What to Do Every Day at Design Week 2017

As Design Week 2017 kicks off, we present our picks for the must-do events.

By Eden Dawn April 21, 2017

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A rendering of Portland's proposed Green Loop, which can be viewed at Design Week.

It’s here! Design Week Portland begins its stellar, citywide programming today with so much good stuff it’s literally impossible to attend every thing. How to dip your toes into it the sea of non-stop events? First, read our primer about how Design Week aims to bring one vision of the six-mile carless Green Loop to life. Second, take it easy and steal our gotta-be-there events for every day of the week. Fill in open houses, extras parties, and back-to-back panels at your own pace.

Saturday, April 22: Opening Party

A no-brainer. The whole thing comes together in a buzz for the opening party with graphic designers mingling with architects mingling with artists. Walk through the interactive portions of the Redd and be there for the performance by dance collective House of Aquarius, which is guaranteed to blow the house down.

Sunday, April 23: Laptops & Smalltalk Sustainable Fashion Forum

Branding agency Laptops & Smalltalk gathered together a bunch of fancy local fashion designers—Jason Calderon of West Daily, Myriam Marcela Dyer, and Alexa Stark, just to name a few—for a panel discussion on how they implement ethical and sustainable practices in their design. Following a panel moderated by Kerri Ulloa of Eileen Fisher's Green Eileen line, stay for the fashion show with the above, plus additional local lines like Moore Custom Goods and Jaefields.

Monday, April 24: Fashion in Film: Marie Antoinette

Yes, another fashion event... but it's one I'm moderating! Fashion in Film celebrates its third anniversary with a special showing of Sofia Coppola’s fluffy visual cake Marie Antoinette. The 2006 film alternately enraged and delighted audiences, but all can agree on one thing: the costumes are fantastic. See the film on the big screen to ogle the fashion icon of her time in hair taller than a small child and petticoats wider than a car. Beforehand, beloved local designer Holly Stalder—godmother of Portland’s independent fashion scene as the cofounder of legendary Seaplane boutique—will present a one-night-only Marie Antoinette fashion installation live on stage before we roll the movie.

Tuesday, April 25: Show Show / Storytelling, Comedy & Animation #NSFW

What happens when we throw comedians, musicians, designers, animations, and visual installations into a melting pot to tell their best design project-related stories? You’ll find out at this revealing night featuring: Adam Garcia, founder and creative director of the Pressure; Mary Numair, social media strategist and female reproductive rights goddess; Pat Castaldo, co-founder of Buyolympia and proprietor of Land Gallery; and Melody Rowell, founder and executive director of Show Show Lab.

Wednesday, April 26: Music for an Empty Space and a Full Mind

Get into the interaction of space and sound with this interactive display from sonic artist Ben Glas and visual artist Tyler Snazelle. The two say: “The sculptural works act as interpreter in a conversation between light, color and time. Made from various forms of acrylic, the compositions are created using a static electrical charge, a force from an imbalance of electrons between the two materials. Light moves through them at specific times of day producing different ephemeral interactions, creating unique opportunities for dialogue with the viewer. Specifically composed in mind of Glas’ sound pieces the two works hope to weave a personal experience and pathway for every individual that enters the space. You are wind-chime, dancing, playing and echoing in color & sound.” Sounds as if you need to experience it in person.

Thursday, April 27: Pin That Shit–A Creative Affair to Show Off Your Flair

For Pin That Shit, We Make asked 60 artists from across the globe to participate in a Design Week gala for the sake of arts education. All the pins will be up for sale, with funds going towards arts education. Designers made loads, so take the time to grab a beer and scan through over 600 unique pins for sale (most at $10 a pop). 

Friday, April 28: Designing a Political Campaign / "Periphery" Curated Design Show

We're torn here. And since it's a Friday, we recommend you suck it up and do both.

In the afternoon, head to Design Week HQ for a conversation with city commissioner Chloe Eudaly, designer Jen Wick, and artist Joe Sacco about the power of visual communication in political campaigns. Outspent six-to-one, Eudaly's campaign leveraged innovative creative work to break down the issues, communicate vision, and ultimately enlist enough support to win a seat on City Council. The panel will discuss design's role in political engagement and the opportunities for design in the ongoing political process.

Afterwards, the League of Women Designers presents "Periphery," a curated design show and panel discussion with designers from a variety of fields, including Laura Allcorn, Abbie Miller, Sara Schmidt, and Rena Simon, moderated by Sara Huston. They'll talk about what drives them to create outside of their paid gigs, if this side work inspires their day jobs, or if it is an outlet for their creative inspiration. As in, things anyone with a side hustle will want to get in on.

Saturday, April 29: Downtown Portland’s “North End”

Get out in the fresh air and experience architecture the best possible way—seeing it in person. The Architectural Heritage Center offers tours led by trained docents with Saturday’s "North End" tour focusing on the cultural history in the downtown neighborhood wedged between Old Town and the Pearl District. Along the way, they promise, “you’ll see 19th century gems, like the Mariner’s Home building which has just been rehabilitated and turned into the Society Hotel, how the area became New Chinatown, and later Japantown, and you’ll see some landmark buildings like Union Station, the US Custom House, and even a historic fire station."

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