The events and happenings of Design Week are created through the efforts of studios and agencies all over Portland. Nelson Cash is one of those studios, with an impressive list of contributions to the schedule. On Thursday evening they will host The Future of Tools for Creators, a panel discussion on creative tech tools, on Friday afternoon they'll open their doors for an Open House, and they are leading a workshop on design thinking for high school students at Wieden+Kennedy for the Design Week Portland Career Day program.

Nelson Cash is a strategic design studio committed to creating innovative systems, experiences, digital and physical products, and tools for organizations of all sizes. They focus on envisioning, designing and building modern digital and physical experiences, helping companies and founders envision the future by designing the next great thing. They are a passionate, design/code obsessed group of researchers & strategists, experience designers, industrial designers, and engineers, and if that sounds like you too, they are currently hiring.

To find out more about Nelson Cash, please visit them at one of their Design Week events, check out their itineraries, and read on for a short Q&A with Shawn Petersen, Partner and Chief Creative Officer.


The Future of Tools for Creators
Thursday, April 19, 6:00–9:00pm

Nelson Cash Open House
Friday, April 20, 4:00–7:00pm


DWP: Why are you excited to share design thinking skills with young future designers through the PWA Career Day program?

Shawn: I’m most excited to help introduce core principles in design, to demonstrate the impact design can have, and to show its transformative nature.

From my experience teaching, design can be a foreign concept to younger students. They often don’t identify and appreciate good design and they may not recognize it as something that was created by a designer. The workshop we’re crafting is a pilot for a potential larger outreach series of events through DWP. We’ve loosely modeled it after an event I co-led in 2009 at the Ohio TECH Conference, a four day design prototyping workshop for 11th–12th graders.

The goal of our DWP workshop is to introduce design concepts and create a general awareness of design thinking for students. And have a ton of fun doing it!

We have an amazing group of mentors from Google and Nelson Cash who will be alongside the students providing support and sharing inspiration.

DWP: Any recent or upcoming Nelson Cash projects that you are excited to share?

Shawn: We’ve got some exciting projects right now. We’re working on an end-to-end self-install experience for Google Fiber which spans across the customer journey, packaging, digital sign-up experience, and some customer service aspects. It’s a fascinating challenge when you consider all the rescue points and that customers might not even be familiar with an ethernet cable.

We've also got a project with The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA. In the last five years, The Tech has evolved their mission to “inspire the innovator in everyone.” We’re working to bring The Tech’s name and branding in line with the mission to create a focused and cohesive story that connects meaningfully with their internal organization and external audience.

There are three distinct phases with this project. The first is to identify the key insights and ensure the intention of The Tech is clear. The second phase is an exploration of the verbal and visual representation of the museum. Finally, we will apply the new visual and verbal language to an design system across the entire museum.