Award-winning journalist, curator and entrepreneur Hilary Jay is the founding director of DesignPhiladelphia, an annual city-wide celebration of design exhibitions, lectures, workshops, open studios and street happenings. From 2000 to 2009, she was director of The Design Center (TDC) at Philadelphia University, charged with repositioning the center to reflect the university's broad design and technology curriculum. During those years, Jay created exhibitions and programs championing multiple design disciplines.
In the 90s, she was the design columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine, exploring how and why design influences the way we live, work and play. In addition, Jay wrote for national publications such as Art & Antiques, Modernism and I.D., and Metropolitan Home.
In 1985, Jay co-founded Maximal Art, an international costume jewelry, watch and home furnishings company marketed throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. The work is profiled in several books including Fabulous Fakes: The History of Fantasy & Fashion Jewelry, published by Grafton Books, and Jewels of Fantasy: Costume Jewelry of the 20th-Century, published by Harry N. Abrams. Jay's jewelry and home furnishings are in the permanent collection of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and the Swarovski collection of 20th-century.
Jay is presently the public board member of the American Institute of Architecture, Philadelphia Chapter, and serves on the Mayor's Council for Art, Culture and the Creative Economy.
"Throughout my career I have worked as a design evangelist," says Jay. "In my opinion, design is the single thread that runs through all things in life. It is as simple as a paper clip, as complex as an urban plan, and as political as a voting ballot."