Skip to main content

Design Week Portland Releases Schedule for 2019

Week-long festival with hundreds of events, talks, gallery showcases, tours, unique experiences, workshops and open studios is expected to attract thousands of people again this year.

Design Week Opening Party 2018. Photo credit: Shawn Schmidt.

Portland, Ore.

Design Week Portland, now in its seventh year, launches its lineup of more than 350 events and open studios. Discussions and demonstrations of the importance and impact of design will be taking place in every corner of the city from April 6-13. This is an event created by designers for designers – and anyone else curious about the role design plays in our society. Programming throughout the week will illustrate what is new and interesting in the field of design from the perspective of designers who work across many practices.

Registration opens today along with a website redesign and completely new digital platform: The events are accessible to the public with a range of price points, including many free or low-cost options.

Throughout the week, attendees will be exposed to unexpected and unique experiences.

“There is such incredible depth and range in the design work coming out of this city, that there are endless opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration,” says Tsilli Pines, president, Design Portland.

The festival kicks off with an opening party on April 6 at Juniper NEXT, with visual installations as part of a luck-themed party being staged by Kamp Grizzly. Merit Badge, Garden Bar, Dirty Pretty, Cooper's Hall and Townshend's Distillery have also teamed up on the production of this hallmark event.

Festival Lineup

Design Week Portland is about exploring the process, craft and practice of design across disciplines – from graphic design and architecture, to fashion and apparel, UX design, to interior design, industrial design and more. A nine-member jury reviewed and evaluated all event applications for this year’s lineup. A sampling of independent events:

Humans, AI & The Future of Transportation.” Hosted by Particle Design.

A panel of experts in AI and transportation technology will discuss the changing landscape of transportation in the design space, as AI becomes more perceptive, understanding and autonomous.

Breaking Borders: From Mexico to the World.” Hosted by INDUSTRY.

Through 15-minute talks, panel Q&A and an evening exhibition, four artists from Mexico will showcase their work and share their stories and input on how Mexican design is igniting a new perspective and breaking down borders physically and psychologically.

Designing your Story in AR/VR for Maximum Impact and Engagement.” Hosted by Interaction Design Foundation.

Frank Spillers explores the power and importance of storytelling in collaborative virtual environments with social VR/AR – and how to implement the best practices of critical decision making.

"Nod to Mod." Hosted by Portland Apparel Lab and Vespa Portland.

A moto-themed fashion show will bring together unique and functional apparel and accessory design with a passion for timeless Italian scooters and the culture surrounding them.

Redesigning the Narrative.” Hosted by Portland in Color.

This talk and exhibit aims to disrupt the narrative of a homogenous Portland arts and media landscape by showcasing the work, voices, and experiences of the city’s BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) creatives.

"She Built This City: The Women of PDX Design & Architecture." Hosted by Chown Hardware.

A panel of influential women entrepreneurs in interior design and architecture will share wisdom, strength, and experiences spanning over three decades in Portland design.

Notable designers traveling to present at Design Week Portland 2019 include, among others: Silas Munro, typographer and author, to speak as part of the inaugural Matthias Kemeny Design Lecture hosted by PSU Graphic Design Program; Shawna X, independent artist and creative consultant based in New York, for a conversation with WEMake; and Billie Whitehouse and Francis Bitonti for a panel discussion organized by Inside Fashion Design.

Year-Round Access

In conjunction with the launch of this year’s festival schedule and an entirely new digital infrastructure, the organization is rebranding as “Design Portland” and will begin offering year-round programing. This brand evolution is in combination with an offering of new tools and services to make it easy for the community to make connections across design disciplines all year long.

“Design Week Portland will continue to bring together designers across disciplines for one great week, year-after-year, to connect with each other and the city,” says Pines. “After six years, we’ve found that one week is not enough. As ‘Design Portland’, we’re now poised to be the central address for Portland’s design community all year long.”

The year-round offering includes:

Directory. A digital directory of people who make up Portland’s design landscape, with the ability to discover folks via their areas of expertise.

Calendar. The place to see what’s happening in Portland’s design community throughout the year, not just during the festival. Expanded programming will be announced in May 2019.

Editorial. Short interviews and design spotlights of the most interesting people, places and projects in town. A regular stream of content will elevate the stories that make our design landscape in Portland what it is.

Design Week Portland, as a week-long festival, is a platform for expression. Design Portland is a collective thread that weaves the community together through the curation of content and the continuity of the calendar.

A new paid membership model launches today with annual membership starting at $5 for students (or sliding scale), $25 for professionals, and $350 for event organizers who want access to unlimited event listings. Membership fees provide the broad-based support to fuel the mission of supporting the creative community. As people join, in order to register and attend this year’s festival, they will be granted access to the year-long programming calendar.

Regardless of design discipline, years in the field, or status in Portland’s design community, Design Portland aims to make it all more easily accessible by extending the one-week focus into a full 52 weeks.

About Design Portland

Design Portland is a nonprofit membership organization that celebrates and promotes design as the city’s most promising resource. The mission of the organization is to increase appreciation and awareness about design and its far-reaching effects on matters of cultural and social relevance. The aim is to help shape the evolving state of design in the city and make it accessible to everyone regardless of design discipline, years in the field, or status within Portland’s design community.

The organization hosts an annual, week-long festival, Design Week Portland. The first Design Week Portland festival launched in 2012.

Year-round, Design Portland maintains a calendar of the most interesting design events in the city, a directory of practitioners across all design disciplines, and an editorial feed about notable people, places, and projects in the city’s landscape and beyond.

Connect with Design Portland via the website or the festival’s social media channels: Twitter, on Facebook or through Instagram.

Press Contact: Kimberly Davis | [email protected] | 503.702.5170