PDX Design Week

Portland’s mecca for all types of creatives

The mission of DWP is “to explore the process, craft and practice of design across disciplines as seen through the lens of our city’s most vibrant independent programming.” This week allows makers and creatives to attend workshops, lectures, hands on activities and interactive guides from people who have a passion and an eye for design. It also gives people working in the design industry a chance to open up their studios and spaces to the public. All in all, it is an opportunity for people to educate themselves in the ways of design and craft, even those who have been doing it for years.

DWP logoThe people who benefit from this week are those looking to explore hidden corners and ideals of Portland, as well as those who may be looking to open their own start-ups. Entrepreneurs and artists use this week as a way to network and learn about areas they may have no previous knowledge about. It is a week of growth and evolution for those participating and the beginning of great ideas and collaborations.

I had the opportunity to attend a plethora of events throughout the week including: SukkahPDX, Deja Vu Summer, HQ Podcast: Daily tous les jours, The Inevitable City Film Series, Video Game & Tabletop Game Design and Crowdfunding, Supertrash, Portlyn/Brookland, The Goodness Workroom and Boombox Construction Kit.

Some of my favorite events were: Deja Vu Summer- A Poster Show, which was a collaborative poster show displaying historic photographic printing processes. The idea was based around summer which evolves from your childhood to teenage to adult years and how time evolves and shapes our perspectives. This event was an interesting take on art as well the history behind photography. There was a silent auction and let’s face it who doesn’t love a good auction?

Design Week Ryan RickettsHQ Podcast: Daily tous les jours-  The Job, which is a talk show about culture, design, business technology, music, etc. interviewed Kelsey Snook who is a key member of Daily tous les jours, an interaction design studio that concentrates on public spaces. The Inevitable City Film Series- which explored urbanity, people and how humanity will adapt to the evolving lifestyles and changes in Earth’s resources. The film expanded on some frightening images of the Earth’s possible future, which challenged the audience to think about the way in which we treat our environment on a larger level.

I chose events I knew next to nothing about before attending so I would educate myself on an entirely new-to-me subject. There is a difference between liking something and then knowing the way it functions down to the start. For example, I knew I liked video games but had no idea the kind of process it took to get one started and funded. As an observer, it was challenging at times to get a handle on technical terms and lingo, but also helpful to familiarize myself with things that were essential to the makeup of how something worked. I also made sure to choose a healthy balance between interactive and solely visual events so I would get to participate as well as just listen. I found other people were also able to focus in on things that they could personally connect with, even if they weren’t experts on the subjects at hand.

Design Week AshleyForretteI attended several open houses in which I got to explore studios and meet some founders of small businesses, including Pinkham Millinery, Pow Interactive, The Joinery, Atelier Ace of Ace Hotel, Hand-Eye Supply, The Pressure, Emily Katz and Golden Rule Design, Kinfolk Magazine, Reading Frenzy, Stumptown Printers, The Makery, Wood and Faulk Workshop, Scout Books, Pinterest, Stay Wild Magazine and Toast. 

There is something personal and enlightening about being able to view people’s respective workspaces. To see where they formulate big ideas and make things happen. To even see what kind of things inspire them in their own personal environments. And sure, to see what kind of pens they use or music they jam out to in order to get their brain juices pumping. Going to open house events were just as vital to me as the actual events because it gives people the pleasure of meeting people that have taken an idea and ran with it, and gotten to where they are because of it. To be inspired by building personal relationships and to be given a chance to be a part of the reciprocation between makers and consumers.

I am delighted to have been a participant in this year’s Design Week Portland, and am excited to witness the evolution of this week in the coming years. Thanks Portland, you beautiful, creative, super brilliant city.

About The Author: Jordan Hernandez