South Philly has lots of events for the Design Philadelphia fest (many free ones, too)

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The Design Philadelphia Festival returns this week to showcase the city’s “contemporary significance as a center for creative advancement.” Well, that’s nice.

Even better, especially for those among us who appreciate convenience as much as good design, South Philly events are well-represented this year.

The events, which run from Oct. 10 to 18, consist mostly of open studios, exhibitions, lectures, runway shows, tours, workshops, and other events. The ones listed below include a make your own sugar skull workshop, a repurposing leather class and the Passyunk Square Civic’s home tour.

Take a look at the list, blessedly compiled by the programming manager Nova Harris, and check here for more information.

October 10 – 5:30-8:30pm
Workshop – Create with Corian®
NextFab Studio – 2025 Washington Ave
Free/Advanced Registration Required

A free, hands-on workshop at NextFab Studios using DuPont© Corian®

October 11-18 – IKEA hours
Event – Design the City
IKEA South Philadelphia – 2206 S. Columbus Blvd.

On Friday, October 11th, three teams of teens from Public Workshop’s Building Hero Project will use products from IKEA to design-build three installations inspired by Leger’s The City. The teens’ designs will be on display at the IKEA South Philadelphia store through Friday, October 18th and visitors will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite installation. One lucky voter will win an IKEA prize package valued at $500.

October 12 – 12:00-4:00pm
Passyunk Square Civic Association Annual Home Tour
Passyunk Square – East Passyunk Ave + Tasker Street
$20 advanced /$25 day of

The South Philadelphia Home Tour, presented by the Passyunk Square Civic Association will showcase homes with various architectural designs and creative decorating and creative decorating within the Passyunk Square District.

October 12 – 2:00-5:00pm
Experiential Tour | Southeast by Southeast
1927 South 7th Street
Free. Advanced Registration Required

Celebrate South Philadelphia’s diverse and creative immigrant populations through the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s Southeast by Southeast project. Screen print and take home your own T-shirt printed with traditional Burmese, Bhutanese, and Nepali cultural patterns. Sample Nepali cuisine, watch a demonstration of traditional Karen weaving, and shop for handmade crafts + guided walking tour of the neighborhood.

October 13 – 11:00am-1:00pm
Build with Stick(s)-lets!
Julian Abele Park – 22nd + Carpenter Streets

Meet Stick-lets while you reconnect with nature and play outdoors the old-fashioned way! These flexible connectors allow kids of all ages to be designers. Construct forts, tunnels, creatures, planes, and more. No rules, all play. Bring your imagination (and some scavenged sticks) for some serious building fun!

October 13 – 3:00-6:00pm
Repurpose Leather Workshop
Philly Aids Thrift – 720 S. 5th Street

Philly AIDS Thrift is happy to present a ” hands on” make & take workshop. Using leather from donated items we are unable to sell, we’ll show folks how to create new objects and demonstrate the beauty of repurposing!

October 16 – 5:00-7:00pm
Design Your Own Sugar Skull Workshop
Eye’s Gallery – 402 South Street

Join in the festive tradition of sugar skull-making, an important part of the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead. Each year, elaborate altars, decorated with marigolds, candles, incense, special foods, and sugar skulls are created to welcome the deceased back to their homes. Sugar skulls, made from sugar, meringue powder, and water are then decorated with bright pieces of foil, beads, colored icing, and other creative components. Come design your own!

October 17 – 4:00-7:00pm
Reception at Moon and Arrow
Moon and Arrow – 754 S. 4th Street

Moon and Arrow is the publishing name of artist and metal smith Chelsea Pearce. The shop in Philadelphia’s Queen Village includes jewelry designed by Pearce and others; select vintage pieces – primitive to modern, and one-of-a-kind treasures for home and hearth. Moon and Arrow is also home to Territory Hard Goods.

October 17 – 6:00-9:00pm
Class Uncovered
Octo Design Group – 836 South Street

Listen as interior architect, Frank Gramieri unveils Octo Design Group’s new space and explains how unearthing and utilizing the natural construction materials of the original building played a role in the development of the design.

October 17 – 6:00-9:00pm
Yards Tap Handle Throwdown Gala
NextFab Studio – 2025 Washington Avenue
$10 advanced ticket required.

This is the night! Come check out the tap handle designs for Yards Brewery, our proud partner. Don’t miss out this opportunity to vote for your favorite design, which will be featured in local popular bars. Also the winner will get many many more prizes. Beer and refreshments will be served.


For more info and to register or purchase tickets to any of the above, go to