Met Gala 2016: Manus x Machina

  Many readers will be familiar with the image of Jennifer Lawrence’s fiery performance as Katniss Everdeen in the movie adaptations of the novel series The Hunger Games, and the shots of the protagonist wearing clothing doused in literal fire. While the flames engulfing Lawrence’s gown (seen above) are a result of special effects, there...

Real Estate

Virtual Reality Is Making Home Buying Online Efficient and Fun

The world is getting smaller. Technology has enabled people to connect with others around the world in an instant. As our lifestyles continue to be molded by everyday technology, so is the real estate industry. The next home you buy will be purchased online.

Tutorials and Reviews

Fall StrEAT Food Festival + Restaurant Week

Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival and Restaurant Week are back! I think it’s safe to say that this is everyone in Manayunk’s favorite week of the year in town. Or two weeks of the year. The spring festival was a success. The food trucks had so much business that they started running out of food towards...

Tutorials and Reviews

Back to Architecture School- Tips on Saving

   Being an architecture student can drain your bank account that you worked hard building up this summer if you are not smart about the way you manage your materials and money. Below are some tips to help you save it instead:   Freshman year you are probably bound to receive a package from a...


Stroll the Street

A lot of great firsts have been happening this year in Manayunk. Every Thursday night since July 16th Main Street has been lined with food trucks, artists, and vendors. The slogan “Walk, Shop, and Eat” is being used for the Stroll the Street series.   The shops on Main Street stay open later and certain restaurants...

Tutorials and Reviews

Back to Architecture School – Tools and Trade

  The school year is approaching and every architecture student is savoring their final hours of sleep, and preparing for the months to come. Having gone through the rush of going back to architecture school many times, Designblendz put together a list of what we each think are essential tools, methods, and materials to start...

Tutorials and Reviews

A Visit to Urban Jungle

  As you walk down Passyunk Ave towards 11th Street, you’ll notice that everything becomes increasingly greener. And it’s not a coincidence. Sitting on the corner of Passyunk and 11th is Urban Jungle- a Philly based company who creates sustainable environments in the urban fabric. Through their installation of green roofs, green walls, window boxes, and landscaping...

Tutorials and Reviews

Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for the MakerBot Z18 Printer

After owning a MakerBot Z18 3D Printer in Philadelphia for just under one year now, I can say that I have mastered the machine. As a designer, I have had to tear apart, fiddle, fuddle, and tinker with the machine to get to this point. But it’s been fun. As someone from the younger generation,...


Climate Portal

By the end of August 2015 Stockholm Arlanda Airport will allow travelers to experience what their destination will feel like with Climate Portal. Yvonne Boe (communication manager of Stockholm Airport) asks, “The world keeps getting smaller, but how small can we make it?”   This shiny box helps you decide if you should take out...

Tutorials and Reviews

James Oliver Gallery: Pivotal

  Welcome to the fourth floor of 723 Chestnut Street. The address well-known for its ground floor Stephen Starr restaurant, Morimoto, holds its real treasure four flights up. And believe us, each step is worth the visit. The James Oliver Gallery is intriguing from the moment you walk in. With antique chairs spread around, and quirky knick-knacks...

Tutorials and Reviews

Manayunk Blues Festival

The outdoor amphitheater on Venice Island will be alive with the sound of Blues on Saturday, August 15th. The Hidden River Blues Festival is premiering in Manayunk after the success of other recent events at the venue and on Main Street.   The festival will feature local and nationally known artists such as Otis Taylor...

Tutorials and Reviews

A Love Letter to the City

A Love Letter to the City: Book Review     Born and raised in Philadelphia, Stephen Powers made a name for himself (literally) at the age of 16 when he started writing the name ESPO around the city. Powers stopped writing graffiti in 1999 to focus on his art full time, and now lives and...

Tutorials and Reviews

Philly’s First Cheesesteak Festival

  It’s been 85 years since the Philly cheesesteak was invented, and the city is finally having its first festival to celebrate the iconic sandwich. The Philadelphia Cheesesteak Festival, hosted by Elite Events Management Group and a series of local partners, will take place on October 24th at Lincoln Financial Field from 11am to 5pm.  ...

Tutorials and Reviews

The Third Teacher

The Third Teacher is a written collaboration between Cannon Design, VS Furniture, and Bruce Mau Design. The three have put together a list of 79 ways that design can be used to transform teaching and learning. A child’s experience in school depends on the environment that they’re in, pointing the responsibility of that experience at...


Divine Lorraine and Her Backyard

  Redevelopment of the Divine Lorraine hotel in Philadelphia is planned to start within the next month thanks to the recent help of the city and state. The historic hotel has been vacant since 1999 and is planned on being transformed into 109 apartments and 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space. What used to be...

Tutorials and Reviews

America’s Best Urban Trail

Many Philadelphians use the Schuylkill River Trail daily for exercise or leisure. It runs along the river and connects the urban areas of Philadelphia to the more scenic areas of the Northern suburbs. The trail that locals use every day is about to make a big name for itself. It has recently been nominated for USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice...



  Train rides are often routine.  If they’re your main mode of transportation you follow the same on/off pattern every day while you zone out to music, catch up on social media, or read an article. I’m not a regular on the train, but when I do occasionally take it I catch myself slipping into...

Architecture Tutorials and Reviews

Miniature Philadelphia

  When approaching a city it appears as a colossal structure in the landscape. And it is. Skyscrapers stand above you, and people are moving swiftly around you. What if you froze the motion for a minute and imagined the components that make up a city as individual pieces to the puzzle? What’s actually happening to...


The Future of LOVE Park

  This is the last year that LOVE Park will look as we’ve always known it. Hargreaves Associates and KieranTimberlake are leading the design process for a revamp of one of Philly’s favorite parks. The new conceptual plan will be able to provide a place for different experiences throughout the year from seasonal festivals to performances to food...

Architecture Tutorials and Reviews

PWD, Mural Arts, and Venice Island

So have you checked out Venice Island yet? We hope so. If you haven’t gotten a chance to go, tonight starts the last weekend of the Venice Island Live festival and the island will be buzzing with life.     Make your way down to the island from the streets of Manayunk by following ‘Waterways’, the...

Tutorials and Reviews

Venice Island Live

  Venice Island in Manayunk really knows how to come to life on Thursday and Friday nights. Its six week summer event “Venice Island Live” has been going on since May, and will hold its last event this upcoming weekend. We got a chance to check it out this past week, and liked what we saw....

Architecture Tutorials and Reviews

Manayunk’s Oasis

  Venice Island lays just across the Lock Street Bridge from Main Street Manayunk. Nestled in between the Schuylkill River and the Manayunk Canal, the forgotten about island has been flourishing since its redevelopment in 2014. Venice Island was always a waterfront playground, and most recently provided activity in the form of a basketball court...


3D Printing Goes Life-Size

Our interest in 3D printing grew last fall when we purchased the MakerBot Z18 and started printing small scale objects in the office. In the world of 3D printing, complexity and scale depend on the machine or the technology that you use. The Netherlands based company, MX3D, has blown the idea of 3D fabrication out of the...

Tutorials and Reviews

Taste Philly, See Philly

This week activity in Philly focuses on the food and art scenes- two things that this city is exceptionally good at. Philadelphia has many neighborhoods, and as busy as we get it’s hard to say that we’ve experienced them all. Use this weekend to check Callowhill and Manayunk off of your list!   Night Market Philadelphia...

Tutorials and Reviews

MakerBot Z18 Review

Here at Designblendz we were excited to get into the 3D Printing community. I had visited the MakerBot store in Boston, and watched the documentary on Netflix, “Print the Legend” – needless to say we wanted one. In the fall of 2014 we purchased the brand new MakerBot Z18 3D Printer with a build volume...


Reading Viaduct Rail Park – Becoming a Reality

  Many and many ambitious projects have been dreamed up to transform our cities throughout the years, but it’s hard to get too excited knowing that they usually fall short. Funding was cut, care was lost, or a larger issue stood in its way. The Reading Viaduct Rail Park in Philadelphia is defying the normal...

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Tutorials and Reviews

Neighborhood Time Exchange: West Philadelphia Artist Residency

  Local artists and the Philadelphia community are collaborating in an effort to seek a social revitalization in Philly neighborhoods. How exactly can artists help a community? For every hour that they spend working on their own projects in their studio, they’ll give an hour of volunteer service back. Based on their individual areas of...

Graphic Tutorials and Reviews

TransitScreen Comes to Philadelphia

Transportation apps, websites, and street signs merge into one on the real-time TransitScreen. TransitScreen is a transportation software and digital signage company that provides a live display of the various transit options in the area to help make smarter transportation decisions. Their intent is to create sustainable cities of the future that promote behavior change, and...

Tutorials and Reviews

The Bike Race Is Back!

  The streets of Philly come alive for the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic. The annual event features thousands of professional bicyclists racing around a 12.3 mile circuit throughout the streets of Manayunk, East Falls, Fairmount Park, and Kelly Drive.   Up first this year is the Men’s Race at 8 am. What may come as...

Tutorials and Reviews

Kick Off June in Philly

Summer is quickly approaching, and Philadelphia is starting it off with both a traditional city event, and an exciting new installation. Whether you’re coming from out of town, or being a tourist in your own city, both are worth checking out!   Philly Beer Week (May 29th – June 7th) Philly Beer Week is coming...

Tutorials and Reviews

Start of the Philadelphia Summer

Philadelphia has been making a successful effort to integrate pop-up parks and events that liven up the city in the summertime. Two of these hit summer attractions started up this past Memorial Day Weekend in our City of Brotherly Love, and are running until the end of the season.   Spruce Street Harbor Park After being...


What to Expect with 3D Printing

  3D Printing Experience 3D Printing in the past couple years has been gaining overwhelming attention from the masses. With the desktop 3D printer now readily available at Home Depot or Staples, it is clear that this is the technology of the future. 3D printing is available in a wide range of material, including PLA...

Real Estate

Pre Construction Marketing

Market your real estate before construction begins.  At Designblendz this is a big part of our business.  We help architects, realtors, and developers market their projects before shovels hit the ground.  No longer do couples search for balloons on the weekend at street corners Saturday mornings.  Perspective home buyers are now looking for their homes...


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Real Estate

East Falls Regional Rail Development

4 NEW UNITS ENGAGE AN EMPTY CORNER OF THE EAST FALLS COMMUNITY  Kicking off Designblendz development portion of the blog, we will be touring and talking about new developments that are coming up locally in Philadelphia! Being a longtime R6 regional rail rider, I have seen the east falls area grow over the years. At...


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