Pearl Street, a narrow, four-block alleyway, centrally located in the Chinatown North neighborhood of Philadelphia, was the focal point for DesignPhiladelphia's theme, Shift Everything. The tiny trash-strewn, passageway has become a pivotal point for changing attitudes of people living in a neighborhood in flux.
On one end, there’s the rejuvenated Goldtex factory building, which has been converted into high-end apartments. On the other side, there’s the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission which focuses on the needs of the homeless and disadvantaged. “We’ve been working on two elements. One has been to really try to envision what the physical environment of Pearl Street could be. The other is really to think of the alleyway as a symbol of an opportunity to connect people,” said Gayle Isa, Executive Director of Asian Arts Initiative.
Perhaps the most interesting section is where the Reading Viaduct crosses over Pearl Street, creating a tunnel which can be viewed as both an eyesore and a point of interest. The point of DesignPhiladelphia’s Pearl Street Passage was to shift focus to the idea of the Rail Park and the potential activity it could bring to the neighborhood. Through a grant received by Asian Arts Initiative, DesignPhiladelphia assembled 10 teams of designers, architects, and fabricators with the goal to reimagine Pearl Street as an interactive public space.
Urban Video Productions (UVP) was approached by DesignPhiladelphia to document the 10 teams from the conceptions of design, to the implementation of the installations on Pearl Street. We were to create two videos leading up to the event. The first video was a teaser to be released a week before the event as a promotional video to instill excitement and buzz among DesignPhiladelphia's audience. The video was blasted out on social media and housed on DesignPhiladelphia's website.
The second video documents the narrative of the Pearl Street Passage Installation project, showing the process of the teams and gives insight to the audience as to how the Installation came to being. The video premiered at the Asian Arts Intiative shortly after the Pearl Street Passage event and is currently housed on DesignPhiladelphia's website.
UVP storyboarded, shot, directed, edited and produced both videos. Additional services included art direction, graphic design, and photography. Please watch the complete documentary below: