Born in the USA: Philly’s American Street Showroom puts the spotlight on lighting

Showroom displaying artwork and one-offs by various designers
American Street Showroom, an inspiring 11,000 sq ft space filled with objects, one-offs and artwork established by Adam Kamens, has brought a selection of lighting designers from around the USA to exhibit pieces in its evocative space
(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

Philadelphia has always been a hotbed of creative talent. From its tradition of craft-driven furniture to its institutional legacy of art museums, the distinctions between art and design have always blurred organically.

American Street Showroom, an inspiring 11,000 sq ft space filled with objects, one-offs and artwork established by Adam Kamens, is helping to keep this spirit going by bringing a selection of lighting designers from around the USA to exhibit pieces in its evocative space. Featuring designs by Philly locals, such as Tyler Hays (opens in new tab), Robert True Ogden and Kamens’ other enterprise, the fabrication studio Amuneal, alongside pieces from Bec Brittain (New York), Cedar & Moss/Esque Studio (Portland) and Will Dexter (Boyertown), artistic lighting designs are installed throughout the sprawling former electric company building. Many have been created specifically for the show – the showroom’s first.

‘We selected these designers and makers not only because they are renowned for their work,' says Showroom director Kim Kamens, 'but also because we knew that each one would have a unique perspective on lighting, which would make for a very interesting exhibition.’

From Hays’ delicate, craftsman-savvy approach and Brittain’s edgy geometric style to Dexter’s artistically manipulative technique, there is an impressive range of work on display. There’s plenty of time for out-of-towners to experience the exhibition too – the lighting display will stay up for the whole year, with more pieces to be added over the coming months.

Simple drop lights hanging at different heights above a workbench

Featuring designs by 12 individuals, the artistic offerings are installed throughout the sprawling former electric company building. Pictured: ’Drop Light’, by Amuneal

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

A close-up view of the ’Drop Light’

A close-up view of the ’Drop Light’

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

Three large positional lights in cream, red and blue, hanging in front of a staircase

The exhibition is the first organised by the showroom. Pictured: a design by Tyler Hays

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

Clear, textured glass pendant lights hang at different heights above a long wooden table

Many of the lighting pieces on display have been created especially for the occasion. Pictured: textured glass pendants, by Will Dexter

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

Abstract light formed by illuminated rods and gold corners

’Shy’ lamp, by Bec Brittain

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

Lights formed from ceramic bowls and funnels and lit using a variety of sizes and shapes of bulb

The exhibition will continue throughout the year, with new designs and pieces added over the months to come. Pictured: funnel and bowl shaped ceramics, by Natalie Page

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

Four table lamps with differing glass globes sit on a long wooden workbench

A selection of table lamps by the Portland-based studio, Cedar & Moss

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

Light consisting of carved rods with illuminated sections at different levels

Carved ceiling light, by Amuneal

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

Semi-circular table with a lamp. It looks as though a lightbulb has been expanded and moulded into an organic shape.

An organic shape, by Cedar & Moss

(Image credit: Stuart Goldenberg)

INFORMATION

American Street Showroom can be visited by appointment only. For more information, visit their website (opens in new tab)

Photography: Stuart Goldenberg

ADDRESS

American Street Showroom
2201 North American Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133

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Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.