Movers and Shapers

This year, hundreds of local designers will host symposia, open studios, installations, parties and exhibits in 90 events from October 16th to 22nd

Lisa Roberts

You can’t step into any modern design arena without bumping into Lisa Roberts. A PMA trustee who helped underwrite the Museum’s new modern-design wing, she’s long been an active member of Collab, which raises money for the modern and contemporary design collection and sponsors education programs. She founded Collab’s 15-year-old college design competition, has vice-chaired the National Design Awards, and sits on the board of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. Roberts (daughter of Ralph, sister of Brian) is also a trained architect-turned-product-designer of mostly museum-store collectibles, and one of the first and most generous supporters of DesignPhiladelphia, which she considers a vital tool in building Philly’s design reputation. “Philadelphia has a tremendous number of schools and design departments, but very few jobs in design professions,” she says.

Best known for: Her book Antiques of the Future, a carefully curated collection of products from the past 25 years that Roberts says will be museum-quality valuables when they go out of production.

What she’s doing this year: Underwriting part of Minima’s Pop-Up Neighborhood, which she describes as “interesting and relevant.”