October 8 – 25, 2009
Reception: Tuesday, October 13, 6pm
Location: Ice Box
Hours: Wed – Sun 12-6pm
Link: Changing Skyline, by Inga Saffron @ Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia, September 15, 2009 – Philadelphia’s affordability, diverse neighborhoods and “under the radar” personality have fueled a robust and growing design culture over the past decade. The city is going through an evolution in shaping its design identity, and architecture is clearly playing a key role. Liabilities that historically drew negative attention to the city – crime, trash and lack of economic growth—have provided a context within which a strong creative community has emerged on its own terms.
“This ‘work in progress’ mentality proved to be a tremendous advantage for architects during the last real estate boom, as Philadelphia quickly established itself as a lifestyle destination on the back of new luxury housing, urban mixed-use development and a strong interest in greening,” says Brian Phillips, Principal of Interface Studio Architects. “With Fertile Ground we’re bringing together 12 architectural design firms that represent a critical mass of innovation that has grown out of this particular Philadelphia-specific context.”
Many of the participating firms have strong connections to the four schools of architecture in the city, promoting a true sense of praxis where client-based construction and academic pursuits cross-fertilize. This exhibition is a timely consideration in the midst of current economic trends which have challenged the traditional model of architectural practice over the past two years. The work represents a collection of research agendas, cutting-edge software, and new and hybrid business models.
“We hope that by engaging this community, new and interesting ideas, dialogues and relationships will follow,” added Phillips. “Some of the offices have already gained national recognition while others are start-ups that are just beginning to make their marks. The common thread running through the work is a sense of experimentation and enthusiasm for the future.”
Erdy McHenry Architecture, LLC
International Design Clinic
ISA Interface Studio Architects, LLC
Moto Design Shop Inc.
Normal Architecture Office NAO
Onion Flats, LLC
Point B Design