A year-long publication that extends the design-centered conversations first started during the festival, The Design Week Portland Journal explores the developments and challenges faced by people working within the many facets of design. From “Consumption" and "Place," to "Value" and “Resistance," we’ve had the pleasure of working over the past two years with some of the most innovative writers and thinkers we know, to investigate and question the issues that affect, not only our creative communities, but each and every one of us.

Because we're all too often far too close to our own work, the journalists, essayists, historians, activists, and educators we commission are willing and able to ask the hard questions—the ones we might not otherwise ask ourselves, or even consider. They're capable of pushing us to think more broadly than we may care to, or think we have time for. And because they're also deeply—though indirectly—connected to design by virtue of their daily interactions with it, they're also totally comfortable with putting a stake in the ground, or sticking their necks out.

In addition to one newly commissioned think piece per journal issue, our contributors this year will also interview and profile Design Week Portland curators, addressing big ideas like Empathy, Ethics, Development, and Voice through the core events they curated at the 2018 festival.

As you engage with this year’s editorial, expect to feel just a little bit uncomfortable. Get ready to call your own intentions into question. Prepare to look inward, then outward, and consider everything you thought you already knew about design and its supposed scope, reach, and impact. In reading these accounts, you might find that what you thought you knew, or felt, or assumed, just so happens to be something entirely unexpected.

As always, and ever: we here at the journal hope you’ll enjoy delving even deeper into these unknown-knowns as much as we have.

Brandi Katherine Herrera, Editor-in-Chief