About Center / Architecture + Design Community

Learn what we are all about


The Center for Architecture and Design is a community committed to improving the quality of life for everyone through architecture and design. The Center is the go to resource for anyone interested in learning more about architecture and design in Philadelphia. Design is for everyone.


  • advance architecture and design;
  • create more equity and justice in our industry and City;
  • lead climate advocacy & education.


  • The City of Philadelphia needs equitable and sustainable development to allow all citizens to thrive – and designers are the key to designing projects that exemplify all aspects of design excellence.
  • In order to design truly equitable and sustainable developments, designers themselves must come from diverse backgrounds and experiences – in particularly from BIPOC communities – that is why we focus on engaging and exposing BIPOC K-12 students to the design process and industries.
  • Designers can make a significant impact on the climate goals necessary to mitigate our current climate crisis – from Architecture to the fashion industry – designers once again, are the key to helping solve this issue.
  • Designers are a critical part of our region’s economy, we advocate for them to be supported and promoted so that they may thrive and continue to help design a better City.

So specifically – how do you do all that? Through the following programs, exhibitions, and competitions.

Advance Architecture and Design

  • AIA Design Awards
  • Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards
  • Best in Emerging Design Award
  • Continuing Education Programs for Architects
  • DesignPhiladelphia Festival Programs & Exhibitions
  • Louis I. Kahn Award

Create More Equity & Justice in Design Industry & City

  • Architecture & Design Education Programs
  • JADE-PHL (Justice Alliance for Design Education)
  • Women in Architecture Scholarship Program
  • Provide Scholarships to BIPOC students interested in design
  • Provide grants to organizations and/or projects that advance architecture and design education for BIPOC students

Lead Climate Advocacy & Education

  • Testify before City of Philadelphia City Council Hearings advocating for sustainable design and construction
  • Multiple educational programs a month for architects and designers about sustainable products and processes


The Center for Architecture and Design is a community that has several organizations, associations, and projects that advance and flesh out our mission. Specifically –

  • AIA Philadelphia focuses on the continuing education and professional development of our region’s architects. AIA Philadelphia also leads our advocacy and lobbying efforts as a 501(c)(6) organization.
  • The Center for Architecture and Design is also a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on:
    • DesignPhiladelphia – an annual festival and community of all disciplines of design
    • Architecture and Design Educational Programming for BIPOC K-12 students
    • JADE-PHL – convening all local universities and colleges to create a more equitable and inclusive experience for BIPOC students

Latest Center / Architecture + Design Community news

Herzog & de Meuron Selected for Louis I. Kahn Award

The architects responsible for the design of the new Calder Gardens on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will give a special public presentation while accepting the 2023 Louis I. Kahn Award. The annual...

Theresa Hyuna Hwang to be Honored at the Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards

Meet the winners of the 2023 Edmund N. Bacon Urban Design Awards, community-engaged architect Theresa Hwang and teams of students from the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Desig...

DesignPhiladelphia Festival Returns October 12-23, 2022

In its 18th year, DesignPhiladelphia once again takes over Cherry Street Pier with dozens of exhibitions and installations.

Receive Center / Architecture + Design Community news on your RSS reader.

Or subscribe through Atom URL manually