Philadelphia is a centerpiece of American History, the place where the American constitution was drafted in the late 18th century. It is a city with a strong physical heritage that sometimes strikingly resembles the streets and architecture of Europe. Today, Philadelphia is in the process of reinventing itself and following the effects of a post-industrial decline, it is now harnessing its creative potential to redevelop itself. With a new brand “With Love Philadelphia XoXo” and events like Design Philadelphia, the city is looking to reflect a younger image and perhaps attract crowds from neighboring cities like New York City and Washington, DC. With the fourth largest GDP in the United States (after New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) Philadelphia has the economic resources to invest in its creative industries to boost its profile to an international scale.
Philadelphia is one of America’s most cultural cities with countless museums, performing arts centers and historic sites. The city also has a unique mural arts program that encourages individuals to collaborate with their communities and together transform public spaces. As the former center for the American textiles industry, Philadelphia continues to promote that heritage through the Fabric Workshop and Museum that includes an artist-in-residence program dedicated to experimentations with fibers. Following the same theme but moving much beyond textiles, Fabric Row is a neighborhood that gathers independent retailers and has become one of the creative districts of the city.
The Design Center at Philadelphia University boasts an impressive fashion archive and stunning gallery spaces exhibiting past and present design works. The center’s mission is to show that design participates and shapes everyday life. Its collection is often used by design students and scholarly research but is also appreciated by design connoisseurs and aficionados.