|3 Apr 2023|
|Written by Jelani Abdul-Aziz|
The 2022 DesignPhiladelphia Festival showcased a great selection of Philadelphia talent who are pushing the boundaries of design and creativity with our Emerging Designers Showcase. From this collection of designers, we had the opportunity to highlight the works of local designers ranging from craftsmen to sound capturing furniture designers, and every marker type in between. Last year's Showcase provided a platform for these designers to exhibit their innovative high - quality, ideas and connect with industry professionals and enthusiasts. The festival featured the talent of OVUUD, Ray Baccari Studio, Super Poor Kids, Design Hues, XMAS Designworks, Oxford Street Furniture, and Bloomtime, their collective works fostered a conversation with the Philadelphia design community.
OVUUD - Led by Ben Gillespie who is a passionate and innovative light designer experimenting with form. Ben cleverly invokes play while at the same time demonstrating the advancements in wood working techniques. OVUUD’s design display created a sense of duality with his blue and red hanging lamps that seem to effortlessly float in space.
Ray Baccari Studio - Furniture design is an art form that combines form, function, and beauty. However, for some designers, it's not enough to simply create visually stunning pieces, they must go beyond. Ray is that type of designer and strives to enhance the sensory experience of his furniture by exploring the acoustic properties of materials, specifically wood. Ray featured “Go - Between” at the Center for Architecture and Design (Center), a part gramophone part lounge chair that opens up the user to a visceral experience while being enclosed in the familiar form.
Super Poor Kids - Made up of brother designer and artist duo Lu and Jay Reyes. Super Poor Kids’ designs are rich with creativity, innovation, and demonstrate references to streetwear and urban culture. Their vision led them to create a storybook like grassy wonderland that displayed a series of luggage trunks that were re-imagined, and reclaimed objects, showcasing the pair’s flare to take discarded and unwanted objects and turn them into works of art.
Bloomtime – Led by Lauren Mandal, Bloomtime aims to bring work life and nature together harmoniously. Bloomtime explored the principles of biophilic design and transported festival goers to Springtime in Philadelphia at Cherry Street Pier, this past October. Accentuating the benefits plants and patio gardens can add to someone’s life Bloomtime hosted fun and engaging activities throughout the duration of the festival.
Design Hues – Samara Weaver is a multidisciplinary designer exploring locally sourced materials for use in home décor, craft jewelry, and earthenware with her studio, Design Hues. The Center for Architecture and Design (Center) showcased Samara’s “Light and Air”. A partition-like sculpture composed of a welded iron frame and hand-blown glass tubes that when combined refracts light creating an interesting visual conversation between the viewer and their environment.
Oxford Street Furniture – Keith and Lauren Lockerby created a viewing experience that highlighted their unique and striking furniture pieces. Featuring “Junction” a standing mirror that exemplifies the pairs craft and attention to detail. The partners find a way to capture a feeling of tranquility and a sense of being grounded in their work.
XMAS Designworks – XMAS Designworks started by Andrew Russel Coates displayed its new 2022 furniture collection during DesignPhiladelphia, a collection consisting of his reversable chair; small stacking stool/stand; cement Brutalist birdhouse; and skewered double wicker floor lamp. Andrew Russel Coates’ approach to furniture goes against the grain. The contemporary trend of organic forms, now an industry standard, is not what you will find with Andrew’s latest collection. XMAS Designworks brings an interesting perspective to what a chair can look like. Andrew’s forms are sharp and eye popping, yet carefully executed and masterfully constructed.
We invite local designers and companies to join us for the 2023 DesignPhiladelphia Festival at Cherry Street Pier. Together we can give back to the city of Philadelphia with design!
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