DesignPhiladelphia wants you to go home

With exhibits on tiny houses and workshops on interior design and public spaces, the DesignPhiladelphia celebrates its 12th year by encouraging participating designers to be inspired by or challenge the notion of homey comfort.

The annual festival is dedicated to celebrating thoughtful design in Philadelphia. This year’s theme, home, asks designers, artists and other creators to host shows or workshops, or contribute to exhibits and displays that are inspired by their own definition of the theme. And the theme isn’t chosen at random. The people behind the scenes are inspired by current events that impact everyone — not just those in the design community.

“There is the sense that this is a time of political uncertainty — both nationally and with the new mayor,” said Center for Architecture and Design executive director Rebecca Johnson. “The committee felt this — and the desire to go home and have a sense of comfort.”

The Center for Architecture and Design organizes and runs the annual festival. Events throughout the festival focus on highlighting Philly’s status as a design destination. Although defining home is up for interpretation, there are a few things that you might see throughout the festival.

“Home is something that touches so many of the designers,” said Johnson. “What they do has a component in residential design: architecture, interior design, neighborhood design, etc.”

For artists and designers, home can be seen as an abstract concept that inspires the events that happen throughout DesignPhiladelphia’s run. Some artists and designers take the theme pretty literally. But it’s all up for your own interpretation. Here’s our list of events that you shouldn’t miss during the festival.

The festival kicks off on Oct. 6 and ends Oct. 16. There aren’t any events scheduled on Tuesday, Oct. 11 and Wednesday, Oct. 12 to observe Rosh Hashanah. Many of the events are free and open to the public.

Plushie Party!
Sunday, Oct. 9, 2-5 p.m.
Philly AIDS Thrift
710 S. 5th St.

Make your own creation out of stuffed animals at Philadelphia’s famous charitable thrift store.

Home Sweet ‘Hood
Monday, Oct. 10
At Media Design
1217 Sansom St.

It’s a multineighborhood bar crawl! Get to know Philly a little better while discussing the design of public spaces and enjoying a few drinks. Transportation and one drink are included in the ticket price.

Tiny House/Giant Toilet
Thursday, Oct. 13, 4-6 p.m.
URBN Center, 3501 Market St.

Take a tour of a tiny house and check out a solar composting toilet. Architecture students at Drexel University built a tiny house and the eco-friendly toilet that will be donated to Greensgrow Farms after being on display during the design festival

Stephen Burks Man Made
Friday, Oct. 14, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Van Pelt Auditorium at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkway
Free with museum admission

Stephen Burks will be giving a presentation about his furniture designs and how handcrafted items contribute to a home.