Design Week Portland Releases Schedule for 2020

Week-long festival includes hundreds of events and open houses, conceived and hosted by the creative community of Portland.

Portland, Ore. – Design Week Portland, in its eighth year, opens registration for its lineup of more than 350 events, talks, gallery showcases, tours, workshops, runway shows and open studios. Discussions and demonstrations of the importance and impact of design will be taking place in every quadrant of the city from April 18-25. Programming throughout the week will illustrate what is emerging and intriguing in the field of design from the perspective of designers who work across many practices.

The full schedule launches today via the digital platform: The events are open to the public at a range of price points. More than half of the events are free-of-charge or low-cost.

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

“Over the past decade, we’ve seen the range of design practices represented in Portland broaden and deepen. This rich ecosystem has a real impact on the city around us, and this week is the time to peek behind the curtain to see how the range of design work happening here impacts our community,” says Tsilli Pines, President, Design Portland.

Design Week Portland Opening Party 2019 at Next Jupiter. Photo credit: Nic Raingsey

The festival kicks off with the Design Week Portland Opening Party on April 18 at Straub Collaborative. This year’s event, produced by JOOP JOOP Creative, prioritizes self-care and community care within the design world. Attendees can explore an immersive, caring environment with visual landscapes, soft sculptures, video installations, sound baths and more. Before the flurry of activity during the festival, attendees can take a deep breath and stop by for a new experience.

Festival Programming

Design Week Portland is about exploring the process, craft and practice of design across disciplines -- from graphic design and architecture to fashion and apparel, interior design, user experience design, industrial design and more. A diverse jury of designers and community members reviewed and evaluated all event applications once again this year.

Designers traveling to present at Design Week Portland 2020 include, among others: Alexander Diaz Andersson, a Swedish-Mexican designer; Simone Cipriani of the UN's Ethical Fashion Initiative; Natasha Jen, an award-winning designer, educator, and partner at Pentagram; Refik Anadol, LA-based media artist and director, whose interactive data sculpture was installed in the renovated Portland Building this month; and design futurist, Mike Jelinek, from the Czech Republic.

Festivalgoers can also attend events featuring notable Portland-based designers. For example, on April 24, Aaron Draplin will be interviewed in front of an audience for the “Have A Nice Idea” podcast at an event hosted by Grady Britton.

A sampling of events taking place during the festival:

AIGA Portland Presents: Natasha Jen

AIGA Portland Womxn Lead and the PSU Graphic Design program are hosting a talk by Natasha Jen, whose work is recognized for its innovative use of graphic, verbal, digital, and spatial interventions that challenge conventional notions of media and cultural contexts.

Designing for Mental Health: Treehouse Design Competition

Teams of designers from ZGF, adhering to competition criteria, are volunteering their time to propose unique design solutions that will expand the housing capacity for Taylor Made Retreat, an immersion program for drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Beaverton, Oregon. Designs will be revealed to the public and winners announced during the festival.

Reimagining Schools: Student Voice in Equity-Centered Design

Construct, an education non-profit, is hosting a panel of student designers who took on improving the experience for students of color at their high school. The designers will reflect on their prototypes while exploring the unique challenges and unexpected delights of using the human-centered design process to address equity in schools.

It’s Time for a Fashion Revolution: Social Enterprise Needed in the Fashion Industry

Inside Fashion Design is hosting an interactive event featuring artists and industry leaders who are creating revolutionary solutions to the environmental and human rights crises facing the fashion industry today. The event will be live cast abroad for Milan Design Week.

A number of events will reoccur year-over-year, due to their popularity: the annual AIA Portland 2020 Homes Tour, Architecture and Design Walking Tours, a hike along the Sandy River Delta hosted by Confluence, and the Agencies of Change Poster Show hosted by Murmur Creative.

In the coming weeks, Design Portland will post additional discipline-based itineraries (e.g. Architecture and Graphic Design), as well as, human-interest themed itineraries that attendees can use as a guide and for inspiration in building a customized itinerary, which could include social justice related, food-focused or sustainability-anchored events of interest to designers and anyone else curious about the role design plays across our region.

About Design Portland:

Design Portland is a nonprofit 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 | 503.702.5170 |