As part of the Industrial Designers Society of America conference that took place in Portland April 25-27, the School of Architecture and Allied Art’s new Product Design Program hosted a design charrette in the new White Stag building. Organized in part by adjunct professor Zara Logue, the charrette challenged designers to think about ways cars and bikes can coexist in urban environments. The enthusiastic presenter, Greg Raisman of Portland’s Office of Transportation, gave the group some background on Portland’s growing bicycle community and the challenges of transportation design that suits both cars and bikes before turning them loose to design better street bike parking areas and traffic calming zones. Students, design professionals, and guests from PDOT, SCRAP, and BikePortland.org started sketching and after 30 minutes there was a lively review of the design proposals.
Everything from better speed bumps to beautified bike racks were proposed and Raisman helped the designers understand some of the different financial and physical constraints faced by the city. Clearly, this is a subject that deserves more design attention and the Product Design program looks forward to partnering with Portland’s Department of Transportation on future projects that could be implemented in several of Portland’s design districts.