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Stories

Highlighting the region’s most interesting people, places, and projects, and the inspiring stories that shape our unique design landscape.
Interview

Allison Jacks

Allyson Marrs

Allison is an investor in art, from dancing to film to installations. She believes in creating an aesthetic that breathes life into an environment through a balance of function and flair, where an experience is equally seen and felt. She shares more about how her passion leads her teaching philosophy.

Interview

Fran Bittakis

Allyson Marrs

Fran Bittakis is amplifying those that too often struggle to even get made. She’s the Founder & Creative Director of JOOP JOOP Creative, a studio that takes pride in being a platform for the voices it works with.

Interview

The Unity Project: Color Outside the Lines

Allyson Marrs

For three months, 24 Portland artists and 24 foster youth—most of whom are up for adoption—have been working together on a collaborative public art project to design and redesign art panels that will be displayed on an East Burnside building.

Interview

Salimatu Amabebe

Allyson Marrs

Salimatu Amabebe is a Nigerian-American chef and the creator of vegan-based food and event company Bliss House, which hosts cooking classes, food activism talks, and vegan Nigerian pop-up dinners. Through Bliss House, Salimatu founded Black Feast, a monthly vegan pop-up dinner that celebrates black artists and writers through food.

Interview

Kelly Sue DeConnick

Allyson Marrs

Two-time Eisner Award-nominated comics writer Kelly Sue DeConnick creates plights and quests for characters spanning universes—like Marvel and DC universes. She is known as an industry veteran and a master of dialogue.

Interview

Analise Smith

Allyson Marrs

Analise has never spent more than one night outdoors. But before this summer’s over, she’ll have not only spent 10 nights outdoors, but she’ll have also backpacked 325 miles from Bend to Roseburg. As winners of the Outdoor Adventure Film Grant, Analise will film the bold adventure across Oregon to creatively explore the barriers of accessing the wilderness when one isn’t raised with a close relationship to it.

Interview

Mohanad Elshieky

Allyson Marrs

Mohanad Elshieky is a Portland-based, Libyan-born stand-up comic who wants you to think he’s funny, but doesn’t want you getting too chummy. He likes to twist preconceived notions into punchlines, and then you’ll probably feel a little guilty about that first laugh. But don’t worry—it’s what you’re supposed to do.

Interview

Laura Allcorn

Allyson Marrs

Laura Allcorn is laughing with you. She’s the founder and lead researcher for the Institute For Comedic Inquiry (IFCI), where she creates interactive objects and performances that highlight absurdities through a technique she’s coined as Participatory Satire. It’s where humor meets behavioral science, and where the seriousness of current events is explored with a light touch.

Interview

Celeste Noche and Emilly Prado

Allyson Marrs

Portland In Color seeks to disrupt the homogeneity of representation in Portland arts and media by highlighting the voices and experiences of people of color. Their work is to promote the work of others, to ensure visibility into diverse creativity.

Interview

Akasha Lawrence-Spence

Allyson Marrs

As the built environment inevitably changes, sometimes aggressively, Akasha’s first question is always the same: who gets to decide?

Interview

Jen Thomas

Allyson Marrs

Jen Thomas, of Visible Design and The Beauty Shop, believes that design should be less a privilege for a few and more an equal opportunity for all.

Interview

Where Portland Design Lives

Allyson Marrs

As Design Portland evolves into a year-round organization, the people who made it happen reflect on the past seven years getting here.