Center for Architecture's Jay steps down, DesignPhiladelphia goes on

OPENING NIGHT
Photo via DesignPhiladelphia.

After two years as its director, Hilary Jay is leaving the Philadelphia Center for Architecture. But DesignPhiladelphia, the festival she cofounded more than 10 years ago, will remain the signature event of the center.

"The timing is right," Jay wrote in a blog post on the organization's website this week. "After a decade at the helm, DesignPhiladelphia is on sound footing with a terrific team in place to ensure its success for years to come."

Her move was described as "amicable and mutual" in a release the center issued.

When the first DesignPhiladelphia festival took place in April 2005 - inspired by London's then-new design festival - it comprised more than 70 exhibitions, lectures, and workshops, as well as in-store events. At the time, Jay was director of the Design Center at Philadelphia University. The event moved its home base to the University of the Arts in 2010, and then to the center in 2013, when Jay was appointed its director that June.

Nova Harris will remain the program manager for DesignPhiladelphia, now a nine-day event in October where universities, cultural institutions, city agencies, retailers, and manufacturers participate in more than 130 events on topics spanning all design disciplines. This year's theme is "Shift," inspired by the fast-paced changes in Philadelphia's urban landscape.

- Inquirer staff