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Design Matters - October 2021

Happy Design Philadelphia Week Collaborators!  

This week marks the end of one of our favorite times of year.  We hope all our network were able to engage parts of the festival celebrating Philadelphia’s design community online or in-person. It was great seeing some of our long-time volunteers at the Kick-off Party at Cherry Street pier. One Collaborative team has their volunteer project features in the 2021 AIA Philadelphia Architecture exhibit at Cherry Street. Stop by to learn more about the work Kelly Maiello completed earlier this year for our client Strawberry Mansion CDC on the John Coltrane House. It was exciting to see a firm elevate their Collaborative contribution as one of their marquee projects!  We encourage all to stop through Cherry Street Pier to see the exhibit before it closes this weekend – there are many Collaborative volunteer firms and Corporate Champions featured in the exhibit [We see you Ballinger, Digsau, ISDG, Kieran Timberlake, Stantec, JKRP, Jefferson University CABE, Tyler School at Temple, Weitzman School of Design!]. 

Last Saturday we hosted a conversation at the Center for Architecture exploring the future of the community design center. This event bridged both Design Philadelphia and Archtober in New York and it was a great opportunity to ponder the organization’s future with some valued aligned peers in the JMBC at CUNY, Pratt University, Penn Praxis, and Urban Design Forum. It was great to bring our mission focus to the Design Philadelphia crowd. We left the conversation energized and ready to kick off our strategic planning and diversity, equity and inclusion visioning this month. Stay tuned for more information about how the organization plans to incorporate this into our operations to improve our offerings for clients, better engage our volunteers, and continue to use design as a tool to catalyze community transformation! 

As Design Philadelphia 2021 closes out we want to invite all our friends and supporters to join us online today 10/ 14 with AARP to discuss ADUs. The convo will feature our Executive Director, Tya Winn and advisory committee member Andy Toy in conversation with Diana Lind, Eli Spivak, and Maria Gonzalez.  On Friday 10/15, we suggest everyone check out Fast Forward Philly featuring some of our colleagues in the field talking about the future of our city. It is always imaginative! 

The last few weeks have been really rich with programming, and it has been so wonderful to engage with all of our connections on Instagram, Zoom, and in person! We invite all of you to keep engaging with us as we close out our CFA Lab at the end of the month.  Tune in this Friday at 12:30 ET for our IG Live conversation (search @CenterforArch on IG to enter the live) with Design Philadelphia and the Chicago Architecture Biennial from some of the community based site installations as part of The Available City.  

Lastly, as this week closes, we want to send a special shout out to our connections of Indigenous, Latinx, and Hispanic heritage in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day and Hispanic Heritage month.  Join us on 10/18 for our next Equity Talk: The Latino Perspective discussing how design impacts the Latino community and in November to discus its connection to the Indigenous community. We look forward to learning more about these demographics with our final two equity talks.   

-Your Collaborative Team 


Final 2021 Design Grant Application Deadline - November 5th 

Thinking of Applying for a Design Grant for 2021?

We are accepting applications for 2021 Design Grants through November 5th. Applications received after November 5th will reviewed for consideration in the first review cycle of 2022. 

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Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, the second oldest rescue mission serving people experiencing homelessness in the country, was renovated last week by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) conference as part of a “blitz build” through their AEC Cares program. The plans for the renovation were directed and managed by the Community Design Collaborative.

“We cannot thank the amazing teams at AEC Cares and The Community Design Collaborative enough for their hard work that transformed our 4th floor.”  

As part of this initiative, AEC Cares invested $50,000 for the renovation to the 4th-floor residential hall, home to up to 36 men in their transitional housing program for seniors. For over a year, the Collaborative led a team of volunteer design professionals who worked with 75 team members through the renovation. New updates from the renovation include: a new ceiling, floors, furniture, paint, window treatments, and a lighting system. 

 “Through these renovations, the Mission continues our efforts to provide stability and serve as a family for those who come through our doors. Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission is committed to serving those experiencing homelessness with respect and compassion, and this generous upgrade has created a space that feels like home for our residents.",  said Jeremy Montgomery, President and CEO of Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission.


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Design For Us, By Us: Activating Community Agency   

Last Saturday, we dug into a meaty topic – community-engaged design, a movement that began 50 years ago, and what is on the minds of leading design centers in Philadelphia and New York as they look ahead. Participants included 30+  onsite in Philadelphia and New York  joined by another 25 people on Zoom who enjoyed a moderated dialogue between five panelists split between the cities and posed their own questions to them.   

Budgeting and End of Year Giving – Time to Think Ahead   

Designers are planners, right?! Make sure your colleagues and leadership consider how to support equity in access to design services via the Collaborative in 2022.  

Perhaps it is through a Leverage event (April 2022) sponsor. We are planning to be back in person. Opportunities will span $1,250, $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000.  

Better yet, take it up a notch as a year-round Corporate Champion. This leadership level includes steady recognition through a mix of communications and at events as well as intimate gatherings delving into the Collaborative’s impact and plans.  Learn more

You can also act on a personal level by making a gift now or in response to the upcoming 2021 Annual Appeal. Consider becoming a monthly donor - you’ll feel great all year long knowing that you keep the Collaborative going!  

Volunteer Opportunity – Resource Development and Communications  

Ready to take your engagement with the Collaborative to the next level? We seek volunteers to join the 2022 Resource Development and Communications Committee.   

This active Committee works throughout the year to pursue and secure financial resources. Our scope includes seeking event sponsorships and other gifts from individuals and businesses engaged with design directly or serving the design industry.  Ideal candidates are willing to directly communicate in a variety of ways with potential supporters.  

Your efforts will translate into securing the essential, robust funding that supports the Collaborative’s everyday work. You will feel great knowing that the Collaborative can source and select potential projects for pro bono design teams, undertake research to develop new services and special topic initiatives, explore new partnerships, and share the stories illustrating our impact with a broader public. 

Learn more about this opportunity by contacting Elyssa Kane, Development Manager.   

Equity Talks - October 18th 

Equity Talks: The Latino Perspective is the third public conversation in this Collaborative series. Join Philadelphia's Hispanic community leaders, organizers, and scholars as they discuss the impact of design and development on their various communities . Hear how their communities' interests, challenges, and culture impact Philadelphia's evolution.

Panel, Moderated by Harry Tapia, Director of Operations, HACE, includes:

  • Jennifer Rodriguez, President/CEP- Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Damaris Feliciano, Director of Community Relations & Strategic Initiatives, City of Philadelphia
  • Amanda Garayua, Director of Housing, HACE
  • Erick Martinez, Commercial Banking Strategies and Solutions, Banco Santander

Join us Monday October 18, 20213:30 - 5:00pm via Zoom Webinar(a link will be emailed to you prior to the event).

                             Click HERE to Buy Tickets
Girard Academic Music Program Awarded As National Blue Ribbon School

Earlier this month, Collaborative partner Girard Academy Music Program (GAMP) was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. GAMP is a public magnet middle and high school located in South Philadelphia, with a curriculum focused on music and the performing arts.

The Collaborative worked with GAMP in 2018 for a conceptual design to improve its open spaces to be more attractive and inviting and to better address the needs of its diverse students and rigorous curriculum. 

Seven schools in the Philadelphia region are among the 13 Pennsylvania schools recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021 by the U.S. Secretary of Education. This recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, the Dept. of Education says. 



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