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

We don't need racial equity allies; we need active accomplices

Joy Alise Davis

Our racial differences directly impact our in/ability to navigate a city. Joy Alise Davis—founder and CEO of Design+Culture Lab—takes a look at how design can be leveraged beyond capitalism and all-too-quick solutions to centuries-old problems.


Shopping With a Conscience

Eden Dawn

In the wake of Rana Plaza’s devastating collapse, Eden vowed to end her relationship with fast fashion, and embark on a lifelong journey toward sustainability. She started with one (seemingly) simply question, “Who made my shirt?”


Listening to Machines

Carl Alviani

Developing a healthy relationship with AI begins with learning to respect its otherness. We stand to benefit most from this “non-human ally” when we’re willing to talk, and listen, to AI as something separate from ourselves.


Gut Check

Seth Lorinczi

Can a new paradigm — built on the simplicity and beauty of our own intestinal ecosystem — unite us, the land, and the animals we raise in a truly sustainable communion? One writer investigates.


Design Did This To Me

Dot Devota

How Marfa, Texas was “discovered” and “saved” by one man’s design. But what of its citizens who were born and raised on that land? Who were there well before the Chinati was even a glimmer on Donald Judd’s truck hood?


Do What You Love*

Andi Zeisler

Nearly everything we make can be monetized. So why create one painting when you can sell 500 prints in your Etsy store? One writer takes a closer look at value, gatekeeping, and whether or not “doing what you love” is all that it’s cracked up to be.


It’s Good to be Seen

Ian J. Whitmore

The occupation of space and the act of using a camera intersect in a photographic exploration of empowerment by members of Portland’s homeless community.


Inclusive Design: High Risk, High Rewards

Thursday Bram

From vegetable peelers to accessibility checklists, one writer takes a closer look at inclusive design and codes of conduct, and the thoughtful decisions behind them.


Get Paid for Who You Are

Aaron Rayburn

How one designer found and reclaimed his own identity in a sea of corporate messaging and commercial design work, by becoming an object of art himself.



Melissa Moran

Urban designers have been setting up shop in one of the most remote corners of Oregon — but what kind of impact are they having on the local culture and economy? And are their efforts actually a sign of greater opportunity and inclusion to come?


The Wabi-Sabi of Virtual Reality

Donald Dunbar

In the virtual worlds we’re designing, some things easily translate, and some things just don’t. But what do we stand to lose in these alternate realities, if we disregard the ancient ways of seeing that still hold such valuable perspective?


Big Ideas in Urban Design

Jeff Schnabel

A look at our city’s glory days in urban design, and what it still stands to learn from those past successes (and failures), before it risks losing too much momentum. Or worse yet, originality and vision.