#DWPDX: Sam Adams and Adam Arnold Walk Into a Bar...

A few of the city's leading thinkers dive into the forces shaping Portland's future. With cocktails.

By Catalina Gaitán September 26, 2014

It’s not every Wednesday night you get to hang out with former Portland Mayor Sam Adams at a bar. But then again, during Design Week, strange things can happen.

Project Cityscope, a non-profit program aiming to stimulate an exchange of ideas on Portland’s urban evolution, hosts Adams and several other leaders in art, design, and service for “The New Structure,” Oct. 8 at Rontoms. The event is part of a Cityscope series that brings together local designers and urban planners to share their experiences of working to make the city work (and look) a bit better.

Carrie Strickland “I’m going to be discussing the idea of origins,” says Strickland, co-founder of Project Cityscope and principal of Works Partnership Architecture in Portland. “This isn’t a history lesson! Rather, a conversation about instigation or reflection on the moments, situations, and day dreams that prompt us to be motivated towards what we do.” Strickland is an advocate for adaptive reuse (repurposing older buildings or land for something new) and making architectural design the foundation for urban projects.  

Rick Potestio “I’m going to present a comprehensive urban plan for Portland with a strategy to double or triple the density of Portland neighborhoods,” says Potestio, owner of Potestio Studios. For the past two decades, Potestio has designed houses and multi-family projects, schools, and health care facilities in Portland. “It will challenge much of what the Bureau of Planning is doing.”

Sam Adams The former Mayor of Portland has stayed pretty quiet about what he plants to present at the event, except for one mysterious clue: “Why it cannot all be about land-use planning.” The exact meaning of “it” remains elusive, but organizers have pointed to Adams’s years of public service as his inspiration.

Adam Arnold  “I would say my designs are clean and classic,” says this veteran local fashion designer, who wouldn’t reveal any more details about what he will be presenting at the show. A student of PNCA and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, Arnold is known for creating timeless, tailored pieces for men and women in his Southeast Portland studio. 


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