Hilary Jay To Be First Director Of Center For Architecture


Center for Architecture | Photo: Mark Garvin

Center for Architecture | Photo: Mark Garvin

The Center for Architecture, at 1218 Arch Street, has long housed the staff of the Philadelphia branch of the American Institute of Architects, the AIA’s meeting space, programs, and bookstore. Now, the Center will have its own director, the erstwhile design advocate Hilary Jay, as well as the city’s seminal design event, Design Philadelphia, which Jay started as a project of Philadelphia University’s Design Center in 2005. Since 2010, Design Philadelphia, the nation’s largest civic celebration of the design fields–from has been administered by Jay at the University of the Arts.

“Hilary is highly respected for her contributions to the Philadelphia cultural scene, as well her collaborations with allied design industries and the public who seek to promote and improve our built environment,” said architect Keith Mock, of the firm Ballinger, who heads the Center for Architecture’s board. “We are thrilled that Hilary will lead our institution and accelerate our region’s growing interest and appreciation of the vibrant places where we live, work and play.”

In addition to overseeing the Center’s space, the AIA Bookstore, and Design Philadelphia, the Center also runs walking tours and design competitions around key urban issues.

“I’m excited for the continued opportunity to reach out to local, regional and national audiences in order to spread the gospel of good design,” says Hilary Jay, noting that the past three years at the University of the Arts has been a great growth period personally and professionally. “Helping people understand why design is so essential to their everyday lives has been one of my personal missions. What better place to do that then the Center for Architecture.”

Design Philadelphia will take place October 10-18; calls for participation went out yesterday.

About the author

Nathaniel Popkin is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including the forthcoming Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (Temple Press) and a novel, Lion and Leopard (The Head and the Hand Press). He is the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."

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