Philadelphia Rolls Out Recycling Trucks Decorated with Textile Patterns from The Design Center’s Collection

The City of Philadelphia today unveiled 10 recycling trucks decorated with bright, bold graphics inspired by the historic textiles collection of The Design Center at Philadelphia University.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter presided over an Earth Day ceremony today in Center City in which the trucks paraded through the city streets. More than 60 students enrolled in the city’s free after-school Big Picture program, sponsored by the Mural Arts Program, helped with the conceptualization, design and production of the graphic wraps for each of the trucks.

As part of the creative process, The Design Center Assistant Director Carla Bednar introduced the students to textiles from around the world. These included an assembly of 19th and early 20th century textiles, textile-related artifacts and tools that document the emergence of Philadelphia as one of America’s great textile producers of the time.

“This collaboration has been extremely interesting and engaging,” said The Design Center Executive Director Hilary Jay. “We’re thrilled that our collection could be put to such an innovative use.”

As they circled Love Park in Philadelphia, one recycle truck sported huge pink and orange flowers on a black background, while another, titled H20, unfolded in wavy shades of blue, and a third sported a toile-like design of purple pheasants and flowers on a light blue background.

“This is design in motion,” Jane Golden, director of Mural Arts, said at the event.  “We’re thinking beyond the wall.”

The roll-out of the recycling trucks coincides with the introduction of city’s new single-stream recycling program, in which all recyclable materials can all go into the same receptacle.  Students from the Asian Arts Initiative, Norris Square Neighborhood Project, Waring Elementary School and Wissahickon Charter School participated in the project.

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