Lace in Translation

The Design Center at Philadelphia University



Installation view of Lace Fence by Demakersvan designer Jeroen Verhoeven, 2009. Photo by Kerry Polite, Courtesy of The Design Center.

The Design Center at Philadelphia University commissioned three internationally renowned artists— European designers Tord Boontje and Demakersvan, and Canadian artist Cal Lane—to create site-specific installations inspired by The Design Center's historic Quaker Lace Company collection. Exploring the intersection of traditional craftsmanship and industrial manufacturing techniques, each work reconceptualized conventional notions of lace, while challenging the dichotomy between traditional and contemporary design. The works were on view in- and outdoors, spanning The Design Center's 1950s era, Hollywood-style ranch house and grounds. A companion catalogue explored the broader context and history of lace as a design element while offering a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look at the development and creation of the exhibition.