of recipients reporting an increase in sales and 53% of recipients reporting an increase in their workforce. Focused on the macro, Infill Philadelphia promotes workable, innovative design solutions to revitalizing older, urban neighborhoods. Infill Philadelphia brings together design practitioners, community development experts, policymakers, funders and the media to address urban infill development. Past phases have focused on affordable housing, commercial corridors, food access and industrial sites. Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up in partnership with the Philadelphia Water Department and US EPA(Region 3), our current phase, focuses on the design of creative, innovative solutions for green stormwater infrastructure in Philadelphia. A major feature of this initiative is a national design competition, with cash prizes. Winners will be selected in a two-stage jury and announced at a design presentation and awards event in March 2013. Professionals and Community Members Learning from One Another Working side-by-side, design professionals and community members educate one another and gain perspective that will serve them on into the future. As volunteer designer Jason Austin of Austin+Mergold said, “We came in with the attitude that the community had the answers. We were just the recorders for their thoughts, which had been brewing in them the whole time. It was a different way to engage, knowing that we didn’t necessarily have to provide a vision. The vision was within them already.”


The Collaborative also provides young professionals with real-world experience that enables them to gain not only valuable experience and professional education credits, but also exposure to a very collaborative, community-based design process. As our board co-chair Mami Hara has said, “The Collaborative helps with the development of professionals, from entry level to principal.” Design Is Not a Luxury The Collaborative’s staff, board and volunteers know design is not a luxury. Cities, with their good bones and infrastructure, are the ultimate canvas for innovative design. After six decades of shrinking population and national and state public policy that has tended to direct investment outside of urban centers, trends show that Philadelphia’s population has stabilized and is beginning to grow again. While design is not the only factor at play in urban revitalization, it is a critical tool for evaluating opportunities to turn obstacles into assets. The design and development process, when transparent and inclusive, works to re-knit and revive urban neighborhoods. We know that good placemaking - urban design, architecture and planning - are critical to sustaining neighborhoods that thrive. Perhaps more important, community design—the process of integrating planning and design services with community development—further engages design professionals, residents, business, government and nonprofits as advocates for quality spaces to live, work, play, worship and thrive. Together, we strengthen neighborhoods through design. Elizabeth K. Miller Executive Director, Community Design Collaborative Beth has served as Executive Director of the Community Design Collaborative since 2001, helping the organization evolve from a part-time, largely volunteer initiative of AIA Philadelphia into a full-service, independent nonprofit affecting design policy in the City of Philadelphia. Beth also serves on the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. She has a master’s degree in government administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in the growth and structure of cities from Bryn Mawr College.


Sheridan Street Housing The Trickle Up Theory: In 2005, the Collaborative paired Interface Studio Architects, then a start up) with APM (Asociacion de Puertorriquenos en Marcha), a community development corporation with a strong track record, for our Infill Philadelphia pilot focused on innovation in affordable housing. Sheridan Street, completed in 2011, transformed a narrow vacant lot into 13 modern sustainable homes. The prototype not only captured the attention of PHFA (Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency) and AIA Philadelphia (2008 Design Award), it also caught the eye of Postgreen, a young private development group known for the 100K House. [Credit City Paper/Doron Taussing 8/7/07 for headline; Grid 10/20/11]


Charrettes In 2012, the Collaborative partnered with AIA Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Water Department and US EPA Region 3 to host Transforming Urban Schoolyards, a design charrette to demonstrate both the visionary and the pragmatic considerations for greening public schoolyards. Four teams of designers and teachers, students, parents, and advocates for education, sustainability and wellness collaborated on schoolyard greening schemes for Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia and Kelly Elementary School in Germantown.


Citywide Storefront Challenge Through the Citywide Storefront Challenge, the Collaborative is partnering with the City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department to showcase how small, private investments among property owners on commercial corridors add value. In addition, the rStore program matches property owners with volunteers to provide 2-hour design consultations that prep them to apply for the City’s Storefront Improvement Program (SIP).


The Head & The Hand Press by Nic Esposito

The most common question people ask me about The Head & The Hand Press is what types of books we publish. While this should be an obvious question for the owner of a publishing company, I sometimes struggle to find an answer. My standard response is to invoke the title of the company by explaining that we publish books that show a direct connection from an author’s thoughts to an author’s hands. But the not-so-subtle reaction this response usually receives indicates that I’m being too vague. So then I’ll get into specifics and describe our writers as the doers of our society, explaining that we publish books about the work that they do. Again, I make up no ground on vagueness as I’m then requested to provide the definition of a doer. Before my inquisitor’s eyes glaze over, I drop the language of the social media meme of the elevator pitch sound bite and I simply tell a story. Like a majority of people in my generation, I graduated college with a liberal arts degree, an English degree to be more specific. Although writing provided the first source of any real passion in my life, there was something about the way the world worked that made me anxious about setting myself into a singular career path. So rather than scrape my way into the workforce after college, I spent four years traveling, volunteering, exploring, and continuing my education through a sometimes byzantine curriculum of life experiences. During this time I realized two things about myself. The first was that I love the sweat, the smell and the satisfaction of a good, hard days work. That’s not to say that manual labor was something I was new too. I worked plenty of soul sucking and backbreaking jobs through high school, which is why my parents shared the blue-collar goal that they were going to work hard to send their kids to college for a better life. It’s a goal that’s now an irony as our current political debate yearns for the days of simple middle class manufacturing jobs. But when I got to college, and was away from the creature comforts of home, I suffered from an almost debilitating case of insomnia. Although I never received a medical diagnosis, I now believe that it was because there wasn’t enough studying in the world to exhaust me and counteract the din of the college dorm. I believe this because during those four years after college when I was on the road, I was able to sleep in every situation from twenty guys on cots packed into a military tent on the beach to a plastic bag stuffed with straw in a shack in the middle of the Amazon jungle. All I needed was a hard day’s work to sleep soundly.


My second self-realization was that I did not want a job that required me to forfeit a majority of my life to it, no matter if it was behind a desk or in a workshop. The marriage of our industrial production system and service sector mentality has created a labor force where people are being increasingly stripped of their ability to control their means of existence. In our economy there is much truth in the saying, “The cobblers kids have no shoes.” There are farmers buying food at big box stores because their fields are filled with corn and soy. Or there are nannies who have to hire their own nannies because they don’t have the time to look after their own children. Although I don’t plan on growing all of my own food, I always want the time in my life to work out in my garden. And even if I want to earn money from my own craft to pay other artisans for their craft, I still want to have more of a connection to their craft than just being another consumer. In these two realizations is where I came to the grand realization when wrestling with the uncertainty of whether to devote my life to my writing or to my labor. My life is a cycle. I can’t see the value of my writing if I don’t have my hands in the soil of the world I am writing about. And I can’t see the value of my labor if I don’t write about my thoughts on that labor. It’s a balance that allowed me to evolve from an English major with dreams of being a writer, to an urban farmer, to finally becoming a professional writer and now to being a publisher. It’s a path I recognize in my friends who went from philosophy degrees to carpentry studios, communications degrees to café owners and music degrees to small-scale building developers. This is the path that can be found in each Philly Works project. The participants in this show know that the most important value to be found in their labor is not how much money is made or how many followers are on a social media feed, but by the quality of life found in their work. It’s this path that is truly the ethos of The Head & The Hand Press. And come to think of it, I may have just found the best answer for the types of books we want to publish. Nic Esposito is a writer and urban farmer from Philadelphia. Along with developing urban farm projects in the city, he also operates a small urban homestead with his wife Elisa, and their dog, cat, chickens and bees. He writes about social change for blogs and magazines, has spoken on sustainability at the 2010 TED X Philly Conference, and is the founder of The Head & The Hand Press.


Learning by Design: The Charter High School for Architecture+Design by Andrew P. Phillips

Problem solving is not the same thing as solving a problem. The former speaks about process; the latter, about product. The former incorporates methods and techniques, a skill set, usefully applied when approaching various challenges. The latter limits itself to a particular answer, prompted by a specific question. Problem solving requires strategic thinking in an expansive field of variables. Solving a problem applies certain knowledge to find a presumably pre-existing, pre-determined conclusion. Both are valid; both are necessary skills. However, in the world of public education excessive weight is given too often to the latter at the expense of the former. Students are trained to respond rather than speculate, to provide answers rather than find solutions. On the corner of 7th and Sansom Streets, 620 ninth through twelfth grade students converge daily from 53 Philadelphia area zip codes to study and learn, by design. In addition to the classic subjects – Math, English, Science, History, and Language – they study the processes responsible for the spaces and objects of their world. They practice design, everyday. The Design curriculum at the Charter High School for Architecture + Design, one of only a handful of design centered high school curriculums in the country, emphasizes problem solving skills. Its goal is to equip students with abilities necessary for the unknown challenges ahead while introducing the students to the design vocations. Though design education is common in other countries, notably The United Kingdom and the Scandinavian countries, curiously few high schools in the United States offer such curriculums. This discrepancy is explainable, if not entirely understandable. Constricted funding and zealous enforcement of standardized tests too often divert attention away from ‘the how’ only to dwell upon ‘the what’. American public education, whether it’s taught in an affluent suburb or an impoverished inner-city neighborhood, has at least one common denominator: standardized state tests. These tests track a student’s ‘proficiency’ in specific subjects and summarize a school’s teaching success based on the number of passing students. Though doubts persist over methodology, there is some merit to the tests’ intentions. The problem is, over the past decade, the tests have come to dominate the public education landscape, often at the expense of other, less easily measured knowledge or skill sets.


Standardized tests have re-defined what constitutes the delivery of an acceptable education. To their credit, students are expected to know certain things, by certain ages. This is reasonable. However, if this is the sole focus, the effort comes at a cost. The side effect is that, in fear of imperiling their status, schools are forced to teach to the test. CHAD challenges this status quo: it tries to do both. The school teaches problem solving skills while offering the specific knowledge students are expected to acquire. If successful, design savvy young men and women graduate from high school, pursue college degrees, find careers and, ultimately, contribute these skills back to the city forever under construction. The Charter High School for Architecture + Design was founded in 1999 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects as its National Convention host chapter legacy project. It is tuition free, open to any student in the Philadelphia School District and does not require surpassing a minimum threshold on an admittance test. In other words, any student may enter. The current enrollment is near its charter-mandated cap of 620. When CHAD opened, it was the first such charter school in the country. Since, similar schools continue to open around the country. There are now about a dozen. CHAD is a learning community that incorporates innovative academics, frequent assessment and immersive work in the design process. The goal is to produce students with a strong liberal arts education and a mastery of problem solving through visual thinking. Its current graduation rate exceeds 93% with most students matriculating into a college program. Student attendance into post-secondary education is heavily funded through grants and scholarships earned as a result of student design portfolios created during their tenure at the school. The four-year curriculum aims to provide every student with a strong foundation in design thinking. This includes technical skills, vocabulary, and concepts. Further, they are introduced to four different vocational paths in design. It is not the Design curriculum’s intent to turn every student into a designer. The intent is to provide every student with design thinking skills and enable him or her to be effective problem solvers. The freshman year focuses solely upon learning to see and learning to draw what’s seen. The sophomore year continues observational drawing work while introducing technical skills, concepts and vocabulary native to the design fields. The junior and


senior years build upon this foundation with fundamentals courses in each of the design vocations: architecture, fashion, graphic and industrial design. Students complete their CHAD Design studies pursuing advanced design courses. These studios focus on each of the design vocations with more complex projects developed in greater depth. Many of the students pursue college programs and careers in design, but that is not the goal. The goal is to enable young men and women, growing up in tough urban neighborhoods, to participate in their environment with well honed problem solving skills guided by visual thinking techniques. These skills translate well into almost any career. CHAD is not an easy place. High school, by definition, isn’t an easy place. The school is, however, a place brimming with life. It swells with friendships and conflicts, romance and heartbreak, hope and tragedy. There are exuberant celebrations; there are moments hilariously absurd. There is loss. Some events are planned, meticulously. Others unexpectedly bloom. Often, the unscripted moments are that much better for their sudden humanity. A few incidents knock the community back on its heels. It regains its balance and again leans forward. CHAD’s story unfolds and everyone keeps working. Always working; everyone at CHAD works, hard. The work isn’t always schoolwork but it is always toward the life-long process of individual becoming. The school also persists at its own becoming. It is imperfect, an incomplete project, always striving to hone its craft. In this sense, the school embodies its mission: it lives out its own process, its own design thinking and design learning, everyday. CHAD isn’t an object or place. It doesn’t build objects or places. It builds people. It is the ultimate live performance. And its performance changes lives.

Andrew P. Phillips, A.I.A. is co-chair of the Design Faculty at The Charter High School for Architecture + Design. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Though teaching full time, he continues as a principal of the design firm dommertphillips, p.c., which he co-founded with his wife, Alice A. Dommert, in 1995. Prior to joining ChAD’s faculty, he taught at The University of Pennsylvania for fifteen years.

Photo Credit: images courtesy of the 2012 CHAD Yearbook. 94


The Food Trust by Yael Lehmann

Imagine a community where residents lack access to fresh produce and other nutritious foods. These communities exist throughout Philadelphia and the nation. The addition of a weekly farmers’ market or healthier choices in the neighborhood corner store can improve the quality of life for these residents – and change the design of a neighborhood. The Food Trust, a nationally recognized nonprofit based in Philadelphia, works with these communities to make healthy changes, increasing the availability of affordable, healthy food. Over 20 years, we’ve seen the power of fresh food retail to transform a community. In our work, great design is both a positive side effect of healthy changes and a powerful tool in implementing them. Farmers’ markets are one way that The Food Trust brings healthier food options to underserved communities. But farmers’ markets throughout the city have also altered how residents utilize public space in their communities. Farmers’ markets transform parks, transportation hubs, sidewalks, and street blocks into local outlets for healthy food retail. Residents interact differently in spaces once reserved for pedestrians, cars and bicycles. Corners that were once sparse with foot traffic are now avenues for shoppers to peruse for fresh, regional produce, harvested and sold by local farmers. The Food Trust also works with corner store owners throughout the city, to increase healthy food access by making design improvements. Corner store layouts often provide limited space for owners to advertise and display goods. Add this to the fact that most fresh food is perishable and unable to remain in inventory for long periods of time, and it soon becomes clear that corner store owners face unique obstacles when trying to provide their customers with nutritious options. The solution is smart design: In addition to assisting corner store owners in stocking more healthy food items, the Healthy Corner Store Initiative offers an in-store marketing campaign to promote these items, tips on placement and display that can increase sales and assistance in rethinking the layout of a store to accommodate the necessary shelving and refrigeration. We are excited to be a part of the Qualities of Life Exhibit at the Art Alliance, which showcases projects that bridge the gap between great design and innovation to improve the lives of Philadelphians. The images of our work in Philadelphia included in the exhibit were shot by Tyrone Turner, an internationally recognized photographer who has completed numerous projects documenting health in communities across the United States. His images show the human impact of our work to make healthy food available to all.


Photo by Tyrone Turner

Yael Lehmann As Executive Director of The Food Trust, Yael Lehmann directs a range of innovative programs to increase access to affordable healthy food in underserved communities and ensures that children and adults have the knowledge to make healthy food choices. During her tenure, Yael has overseen the growth of the agency’s farmers’ markets, nutrition education programs, food retail development initiatives, and other programs to make healthy food available to all. Under Yael’s leadership, The Food Trust has been the recipient of many local and national awards, and Time Magazine described the agency as being a “remarkable success” for increasing the availability of fresh produce in schools and cutting by 50% the number of students becoming overweight. Yael has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.



by Harris M. Steinberg & Andrew Goodman Urban design is everywhere. From the pavement beneath our feet to the lamps that guide us home on a dark street, urban design has a significant influence on the quality of our daily lives. And yet, it is something that we rarely think about. Done well, urban design seamlessly creates a comfortable physical framework for us. It determines how we get to work, what it costs to do so, and if we can conveniently run errands and pick our children up on the way home. It affects how many neighbors we have and how close we live to them. It sets our weekend schedule by offering us varying levels of access to other neighborhoods in the city, region and megaregion. It offers us a place to play freely and safely within walking distance of our home. And, most importantly in Philadelphia, it affects how well our communities stand the test of time. Design brings order and relation into human surroundings, often with such a sense of permanence that we cannot imagine them any other way. Sidewalks in our neighborhood have a certain width, our stores have a certain amount of parking, and our transit stations either are or are not handicapped accessible. However, behind all these built forms, are decisions made about context, rationale and human nature. Every road width and building height delivers a message to us on how to use the public realm – the public spaces that connect us. This is not an academic theory that can only be tested in laboratories by people wearing white coats, but rather one that each of us sees, hears and touches every day. And that is what makes these decisions so important to get right. Philadelphia’s underlying urban fabric was established by William Penn and Thomas Holme in the 17th century and it has been wildly influential. Their street grid and parcel layout for what is now Center City became the blueprint for a Philadelphia that grew to 134 square miles in area, its balance of public space and private development as one of its signature qualities. What has allowed Penn’s original design to remain relatively intact 330 years later is its flexibility. It was originally envisioned that each square block would be owned by a different landowner, but as economic demands shifted early on, so did property lines and public infrastructure. Streets split up parcels, new frontages were created, and properties were given enhanced economic viability, all within the framework provided by the now-classic American street grid. New neighborhoods extended this fabric while shifting it slightly to remain parallel to the Delaware River as it bends to the north and south. The end result is a city that is largely intuitive, easy to navigate and holds a diverse number of building forms and dense neighborhoods that provide for the social, economic and cultural needs of our population.


How our public realm looks, feels and shapes our lives is a crucial element to Philadelphia’s future success. Its density and amenities help keep our neighborhoods competitive. It supported Philadelphia when it reached a population of 2 million, and now it is at the center of another renaissance as the city sees its first population uptick in six decades. Our compact urban form distinguishes us from our suburban competition, and gives us the elasticity, resilience and adaptability to grow. This is the bell that designers and urban pioneers have been ringing for decades, and the Nutter administration has responded. Notable accomplishments in the last four years include the approval of the city’s first citywide vision in sixty years, a rewriting of our outdated zoning code, an adopted master plan for our central Delaware riverfront that emphasizes a balance of public access and private development, and a citywide policy document on sustainability that sets near-term goals for Philadelphia to become the greenest city in America. New citywide policy on the built environment and the public realm is rich and direct, calling on city government to facilitate the creation of new park space, the construction of new public transportation, the retrofitting of public buildings and the re-classification of every piece of land in the entire city that is inappropriately categorized. As the non-profit applied research arm of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, PennPraxis has been fortunate to work with the City of Philadelphia on numerous projects that helped either establish or build on this policy. Our role has often been to serve as facilitators in large public dialogues on thorny topics, or as strategic thought partners in determining how best to approach lofty policy goals in tight economic times. In 2006 and 2007, we led the public planning effort to envision a new future for the Central Delaware riverfront. The Civic Vision for the Central Delaware – the result of a 13-month process that engaged more than 4000 Philadelphians in the creation of the vision – served as the base for the recently-approved Central Delaware Master Plan. Other projects which were a result of the waterfront visioning process include the creation of two new parks and a riverfront trail extension, the re-constitution of a waterfront management agency as an open and transparent organization dedicated to implementing the public’s vision for the river, the passing of an interim zoning overlay, and the formation of a non-profit advocacy group comprised of riverfront neighbors and non-profits.


On the policy side, PennPraxis published the Green2015 plan with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation in 2010, outlining an analysis, implementation, funding and maintenance plan for creating 500 new acres of public green space by 2015. In this case, the 500-acre goal was already set by Mayor Nutter in Greenworks Philadelphia, but without a strategy on how to put into practice.

A process like Green2015 demonstrates the new realities that big cities face in the 21st century. While the public sector successfully made ground-breaking sustainability goals a cornerstone of this administration, continuous budget cuts mean that city agencies cannot lead on the implementation side. Their role as trendsetter, facilitator, and convener is invaluable, but it is hamstrung when it comes to directly changing the public realm in a way the non-profit, private, and institutional sectors are not. With these roles established and the sectors collaborating toward the same goals, policy can be put into practice in a way that is efficient as well as innovative. To remain competitive, Philadelphia must build on both past and recent successes in progressive city building. While a reform spirit is currently in the air and urban design and planning is central to the current administration’s policy objectives, bold ideas often come without the financial or civic capacity to implement them. We must continue to make the argument that quality urban design is not only central to our sense of selves as citizens but that it is also good economic sense. Research on the economic benefits of parks and open space attests to the critical importance of the ongoing design and maintenance of the public realm. This is a conversation that must cross boundaries and engage citizens, business people, policy makers, academics and others. Until we can all understand the benefits and trade-offs in decision making about the public realm, we run the risk of allowing narrow interests to define the “public� in public realm. An active and engaged citizenry is essential to the creation and ongoing maintenance of the spaces that define our lives.


Harris M. Steinberg, FAIA, is the executive director of PennPraxis, the applied research arm of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, and an adjunct associate professor of city and regional planning. Harris’ work focuses on large-scale civic visioning processes in Philadelphia, such as Green2015: An Action Plan for the First 500 Acres and A Civic Vision for the Central Delaware. The Civic Vision won the American Planning Association PA Chapter Planning Excellence Award, as well as other awards from the Congress for the New Urbanism, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Waterfront Center. Andrew Goodman, AICP LEED AP, is a planner at PennPraxis, the applied research arm at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He received his Masters in City and Regional Planning from Penn in urban design and has managed civic visioning projects for Praxis since 2005, including Green2015.





2012 Qualities of Life Projects


Structure and Surface Judy Hellman, Director of Special Projects, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program Katie Winkler, Project Coordinator, Structure and Surface Manufacturers: Bentley Robe Company, Clemson Winding, Churchville Fabrics, G. J. Littlewood & Sons, Humphrys/Coversports, Wayne Mills Artists: Susie Brandt, Kelly Cobb, Julie Lorch, Amy Orr, Piper Shepard, Katherine Shozawa Collaborators / Advisory Committee: Carla Bednar Ken Finkel Kristina Haugland Bruce Hoffman Hilary Jay Walter Licht Barry McCarthy Will McHale Karen Randal Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich Marcia Weiss Katie.winkler@muralarts.org Judy.hellman@muralarts.org www.structureandsurface.org Structure and Surface is a public art project bridging the manufacturing community of 20th century Philadelphia with the region’s artists and designers of today. Produced by the Mural Arts Program, with the support of a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Heritage Philadelphia Program, the project will place a half dozen artists in residence with long established companies from the city’s disappearing textile industry. The exchange of ideas and experiences will provide inspiration for a series of site-specific installations, planned for unveiling in 2014. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Philadelphia was at the forefront of high-quality textile production and design. By the 1950s, just prior to a precipitous industrial decline, nearly half of the city’s population was employed in manufacturing. Structure and Surface will investigate this legacy, including the consequences of the industry’s losses for Philadelphia communities and potential for future rebirth. Six Philadelphia-based textile and textile-related manufacturers have each been paired by Mural Arts with an artist selected by members of Structure and Surface’s advisory committee. The artists are participating in an artist in residency program from June through September, with one of these manufacturers acting as their home base. Manufacturers selected run


the gamut from makers of niche market textiles to fabric dyeing facilities and have been in operation for at least 50 years or more, including several family businesses that go back three to five generations. The selected artists have demonstrated a commitment to investigating history through their art-making and a genuine interest in exploring the history of Philadelphia’s textile industry. Artists will draw on their residency experience to inform the development of public art project proposals that respond to the past, present, and possible future of Philadelphia’s textile sector. In Fall of 2012, Structure and Surface’s advisory committee will recommended to Mural Arts two or more of these project proposals for possible implementation in 2014. Structure and Surface represents Mural Arts’ inaugural exploration of the nexus between labor economics and cultural history, and is the first to involve a team of historians, curators, industry professionals, and artists in the planning process. Photography by Katie Winkler


Structure and Surface Churchville Fabrics 108


Structure and Surface Clemson Winding 110


Structure and Surface G.J. Littlewood & Son Inc. 112


Stucture and Surface Structure and Surface Wayne Mills 114


Structure and Surface Churchville Fabrics 116


Philly Stake Mira Sophia Adornetto Eric Blasco Mallary Johnson Hannah de Keijzer Dave Kim Alyssa Maloof Brett Mapp Theresa Rose Lauren Rosenblum Ruth Scott Elliot Strathmann Kate Strathmann Annemarie Vaeni Jonathan Wallis stakephilly@gmail.com phillystake.org Philly Stake is a locally sourced, recurring dinner where money is raised for creative & relevant community engaged projects. The micro grants raised at each dinner come directly from the donations of the attendees who pay $10 to $20 on a sliding scale to enjoy a locally sourced dinner as well as to witness the presentations of ten local projects and to finally vote on the one they deem worthy of funding. Usually the audience ranges from 150-300 people and as much as this gathering is organized around funding, more than anything, it is an opportunity for people to participate and witness the skills and creativity of their neighbors in Philadelphia. The process is very transparent. Anyone can apply to receive a grant. The main criteria is that projects aim to contribute to the well being of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods through community arts, urban agriculture, social services and activist work. The only stipulation for Awardees before they walk out with their bag of cash from the door is that they return to the next Philly Stake dinner and present how the work is going. The dinners are held in different locations throughout Philadelphia’s neighborhoods at community centers, gardens, churches and cultural institutions every three to four months. The meals are cooked from seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and purveyors. The group is a collective of volunteers and is not a formal organization or non-profit.


History: Philly Stake is part of an international network of meal-based micro-granting initiatives. To date, there are nearly 50 projects in cities large and small around the globe. The first program, Sunday Soup, began in 2007 in Chicago by the artist collective Incubate. Since then a website has been established that provides information on this growing international community: www.sundaysoup.org Unlike the beginnings of many other programs where friends team up to organize, plan and produce events, Philly Stake was started by an open call process developed in 2010 by Theresa Rose, with the help of Kate Strathmann. Philadelphians came together around their passion for the project and organizers were essentially strangers in the beginning. Now a team of friends, Philly Stake is organized democratically by 14 core volunteer members listed here: Mira Sophia Adornetto, Eric Blasco, Mallary Johnson, Hannah de Keijzer, Dave Kim, Alyssa Maloof, Brett Mapp, Theresa Rose, Lauren Rosenblum, Ruth Scott, Elliot Strathmann, Kate Strathmann, Annemarie Vaeni and Jonathan Wallis. There are several additional individuals who contribute from time to time. Since the first event on September 19, 2010, Philly Stake has granted $10,000 to 14 projects over the course of six events. Anyone can participate, present and volunteer with Philly Stake! The best way is through our mailing list that one can sign up via phillystake.org or email us at stakephilly@gmail.com A stake in the Philadelphia community A stake in the arts and in creative thought A stake in local organic food A stake in local economy




SHIFT Nicolas Coia, Experience Designer at CloudMine Dominic Prestifilippo, Design Researcher & Strategist Collaborators: Dillon Mahmoudi nicolas@nicolascoia.com design@dominicp.com www.nicolascoia.com www.dominicp.com The car-centric culture in our daily American life has manifested a dangerously fast paced on-street urban environment. It has become evident over time, that the production and maintenance of these vehicles often create more problems than they solve – because of the automobile, we have distanced our communities and manufactured pollution. Philadelphia can differentiate itself from this car-centric culture – and the bicycle can be the catalyst that propels our urban lifestyle into the future. With the ever surging trend towards healthier, more environmentally conscious options in all areas of life, the bicycle is a clear choice for transportation, especially in a city as potentially accommodating as Philadelphia. Philadelphia already has many great cycling oriented successes. Of the top 10 largest cities in America, Philly has the largest percentage of cyclists. And an above average number of women commuting by bike. This is a very promising statistic because high female ridership has been defined as an indication for a healthy cycling environment. It is true that Philadelphia has over 200 miles of bike lanes throughout the city, but what is greatly overlooked is the connectivity of these lanes. Raising an all important question, “What is the purpose of a bike lane, if it leads nowhere, and doesn’t connect to another bike lane? As the city continues to rejuvenate and rebuild itself, we must plan for the future. Cycling infrastructure has proven benefits to all street users: traffic safety, calming and order, pedestrian zoning, buffers and greenspaces. Thus as Philly’s population continues to climb and the number of drivers proportionately increases, alternate modes of transportation must be considered for the health and well being of Philadelphia to be sustained. Bicycles must be that alternative. Not only is cycling fun, but it enables community growth through experiential on-street engagment, healthier lifestyles by normalizing exercise and is an economically superior mode of transport to that of the automobile. These reasons, among many other, is why we have designed this installation to show that although Philadelphia is good, it isn’t great. But more importantly, we can get there! By building a more meaningful


network of cycling infrastructure, an increased number of users will begin to understand the opportunities that a bicycle affords. Whether that means enabling a pedestrian to find a job previously too far to walk to, or enticing a current driver out of their luxurious automobile and onto the visceral streets to find new stores she hadn’t previously seen in her rush to the next stop light. More riders means a safer, healthier city and that is something we all should want.


Cynwyd Heritage Trail Recumbent Electric Tricycle Scott White, Founder Scott While Studios, Senior Lecturer at UPENN (3d Modeling / Sculpture) Collaborators: Cohen Metals Chris Leswing- Cynwyd Heritage Trail Planner scottwhites@yahoo.com www.scottwhitestudio.com

The Cynwyd Recumbent Tricycle is designed and built for the purpose of using the existing and proposed network of Philadelphia bike trails as a way of commuting through the city and suburbs in any weather condition. Just as Henry Ford’s invention of the mass-produced automobile made roadway development a necessity, an all whether commuter bicycle will make the construction of a bikeway infrastructure a necessity as well. Bikes are affordable and mass produced but they are used mostly for recreation. My goal as a designer is to build bikes which will make commuting by bike contagious.


Enjoy the sanctuary of Philadelphia’s bike trails Cycle in all weather conditions Promotes a city wide infrastructure of bikeways Stress free commuting alternative to the automobile Very low carbon footprint



Reconnecting Urban Children with Nature Christina Kazakia / Creator of Stick-lets Collaborators: Rhode Island School of Design (RISD): Neal Overstrom, Director at the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab Amy Leidtke, Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Industrial Design Demetrios Staurinos, MLA Graduate from RISD and Landscape Designer Schools and Programs: The French American School, Providence, RI. After School Arts, Reservoir Elementary, Providence, RI. RISD Youth Art Camp, Tillinghast Farm, RI. hello@stick-lets.com www.stick-lets.com


One by one we went around the table sharing our favorite childhood memories. Our memories all took place outdoors. We wondered if children today will have similar memories to share as adults. Will their childhood memories involve stories from nature involving unstructured activities, unsupervised play, and risk-taking? More importantly, who will preserve our natural resources in the future if children today are not provided the opportunities to love and appreciate our Earth? This question led to my Industrial Design thesis at the Rhode Island School of Design. How can I help reconnect urban children with nature through direct experiences with natural elements in their environment? Children today are becoming more and more disconnected from nature. Factors such as urbanization, virtual distractions, parental fears, and decreased outdoor education are leading to this separation. Research, field studies, and case studies helped me realize that the tool should be modular, transportable, and interactive. The product should also trigger direct experiences with nature, giving children the freedom to manipulate, construct, and design their own experiences. It should spark wonder and imaginative play.  Stick-lets were designed to prompt children to discover nature that exists around them.  By engaging nature through the use of this toy, children can become aware of the resourceful and renewable element, the stick. Not only will children feel a sense of accomplishment for scavenging sticks and constructing forts, but Stick-lets will provide opportunities for problemsolving, teamwork, imaginative play, and hands-on building. This toy will offer a valuable outdoor education. Stick-lets are now being manufactured and sold out of Philadelphia. They come in five shapes with holes of various sizes to accommodate urban branches. They are made of durable, flexible, and colorful silicone making them user-friendly for children.  Because of their modular and transportable features, Stick-lets can be used in multiple settings, from backyards to public school properties. Let the fort building begin! “If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it.” -David Sobel Please contact me if your school or organization would like to hold fort building sessions.


Vacant Lots and Vegetation Dynamics across Philadelphia 1999-2009

Zachary Christman (Rowan University) Hamil Pearsall (Temple University) christmanz@rowan.edu hamil.pearsall@temple.edu In many cities, vacant land serves as little more than a reminder of deindustrialization, decentralization, and disinvestment. Returning vacant land to more productive uses is a common goal among planners, yet the focus on redevelopment overlooks the value of vacant land as an important component of the urban ecosystem. This project highlights the potential of vacant land to serve as a key contributor to green vegetation cover in Philadelphia, a city seeking to increase green infrastructure and open space as part of its urban sustainability goals. The choropleth maps reveal the uneven distribution of green vegetation by neighborhood, with neighborhoods near the Wissahickon and Pennypack Parks having greater density and health of vegetation than neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, Center City, and South Philadelphia. The thematic map of vacant lots shows high concentrations of vacant lots in many low-vegetation neighborhoods. Another map shows changes in green vegetation from 1999-2009. Notably, green vegetation is most dynamic, in both positive and negative ways, in neighborhoods with little vegetation, while the neighborhoods near the Wissahickon and Pennypack parks experienced relatively little change in comparison. The photographs provide context to understand these changing and dynamic landscapes. For instance, overgrown lots at Ontario and C streets and Reed and Columbus have thriving volunteer trees lining the borders of their parcels. Other overgrown lots at Bablon Street and West Huntington Park show different patterns that indicate that these overgrown lots are repeatedly cleared, only to regrow again. Finally, other lots experienced some development, such as the imported car lot at Columbus and Oregon Street, which resulted in a net loss in vegetation from 1999-2009. The dynamic nature of vegetation change in neighborhoods with little vegetation and high concentrations of vacant lots suggests that vacant lots could serve as important contributors to green urban vegetation in Philadelphia, but also that existing vegetation may be lost as these lots are cleared for new uses.

Photo captions 1. Ontario & C Streets--Major increases in vegetation, with forested patch on one side of cleared lot and shrubby trees lining fence. 2. Adams Ave. & Wingohocking Street--Major decreases in vegetation, with recent clearing amid forested lot. 3. Reed Street & Columbus Ave.--Vegetation increases along tree-lined fence 4. Blabon Street near West Hunting Park Avenue--Major decreases in vegetation, probably cleared and regrown during this time. 5. North 32nd & West Thompson Streets--Major increases in vegetation, along the rail corridor, with new trees near housing development.








Examining Accessibility & Ridership of SEPTA Alison Merrick, Diamond Research Scholars Program, Temple University Collaborators: Hamil Pearsall, Mentor, Geography & Urban Studies Department, Temple University alison.merrick@temple.edu

The goal of my research is to examine mass transportation in Philadelphia through looking at accessibility and ridership of the Southeastern Transportation Authority (SEPTA). My research employs a mixed-methods approach that includes GIS analysis and interviews and proceeds in two phases. The first phase is presented in the exhibit. I used GIS to create areas of accessibility of each mode and used census data to analyze demographic information. I analyzed all three modes – regional rail, bus and trolley, and subway – in their relation to four demographics – the entire city, residents living below the poverty level, residents reporting to the census as being “black”, and residents reporting to be “white”. Of the three modes, the highest percentage of all four demographics has access to bus and trolley. Out of the four, the black demographic has the highest percentage accessibility for all three modes. The white demographic has the lowest percentage accessibility for two of the three modes. The next phase of research, which is currently taking place, is to conduct interviews with residents from neighborhoods with varying levels of access in order to better understand why individuals do or do not use mass transportation. I will investigate why individuals choose to drive instead of ride, along with if there are parts of the city that do not use mass transit for other reasons such as concerns for safety or inconvenience. The results of my research will take the form of deliverables that I can present to SEPTA and city officials to potentially focus on highlighted concerns for improvements.



ADMK // Andrew Dahlgren Machine Knitting Andrew Dahlgren Previous Collaborators: Will McHale Donovan Preddy Alexander Stadler Abby Wheeler Janell Wysock BLUEREDYELLOW admknitting@yahoo.com www.admknitting.com ADMK’s Focus + Intent: Exploration + Experimentation: By changing yarns, needle selections, and patterns the possibilities of knitted fabrics and objects is endless. Design House: Knitted fabric can be used in a range of applications from scarves to garments, to soft goods and architecture. Co-Branding + Collaborations: Working with a designer, other makers, and anyone with a great idea produces “What if?” moments that keep one moving forward. Teaching: The more people who know how to use knitting machines the better. An increase in the production of knitted products and objects can have a positive lasting effect. ADMK’s Vision: ADMK is part of a growing 21st century regional textile industry. This industry will be a combination of old and new, made of a revitalized workforce using newly developed skills, and a global leader in process and technique development. A thriving textile industry will consist of companies threaded together to offer all steps of the manufacturing processes. Designers will create innovative ideas for clothes, accessories, and for home decor. Farmers will raise animals and plants for fibers that will be spun into yarn by local manufacturers (some of which have been in business for 70+ years). Yarn will be knitted into fabrics and garments by ADMK and partners. Natural dyes will be grown, harvested and processed to produce an amazing palette of colors for finishing of garments. Retailers will showcase finished products to be purchased, worn, and cherished by customers. The 21st Century Industry will be a center for education and growth, a model and leader in sustainable manufacturing, and continue the tradition of making in America. Photos: 1. ADMK’s Knit Lab at Art Alliance Summer 2012. 2. Open knit tubular fabric sample developed in collaboration with Cheryl Washington. 3. Art Alliance Demonstration / Workshop. 4. Art Alliance Demonstration / Workshop. 5 Space Invader’s Scarf designed in collaboration with Donovan Preddy. 6. Textured fabric samples. 132








BLUEREDYELLOW Elissa Meyers Mira Sophia Adornetto Collaborators: Andrew Dahlgren, ADMK Robert Blackson, Tyler School of Art Gallery blueredyellow.designs@gmail.com http://blueredandyellow.wordpress.com/ The idea for BLUEREDYELLOW came out of research into the sustainable textile industry. This research indicated that the topic of coloring textiles was not satisfactorily covered. If we want to put organic food and clean water into our bodies and live in VOC free shelter wouldn’t we also want to put non-toxic clothing on our bodies? Not just organic fibers but organic colors as well. After all, how non-toxic is an organic fiber coated in a synthetic dye? Inspired by an internship at ASK Apparel (now Southern Hues) Elissa Meyers began to create BLUEREDYELLOW. While shaping the project she met Mira Sophia Adornetto who was immediately smitten. With the help of a grant awarded by the Corzo Center for the Creative Economy they launched BLUEREDYELLOW as a business. The business was based on the simple concept of employing sustainable methods to create natural products by using locally grown natural dye plants. Over the past three years the pair have experimented with growing and collecting different plant species in various parts of Philadelphia and testing simple, nontoxic mordants. As BLUEREDYELLOW they have made and sold products, taught a number of workshops and have been commissioned to do dye-work by individuals and several local businesses. A young and small business, BLUEREDYELLOW continues to evolve.



A Day by the Goat Julie Lorch Jon Wilson Collaborators: All the people walking around Rittenhouse Square julielorch@gmail.com jon@jonrwilson.com Public spaces and people watching have always fascinated us. We love to watch the show, but we know that we are part of the show too. One day, we sat by the statue of the Goat in the Southwest corner of Rittenhouse Square, and we looked and looked and filmed and made notches and plotted data points. Our day by the Goat began at dawn with a bootcamp workout class and ended at dusk with a sunset marriage proposal. There were babies, strollers, wheelchairs, homeless people, nannies, kisses, and goat rides. The result is a snapshot of a public space in Philadelphia over the course of 14 hours on Thursday August 2nd, 2012. We began on the east side of the goat, and every hour we moved one bench to the left. We filmed and plotted data. People use Rittenhouse for everything – for eating lunch, changing clothes, commuting to work, playing on the goat, sitting, meeting up, digging through the garbage, snoozing, and reading the newspaper. We put these data points into a master file which is exhibited as a map at the Art Alliance along with video footage of our experiences.



THE LURE + THE PERCH Jason Austin, Austin+ Mergold Jack Fanning, Temple University Sneha Patel, Temple University Sally Reynolds, Olin “….the cosmological point of reference for architecture has shifted from the human to the non-human: from the Vitruvian man, inscribed in a circle and a square as the guarantor of universal validity, to the tangled web of creatures and environments within which humanity lives a promiscuous life.” – Detlef Mertins in Hylozoic Ground: Liminal Responsive Architecture (Ontario: Riverside Architectural Press, 2010) THE LURE + THE PERCH claims that landscape must harken a spirit, have the ability to engender curiosity and desire, but remain at its best, unpossessed. This project proposes the design of a deployable unit, in the form of a mast and a trough, that when aggregated on a site over time develops into a field, a synthetic landscape that recognizes any nature as a layered discursive construction and an evolving condition. The unit is totemic, a marker in the landscape, and has two characters – one designed for clean energy production called the Lure and the other designed for bird habitats called the Perch. These units are deployed as urban trailheads along the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia, serving to illuminate the trail at night through its own energy generation and operating as speculative station stops within a park landscape. At select moments along the trail, the units aggregate to create their own spatial fields and become events along a meandering path. The units support avian populations and provoke the imagination of budding urban pioneers interested in birdwatching, hiking, exploring and recording. The Lure is composed of a carbon fiber mast, a stabilizing, light-emitting bobber, and a sail-cloth kite that meet the ground within a corten-steel trough housing a slack-adjusting reel. Energy is produced through the mechanical winding and unwinding of the kite’s line as it is propelled by the wind and transferred to a generator, also located within the trough. The Perch unit consists of a carbon fiber mast, an adjustable platform, and a series of interchangeable, hospitable niches. The Perch unit emerges from a trough identical to that of the Lure unit, but rather than containing mechanical equipment, they include binoculars, bird siting logs, migratory maps, and other educational paraphernalia. THE LURE + THE PERCH aims to reposition the value of narrative, imagination, and curiosity within ecologically-minded design proposals that look to improve qualities of life in our contemporary urban condition by narrowing the distance between –techne and –poiesis, the fact and fiction experienced within any topos, or commonplace. It likewise accepts and playfully exploits the idea of landscape as a culturally-produced and socially-productive environment, where inventive and heterogeneous associations between humans, animals, and plants are situated and newly discovered.




The design team would like to thank Melhissa Carmona, Ann Dinh, and Marc Krawitz for their assistance on this project. Photography by Bob Trempe



2012 Qualities of Life Sponsors


The Philadelphia Art Alliance

This fall, the Philadelphia Art Alliance is proud to partner with Philly Works to present Philadelphia Qualities of Life, a group exhibition featuring ideas from the worlds of design, craft, and urban planning all aimed at making city life a little better. The range of ideas on view in Qualities of Life is truly inspiring, as is the diversity of the participants’ backgrounds, from those who work solo making goods by hand, to those who think big and transform whole neighborhoods and communities. With so many ideas embracing technology and new ways of doing things, it is an intriguing contrast to see them displayed in an historic setting so rich in period detail. The stained glass, carved wood and ornamental plaster of the PAA’s building all evoke another era in both design and in Philadelphia’s history. In a sense, it is an apt metaphor for the challenges and rewards of designing in an historic urban area. Negotiating a pre-Revolutionary urban grid and a great deal of 19th century infrastructure, civic leaders and urban planners in Philadelphia must work creatively to meet the needs of its residents in the 21st century. Occupying a 1906 building as we do, the PAA’s curatorial team is well versed in the challenges that arise when an historic building decides to change careers. The space that Philadelphia Qualities of Life occupies was once devoted to the Wetherill family’s bedrooms and music room. Since 1926, the Philadelphia Art Alliance has occupied the entire building, making public what was once private, and putting space that was once reserved for leisure and rest to work as the setting for contemporary exhibitions. It is our hope that this setting will allow viewers to truly appreciate the innovation required to preserve history and embrace change in the same space. The Philadelphia Art Alliance is grateful to Will McHale, Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich, and Katie Winkler of Philly Works for spearheading this project and organizing Philadelphia Qualities of Life. We also wish to thank the participants for their creativity and hard work.

Philadelphia Art Alliance Staff: Sarah Archer, Melissa Caldwell, Molly Dougherty, Samantha Ferraro, Joanna Grim, Jared Miller, Zokou Naounou, Alex Styer, Mat Tomezsko Exhibition Installers:Alex Lukas, Jesse Olanday Board of Directors: Carole Price Shanis (President), Guy M. Aiman, David G. Benton, Joshua Barnett, M.D., Joanne M. Berwind, David S. Blum Esq., Nicole A. Cashman, Karen B. Davis, George D’Angelo, Emeritus, Jeffrey J. Devine, Kimberly Eberbach, Laurence A. Liss, Barbara B. Frank, M.D., Clara Hollander, Virginia Kimmel, Ellen Berman Lee, Alan Mandeloff, Martin J. Marcinczyk, Natalye Paquin, Esq., Linda Richardson, Bradford J. Sandler, Esq., Alan Sandman, D.O., Caroline Wischmann, Janice Woodcock, Diane Dalto Woosnam



Design Philadelphia

The current design scene didn’t evolve in a vacuum. Philadelphia’s rich design heritage continues to inform and shape it. Following the Civil War, Philadelphia was known as the “the workshop of the world,” a design and production powerhouse. From the late 1800s to early 1900s, Philadelphia was filled with factories and workshops churning out everything from lace to steam engines. The industrial base was wide. At the end of the 19th century, the US Census listed 300 categories of industrial activity, and 90% of these were represented in Philadelphia. A century later many of these factories and mills had stopped producing and the city’s reputation for industrial greatness virtually disappeared. The city’s identity as a hub for creative activity never vanished – instead it was transformed. After a period of dormancy, Philadelphia began to grow into what it is today: a wellspring for design education, innovation, and cultural vibrancy. Independent and small batch designer-makers collaborate with surviving factories. A former textile school is now a bastion of industrial and interactive design education. Empty factories are being reborn as co-working spaces for designer-makers. Area preservationists and sustainability experts are emerging as the nation’s thought-leaders, reframing historic preservation. By 2005, these and other initiatives in the area’s for-profit creative sectors ranged from emerging to already thriving. Thousands of undergraduate and graduate students were studying design in the city’s seven design programs. Yet there was no overarching entity to draw together these “design silos” and to promote and celebrate the region’s unique design profile. That’s when DesignPhiladelphia was born. In partnership with The University of the Arts, DesignPhiladelphia brings together individuals and organizations from across the design spectrum, building valuable community relationships. For the past eight years, DesignPhiladelphia has produced a nationally recognized, open participation Festival. Like all DesignPhiladelphia programming (now moving into year-round offerings), the Festival offers a view into Philadelphia’s creative industries at work– from architecture to interior design, fashion to product design, multi-media to graphic design. It is unique from other design events, which mostly occur around commercial happenings and trade shows. Instead, the DP Festival is fully focused on showcasing, catalyzing, and connecting design in all forms.


“DesignPhiladelphia is one of the most important design festivals in the country, uniting and highlighting all design disciplines to promote a unique and innovative Philadelphia,” said Jason Schupbach, director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts. “DesignPhiladelphia is a model for how cities can leverage their local assets and create a compelling urban brand, one that attracts visitors and new residents alike.” The DesignPhiladelphia initiative demonstrates, supports, and promotes the ability that design has to generate innovation, solve problems, enhance daily life, and influence both the perception and economics of the region. Through programming, DesignPhiladelphia consolidates the city’s raw materials, bringing them together to “brand Philadelphia beyond Rockie, soft pretzels and cheesesteaks,” says Hilary Jay, co-founder and Executive Director of DesignPhiladelphia. “ By design, we are creating a culturally and economically diverse and vibrant city. An excellent place to live, work and play.”


Corzo Center for the Creative Economy at the University of the Arts

The Corzo Center Creative Incubator / Wells Fargo Fellowship Program supports UArts students and alumni interested in developing new ideas, launching creative businesses, and establishing social enterprises. The Center also offers a range of programs for beginners and experienced entrepreneurs – lectures, workshops, courses and open office hours, many of which are free and open to the public. The Creative Incubator is made possible by generous support from Wells Fargo. The Center is a 2012 Knight Foundation grant recipient to support its out-reach program. For more information about the Corzo Center and its programs: corzocenter.uarts.edu

The grantees for the Spring 2012 Creative Incubator/ Wells Fargo Fellowship Program are: Valerie Mallya PaperWool Cushions & Cubes is an eco-furniture company that designs and produces a collection of green furniture to be stuffed with soft, shredded, 100% junk mail or other forms of repurposed paper. Valerie Mallya received a Master’s of Book Arts and Printmaking (2005). Sara McCorriston The Paradigm Gallery + Studio resident artist program connects emerging, local artists with local businesses and the community in order to increase exposure and sales opportunities. Sara McCorriston received a BFA in Theatrical Design & Technology (2009). Tania O’Donnell Red Barn Arts Center presents a series of artist workshops in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania from fall 2012 through August 2013 for tourists and local artists. Tania O’Donnell received a Art Education, MAT in the Visual Arts (2003).



We would like to thank+ We would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all of the participants that were part of the Qualities of Life Exhibit. It was an incredibly rewarding experience to witness the multitude of creative endeavors that were part of the exhibit. We would also like to thank the organizations and people who contributing writing: Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia: Mayor Michael Nutter & Katherine Gajewski The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program: Jane Golden The Community Design Collaborative: Elizabeth K. Miller The Head & The Hand Press: Nic Esposito CHAD - Charter High School for Architecture and Design: Andrew P. Phillips The Food Trust: Yael Lehmann Penn Praxis: Harris M. Steinberg & Andrew Goodman None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of the Art Alliance and its amazing team: Sarah Archer, Melissa Caldwell, Molly Dougherty, Alex Styer and the rest of the staff who helped with the Qualities of Life Exhibit. Their understanding and excitement was a necessary part of the final product. In addition, the continued support of the wonderful organization DesignPhiladelphia and its founder Hillary Jay, and the incredible staff that makes the Philadelphia organization function: Jackie Starker and Emaleigh Doley. Neil Kleinman has been a valued friend and consultant in many of our past and present endeavors. The Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, which Neil leads, is a truly remarkable Philadelphia resource that has been leading the way in providing discource and resources for artists, designers, and other Philadelphia creative professionals. We want to thank The University of the Arts, which houses both DesignPhiladelphia and the Corzo Center, for continuing to provide the city of Philadelphia with creative individuals and ideas. We also want to extend a special thanks to Michel Pinto of Imaging Zone for going above and beyond in the creation of this book.

Thanks Alex and Jesse!


And a gigantic high-five to the installers Alex Lukas and Jesse Olanday.

Philly Works Organizers: Will McHale lives and works in Philadelphia where he received a MA in Industrial Design from the University of the Arts. McHale’s design and fabrication practice in Philadelphia focuses on quality-of-life concerns with an emphasis on material streams, lightness, and local design and craft relationships. He teaches Design at the University of the Arts. Alexandra Schmidt-Ullrich currently lives and works in Philadelphia where she is a member of the fulltime faculty in the Industrial Design Department at the University of the Arts. She has extensive teaching experience from the University of Pennsylvania where she taught courses in architecture, furniture design, and visual studies. In her own work as well as in her teaching, fabrication, craft, and precision are vital components to her process. Katie Winkler is a graduate of the University of the Arts Industrial Design Program. She is currently working with the Mural Arts Program as a Program Coordinator for Structure and Surface, a project that aims to bridge the 19th century manufacturing community with the city’s artists and designers of today. She also facilitated BetterBlocksPhilly in 2011, a component of DesignPhiladelphia.






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Philly Works 2012 // Qualities of Life in Philadelphia  

2012 philly works exhibit book that discusses potentials in philadelphia related to qualities of life.

Philly Works 2012 // Qualities of Life in Philadelphia  

2012 philly works exhibit book that discusses potentials in philadelphia related to qualities of life.

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