Stories

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

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Interview

The Unity Project: Color Outside the Lines

Allyson Marrs
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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. For Salimatu, food once felt like a fight they were always enduring. Now, they see it as a creative expression that infuses community storytelling for an opportunity of reflection.

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Interview

Kelly Sue DeConnick

Allyson Marrs

To become super, heroes have to start with the basics. Two-time Eisner Award-nominated comics writer Kelly Sue DeConnick creates plights and quests for characters spanning universes—like Marvel and DC universes. Her continuation of Carol Danvers’ story in Captain Marvel, and later, her consulting role on the 2019 movie with Brie Larson, ignites a recognition among non-comics readers; but for those who collect volumes, or cosplay as the prisoners of Bitch Planet, Kelly Sue DeConnick is known as an industry veteran and a master of dialogue.

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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, along with fellow filmmakers Aly Nicklas and Meredith Meeks, 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.

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Spotlight

The African American Footwear Forum

Allyson Marrs

The African American Footwear Forum (AAFF) is an events-based organization that “enhances access, education, and awareness for African-Americans who are seeking opportunities to influence, lead, and impact the global footwear industry and consumer culture.” Founded by the Pensole Footwear Design Academy (also based in Portland) and Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America, the AAFF hosted its inaugural event in Washington D.C. this past February, bringing together athletes, entrepreneurs, and professionals to discuss the industry, career pathways, and celebrate each other’s achievements.

The second AAFF will be held in Portland on Saturday, August 10, and Stephen Green, Director of Operations of Pensole Footwear Design Academy, shared the inspiration and intention of the semi-annual event and why they’re bringing it here to Portland.

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Recap

Dungeons & Dragons & Design

Colby Nichols

In 2019, Design Week held it’s first live D&D event with host and Dungeon Master Colby Nichols (Jolby & Friends) as he led Adam Garcia (The Pressure), Tammi Heneveld, and Ian Whitmore through a dangerous adventure filled with laughs, smiles, and gasps as the audience even got to participate.

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Spotlight

Fresh: Spring 2019 Portfolio Show

Allyson Marrs

We spoke with four of the upcoming graduates of the PSU Graphic Design Program—Bingbing Zhang, Ben Child, DJ McKnight, and Yebin Ha—about how their design expectations evolved with their formal education and what they hope to do with all of those fresh skills.

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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.

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Recap

The Native Perspective Missing from Design

As often as Native and Native-influenced imagery turns up in apparel, graphic design, product design and elsewhere, there’s a chronic dearth of Native designers or influencers involved in the creative process. OPB State of Wonder speaks with a constellation of Native designers and makers to unpack the systems that made these images possible, and discuss more equitable products.

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News

In Review / Looking Ahead

Another incredible year. Another opportunity to come together as a community. Another chance to consider the state of design and where we're going. Thank you.

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Spotlight

PNCA + DWP

This year, we partnered with PNCA's senior Graphic Design class to create a vibrant visual installation based on our itineraries. Their activation serves as a hub for attendees to explore DWP programming.