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Mission Statement

The Center for Architecture and Design’s mission is to engage and educate the public about the importance of architecture and design to the quality of their lives. Design impacts the lives of our citizens, and citizens educated about design improve our lives. We need to empower all voices and bring everyone to the table if we are going to continue to thrive as a society that serves and benefits all. The Center believes that designers are powerful advocates to accomplish these lofty goals, therefore we have drafted the below value statements that will strategically guide all of our programs and initiatives.


The Center provides Philadelphia with educational programs, exhibitions, and a public space to explore architecture, urban planning, and design, allowing visitors the opportunity to understand how these disciplines affect us all in our daily lives. Using our city's distinctive breadth of architecture, pioneering urban design, and manufacturing heritage as the foundation for conversation, we educate the public through talks, exhibitions, publications, hands-on workshops, design competitions, festivals, and children’s programming.

The Center's signature annual festival, DesignPhiladelphia. Other Programs + Events include: Edmund N. Bacon Prize & Talk, Louis I. Kahn Memorial Lecture, Architecture in Education, and PARK(ing) Day Philadelphia to name a few.

The Center brings together architects, designers, developers, thought leaders, local representatives, and the public under one roof. An independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Center was founded in 2002 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Philadelphia). The Center is free to visit and open to the public five days a week.


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