February 15, 2018 4:00 p.m. PT
Portland, Ore. – Design Week Portland, now in its sixth year, launches its line-up of more than 275 events and open studios. Discussions and demonstrations of the importance and impact of design will be taking place in every corner of the city from April 14-21. This is an event created by designers for designers – and anyone else curious about the role design plays in our society. Programming throughout the week will illustrate what is new and interesting in the field of design from the perspective of designers who work across many practices.
Throughout the week, attendees will be exposed to unexpected and unique collaborations across design disciplines.
"Collaboration and diverse perspectives yield greater innovation and better design. Cross-pollination invigorates creative teams small and large, seasoned and fledgling,” says Tsilli Pines, the festival’s director. “This year, you'll find countless events that synthesize different disciplines, as well as those that highlight the impact design can have on the future our city and in our daily lives."
The festival kicks off with an opening party on Saturday, April 14 at Custom Blocks, including activations from the new local design studio, Plastic Sunshine; a parklet installation competition in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation; and an auction of refurbished mid-century benches via PDX Originals.
In addition to the hundreds of independent events during the week, Design Week Portland is partnering on core programming that will take place each day across six different venues curated by six different hosts. Discussions and activities range from the future of the city’s architecture, to the investigation of voice, to a talk show interviewing some of the most interesting design personalities in town. The line-up includes:
Monday, April 16: One City: Many Futures; New Portland Architecture. Host: Randy Gragg.
Designers to present the “next Portland,” soon-to-be-built innovative buildings and landscapes, in a rapid-fire format at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA).
Tuesday, April 17: Undesign: An Evening of Unexpected Results. Host: Wieden & Kennedy.
This is a maker space and exhibition that highlights t-shirts designed via a process of undesign: a set of constraints that take the design process out of the participants’ hands.
Wednesday, April 18: From Whisper to Machines. Host: Rebecca Gates. Location: Ziba.
An interactive experience with ephemera and a sonic arcade framing talks that investigate the role voice -- in all its facets and forms -- plays in shifting our experience, perception and reality.
Thursday, April 19: Hang in There – Cat Café & Macramé. Host: Nemo Design.
Plan your Thursday night hangs here; featuring a hands-on workshop led by modern macramé artist Emily Katz and cat cuddles with Pixie Project.
Saturday, April 21: Sustainable Fashion Forum. Host: Brittany Sierra, Laptops & Smalltalk
A full-day experience connecting fashion industry professionals and insiders with its community to spark an intimate and informative conversation about ethical and sustainable fashion.
Notable designers traveling to present at Design Week Portland 2018 include: Jessica Hische, type and graphic designer; Mike Monteiro, digital designer and owner of Mule Design; and Philip Van Allen, interaction designer.
Design Week Portland is about exploring the process, craft and practice of design across disciplines – from graphic design and architecture, to fashion and apparel, UX design, to interior design, industrial design and more. A sampling of some of independent events taking place across the city include:
Empathy, Bots and the Future of AI. Crystal Rutland, CEO of Particle Design will be joined by three experts in AI and Deep Learning technology to discuss the hype, emerging opportunities and design implications of AI and machine learning.
Exploring the Undocumented Narrative Through Art. An exploratory installation and group of panelists, organized by We the Dreamers, continues the conversation around art and activism, immigrant stories, and how to build community in the current political climate.
FTW: For the Women. Swift brings together 15 local organizations that promote and practice gender equality to help women and female-identifying professionals map out a personal success game plan. The event kicks off six months of small-group mentorship and accountability with a focus on crushing goals and conquering barriers.
Extreme Making. Skylab Architects is hosting a conversation between makers to discuss and explore how individual crafts merge into production and to learn how to break boundaries.
Rough Draught - A Live Beer Design Brouhaha. Four designers and four different breweries will each create a beer label design during the event, moderated by visual designer, Ryan Wheaton. Event includes special guest speaker, Harvey Shepard, Founder of Oh Beautiful Beer.
Leading up to the festival, Design Week Portland will present a new program, One City: Many Futures, a forum where top city officials, developers, architects, and community activists will present their visions for building the places we live, work, and play. To be held consecutive Mondays in March, each evening will be fast-paced, lively, and a show-and-tell of active plans and projects on the horizon. Hosted by longtime Portland journalist and agitator, Randy Gragg, One City is an effort to make a "commons" for discussing our rapidly changing city and is an outgrowth of Gragg’s popular "Bright Lights: Conversations on Portland’s Future." This is one part of Design Week Portland’s strategic push into year-round programing. Online registration is open for these events which begin on March 12.