It all starts with an idea — for something new or different or even revolutionary. It’s that “We could do this, couldn’t we?” moment that epitomizes the spirit we’re celebrating with our Big Vision Awards. For the fourth year, we’re giving an enthusiastic newsprint (and online) shout-out to a handful of Philadelphians who have shown themselves able to come up with innovative, out-of-the-box ideas and make them a reality.
These six Big Vision Award winners and 18 honorable mentions are an eclectic crew who have shaken up the realms of government, arts, activism, food and more. Some have recently burst onto the scene. Others have been around much longer but made a notable impact this year. For example, our sustainability and design winner, Onion Flats, a design/build construction firm, was founded back in 1997. From the start, it has had somewhat unorthodox goals, including making architecture less theoretical and more hands-on. It has launched an arm of the company specifically to design green roofs and solar systems. But this year Onion Flats built the first super-energy-efficient passive house in Pennsylvania, working with a nonprofit that helps people transition out of homelessness. That’s the kind of idea that deserves major accolades.
To arrive at our winners and runners-up, nominations were made by City Paper staff and contributors, and then voted on by the editorial board. There were a lot of worthy candidates to choose from, which just goes to show how much creativity and ambition swirls through this city.
BIG VISION NOMINATING COMMITTEE
A.D. Amorosi, Meg Augustin, Jake Blumgart, Daniel Denvir, Adam Erace, Theresa Everline,
Christian Graham, Emily Guendelsberger, Catherine Haas, Gary M. Kramer, Drew Lazor, Natalie Hope McDonald, Samantha Melamed, Josh Middleton, Patrick Rapa, Caroline Russock, Brion Shreffler, David Spelman, Carly Szkaradnik, Isaiah Thompson, John Vettese, Andrew Wimer
AND THE WINNERS ARE ...