In early 2015, DesignPhiladelphia along with the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, Friends of the Rail Park and Asian Arts Initiative invited architects, artists, and fabricators to apply to participate in an installation on the 1100 block of Pearl Street in the Chinatown North/Callowhill neighborhood of Philadelphia. This project was funded by one of 55 grants by from ArtPlace America. Ten multidisciplinary teams that would visualize and realize installations based on the concept of “Shift” were curated by Groundswell Design Group with the goal of revitalizing and re-imagining the alleyway. Francis Cauffman was chosen to collaborate with fabricators Metal, Inc. and artist Alison Stigora., forming “Team Verge”.
“Verge” is a physical manifestation of peeling back layers in the urban environment. The juxtaposition between the smooth surfaces brought by urban renewal and the textured underbelly inspired by Pearl Street’s industrial history, create a layered neighborhood that looks to a bright future while not forgetting its past. Verge invites viewers into a contemplative space that fuses this dual nature into one sculptural object.