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Funders, corporate sector love the Drexel Smart House

The Drexel Smart House has gone national and is building support, with presentations to student and professional groups, according to Forbes.

A student-run group that operates much like a business, the Drexel Smart House was founded four years ago with the intention of exploring cutting-edge technologies that are environmentally friendly, using an actual house as a testing ground.

As their success grows, the passionate and dedicated students who run this project continue to offer pearls of wisdom for the sustainable business community. An ambitious and complex initiative like this one requires a hefty amount of funding, which the students have been successful at receiving both from Drexel University and outside sources. Most recently, when I checked in with one of the student group's organizers, Amanda Moser, I found that its funding strategy appealed to companies looking to get customers to take a chance on sustainable technologies or initiatives.

The group learned to frame its funding conversation in terms that its audience would care the most about. For instance, according to Drexel Smart House President Cody Ray, "We recognized that (Drexel University) President John Fry was interested in community engagement and development. So, we offered Drexel Smart House as a platform for him to build upon to achieve his objectives."

Source: Forbes
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Steuer: Creative economy can lift Philly's poorest neighborhoods

Philadelphia's Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy boss says underserved neighborhoods will improve with cultural infusion, in an essay Steuer writes in The Huffington Post.

The new Census numbers for Philadelphia are in, and the city managed to actually record a population increase, the first in 50 years. And while the increase was tiny -- 8,456 residents, which represents a .6% increase to 1,536,006 - the reversal of the decades-long decline is huge.

Virtually all the neighborhoods that have seen huge population increases during this ten-year period have also seen large increases in the number of arts organizations and artists living and operating in them.

Source: The Huffington Post
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NoLibs residential development transforms the split-level

New residential construction in Northern Liberties transforms the traditional split-level so that each room expands vertically as well as horizontally, according to Architectural Record.

The Northern Liberties neighborhood, just north of Center City in Philadelphia, used to be a decrepit Rust Belt remnant, but it now attracts the artist crowd. Over the past decade that crowd has come, stayed, become organized, and turned the neighborhood into a vibrant community that honors its local history while allowing a modern sensibility to permeate new design. Architect Kevin Angstadt, principal of Qb3, has completed three projects in the neighborhood, and he says his latest, Split-Level House, could not have been accomplished without the forward-thinking neighborhood association of Northern Liberties.

Source: Architectural Record
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Major renovations planned for Reading Terminal Market

The East Wing of Reading Terminal Market is getting an overhaul, with five new stalls and a demonstration kitchen planned, according to uwishunu.

Established in 1892 at 12th and Arch Streets, beloved local icon Reading Terminal Market is the nation's oldest continuously operating farmers' market. The always-abustle market sells everything from Amish baked goods and deli fare to city specialties like cheesesteaks and Famous Fourth Street cookies, while events and cooking classes showcase Philadelphia's vibrant dining scene. Given its storied history and constant usage, it's no wonder that the market is due for an exciting renovation.

Source: uwishunu
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LA asks: Can the new Barnes be fiscally viable in Philadelphia?

The Los Angeles Times is the latest major media outlet to question the move of the Barnes Museum from suburban Merion to Center City Philadelphia.

Is the new Barnes Museum headed for disaster? Designed to house the art collection of the Barnes Foundation, with its hundreds of Cezannes, Renoirs, Matisses, Picassos and other early modern masters, a new building is under construction in downtown Philadelphia where the collection is scheduled to move from its current home in Merion, Pa. Yet serious questions remain about the rationale for the move and the museum's long-term sustainability.

Source: Los Angeles Times
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Blooming Baltimore: Flower Show a 'must-see' for flower, garden lovers

The Baltimore Sun writes about the can't-miss-this quality of this year's Philadelphia International Flower Show.

Feeling a little winter-weary? Escape from the season of snow and ice to a refreshing look at spring at "Springtime in Paris," the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show that begins today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Featured in "1,000 Places to Visit Before You Die," Philly's flower show is a must-see for flower and garden lovers. Each year, at least 60 florists, professional landscapers and horticultural and educational organizations create breathtaking, full-scale gardens and floral displays. Many have taken as long as 18 months to prepare.

Source: The Baltimore Sun
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Back home to the future: Inaugural Steampunk Expo comes to Montco

Dust off that old dirigible. The first-ever Steampunk Expo comes to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center March 5-6, according to The Princeton Packet.

Imagine a computer desk, for example, that's made from an antique organ frame with the pipes still protruding from the back. Where there used to be a musical keyboard, there now sits a computer keyboard. That's Steampunk!

Produced by Bruce Rosenbaum of ModVic (Modern Victorian) and Jeff Mach of Anachronism, the exposition, called "Back Home to the Future," presents more than 75 of the country's top Steampunk artisans and related antiques exhibitors. They will present what many are now viewing as one of the most unusual and refreshing home d�cor, fashion and lifestyle trends to come along in decades.

Source: The Princeton Packet
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Peacocks and men's frippery invade Philadelphia Museum of Art

Once upon a time, men dressed like peacocks, keeping the richest colors for their own wardrobes. A colorful men's fashion exhibit is now on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A reporter for The Daily Beast dons frippery of his own.

Men's fashion may inspire yawns today, but it wasn't always so. Blake Gopnik visits a new exhibit that celebrates a time when guys donned sparkly kaftans and scarlet leggings.

To visit The Peacock Male: Exuberance and Extremes in Masculine Dress at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it seemed right to don peacockery. A black velvet jacket in an Oscar Wilde cut appeared a suitable option. I might as well not have bothered. How could such a thing compete with a 1780s tailcoat in gold- and blue-striped silk, with a garden's worth of tulips embroidered across its cuffs, lapels, and pockets?

Original Source: The Daily Beast

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Illuminated headboard a bright idea for Therapedic bed

Philadelphia-based Hollandia International will debut its iLight bed, complete with illuminated headboard, in Las Vegas this month, reports Furniture Today.

The iLight Bed is designed to elevate the bedroom experience with the introduction of some new high-tech features, including a color-changing LED system built into the headboard, along with docking stations for iPads, iPhones and iPods, surround sound speakers and Hollandia's Platinum-Luxe adjustable mattress system.

"Our research showed that color and light, when used in the right way, can have a powerful impact on the way consumers feel in their homes, whether the goal is to relax, feel productive or to entertain," said Avi Barssessat, CEO of Hollandia.

Original source: Furniture Today
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It's all in the experience: Comcast's really big screen invokes lofty references

Slate examines the Comcast Experience--the world's largest HD LED screen--and why it's reminiscent of the Renaissance period.

The so-called Comcast Experience runs for 18 hours a day. Some of the segments are little vignettes--"like New Yorker cartoons," says Niles--featuring a recurring cast of Broadway actors, dancers, and acrobats in unusual situations: descending on window-washing platforms, doing back-flips, swimming. The figures appear completely lifelike, thanks to the high resolution of the Belgian-made 10-million-pixel screen. Sometimes the digital wall becomes a huge movie screen. The day I was there, I ! saw a view of Logan Circle, a Philadelphia landmark, as well as an uproarious clip from Flying Down to Rio, chorus girls dancing on airplane wings.

The Comcast Experience is a kinetic version of the wall and ceiling frescoes that were common in the Renaissance and likewise integrated art with architecture. Giant murals were also a feature of public buildings in the 1930s. Perhaps the greatest work of that period was Diego Rivera's mural, Man at the Crossroads, at Rockefeller Center, although Rivera's inclusion of Trotsky and Lenin insulted Nelson Rockefeller, who ordered the mural destroyed. Nobody would find the Comcast moving images insulting; they are more like Veronese's domestic frescoes--good-natured, quirky, and just plain fun.

Original source: Slate
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Open less than a month, President's House continues to draw comparisons, ire

New York Times critic Edward Rothstein unceremoniously lumps Philly's recently opened President's House into a growing group of identity museums that frame history to tell a neglected story.

Then there are the two most recent examples. The President's House site is where the nation's executive mansion stood from 1790 to 1800. And a display there could have provided some unusual insight into the American past, because not only did George Washington, as he shaped the institution of the presidency, sleep there, so did nine of his slaves. On Independence Mall in Philadelphia, which is devoted to ideas of American liberty, it would have made sense for this site to explore the conjunction of these two incompatible ideas--slavery and liberty--particularly as both were knit into the nation's founding.

Instead, during eight years of controversy, protests and confrontations, the project (costing nearly $12 million) was turned into something else. Black advocacy groups pressed the National Park Service and the city to create an exhibition that focused on enslavement. Rosalyn McPherson, the site's project manager, emphasized in an interview that the goal was to give voice to the enslaved. Community meetings stressed that slaves had to be portrayed as having "agency" and "dignity." A memorial to all slaves was erected, inscribed with a roster of African tribes from which they were taken--a list that has no clear connection to either the site or the city.

Original source: The New York Times
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Campus Apartments breaks ground on first hotel in UCity

Globe St. takes a look at Philadelphia's Campus Apartments, one of the country's largest student-housing firms, which recently broke ground on a $50 million Hilton hotel near the University of Pennsylvania.

David Adelmen, the firm's chief executive, tells GlobeSt.com that the company decided to take on the venture because of the strong demand close to the university for an extended-stay hotel. The development, which just broke ground, is also close to Penn Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Plus, management can keep it under close watch, being based in the same city.

And it might not be the last one that Campus Apartments undertakes. "It's certainly a project we'd consider doing in the future for universities," Adelman says.

Getting financing for the project was one of the biggest challenges, and a number of entities are providing the funding. Financing is provided jointly by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), The Reinvestment Fund (TRF, US Bank Community Development Corporation and Beneficial Bank.

Original source: Globe St.
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NRDC loves Philly's Green2015; 500 acres of parks on the way

The Natural Resources Defense Council blog applauds and captures the spirit of Philadelphia's plan to convert vacant lots and asphalt yards into small neighborhood parks throughout the city.

According to the executive summary, more than half of Philadelphia's residents currently do not have access to a park within convenient walking distance. But there are 558 acres of publicly owned, vacant land located in underserved neighborhoods, and a larger inventory citywide of over 1,000 acres of publicly owned vacant land, over 1,000 additional acres of schoolyards that could be multi-purposed, and over 3,000 acres of additional vacant land currently in private ownership, identified in the map below left as "opportunity areas." The map on the right shows proposed new trails, bike lanes, and "creek walks" in the city.

Original source: Natural Resources Defense Council
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Montco cabinetmaker shares collection struggles with NYT

One of entrepreneurs' most difficult but oft-taken for granted duties is actually collecting money for the work they've performed, and Paul Downs of Paul Downs Cabinetmakers in Bridgeport, Montgomery County writes about his challenges for the New York Times.

Let's take a moment to consider the U.S. Postal Service, our best example of 19th century technology in all of its glory. Now, I understand it's trying to catch up, that it has big problems, and that it's stuck with a legacy operating model. But I don't care. (On) Friday, Oct. 15, I received a check that was postmarked Oct. 8, mailed from Houston to Philadelphia--seven days from Houston to Philadelphia! Are we still using mules? I've found that mail coming from Chicago is the worst; it can take 10 days or more.

I now use United Parcel Service for anything of any importance. UPS collects up to 6:45 p.m., its Web site tells me exactly how long it will take for the package to arrive, and the information is accurate. Many of the samples we send can go via U.P.S. ground, and they still get there overnight.

Original source: New York Times
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The Philly-made USB Typewriter: Just what you always wanted

Philadelphia designer and printmaker Jack Zylkin, a regular in the Hive76 community of makers and crafters, has created and made available a USB Typewriter that Geek With Laptop just loves.

The USB Typewriter describes itself as a "groundbreaking innovation in the field of obsolescence", and frankly, I couldn't have put it better myself. To be serious for a minute though, some people do still prefer the touch and feel of a manual typewriter over a computer keyboard, and many people have old models that they are still very attached to.

In true open source tradition, Jack Zylkin, the man behind this project, even provides instructions to people who want to build their own USB Typewriter from scratch. So that makes a total of three different options available; making one from scratch yourself, buying a DIY kit to install yourself, and buying a completed typewriter from the website. Oh, I almost forgot, you can also send in your existing typewriter for Jack to convert.

The USBTypewriter is based on Arduino, and works with three main components. There is a sensor board made from metal contacts, a USB interface board with a Atemega Arduino chip, and Reed switches to detect any keys that don't strike the crossbar. Amazingly, the entire project only needs 11 wires to operate, nine of which lie underneath the chassis.

Original source: Geek With Laptop
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146 design Articles | Page: | Show All
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