In 2012, a group of designers collectively launched a week-long, all-inclusive festival celebrating the projects and processes as told by a creative community across many disciplines. The festival was a reaction to a city being made better by design. By creativity in all forms. By collaboration.
That first year produced over 100 events throughout Portland. These gatherings, whether large or small, swung open doors to the city's studios, agencies, manufacturers, shops, museums, retailers and restaurants that shared a DNA bound by design.
Over the course of seven years, the festival has grown to include many hundreds of events and open houses each year. The problem? With further growth, be it deep or wide, a week would no longer suffice. And moreover, these conversations deserved not to be constrained by a smattering of days.
Thus the festival platform continues its evolution; the structure itself, a changing manifestation of an emerging city and a community’s demand for greater connection and visibility.
The festival remains a hub of activity during a single week in April. But as it emerges from the constraints of a mere seven days, Design Portland will move into its place as the central address for design in Portland. Answering a community call for year-round curation. A whole being made even greater by the sum of its many parts, the true proclamation of Design Portland is articulated by three collective expressions: Community, Stories, and what will become an ongoing Calendar. All are made possible through a new model fueled by generous support from student, professional and institutional members. In other words, you.
Membership in Design Portland will sustain our shared community and enable tiered access to the most inspiring events, content, and people making great work right here. Design Portland is an entry point for connection. A space for participation. The pulse of the creative ecosystem.
So the heart of the question that confronted a couple of friends many years ago remains as it always has; how will we reflect the culture here?
The answer is within us. In design. Together.