Day Five: July 15, 2011

Day Five of Design Camp was an opportunity for students to concentrate on finishing their vinyl sticker signs, food containers, and site plans for the food cart pod.

Alison and Colin demonstrated how to peel and place the vinyl stickers.

Some of the great sticker signs, as seen through the semi-opaque paper backing.

Campers photographed their models and food containers for inclusion in their portfolios.

Campers shared their projects with each other in a design review.

The other activity on Day Five was a visit to THA, an Architecture firm in Portland.

Campers learned what it was like to work in an architecture firm, and got to see some of the exciting projects THA is working on!

Thanks to our wonderful group of Design Campers!  You made Design Camp 2011 a vibrant, fun, and all-around wonderful experience!

Day Four: July 14, 2011

Day Four of Design Camp was primarily focused with creating architectural site models for the hypothetical food cart pod at O’Bryant Square in downtown Portland.

Students chose materials and spent some time making site model components such as trees and people.

Meanwhile, campers also toured the Fab Lab and got a tutorial of the laser cutter.

Later, Tracey introduced the architecture module of the camp, and familiarized campers with how to think about designing livable and beautiful spaces in three dimensions.

To warm campers up to designing in three dimensions, Tracey lead a challenge to create paper “sketch” models.

Campers were asked to create small models using only strips of paper and toothpicks.  Each model was an expression of a concept such as “meander,” “explode,” and “flowing.”

For the rest of the afternoon, campers had intensive studio time building their model elevations of O’Bryant Square, and filling out their visions of the food cart pod.

The afternoon closed with an exciting egg drop challenge!

Campers employed their problem-solving skills to construct containers to protect raw eggs from the 15 foot drop from the 5th floor to the 4th floor.

Precautions were taken to protect the floor from unsuccessful egg drops.  🙂

In the end, three eggs were successfully protected and survived the fall!

Day 3: July 13, 2011

To get everyone warmed up for a long day of design work, the instructors presented two drawing challenges.

First, campers were asked to draw the negative space around the complicated form of a Frank Gehry Cross Check chair.

The next game was the Surrealists’ favorite, the Exquisite Corpse, which always has hilarious and surprising results.
After the games, the campers walked over to the Wieden + Kennedy world headquarters in the Pearl District.  Wieden + Kennedy is a Portland-based advertising firm that has created campaigns for clients such as Nike, Coke, Microsoft, and is responsible for the now famous Old Spice commercials.

Campers toured the W+K headquarters, which embodies the three disciplines of Design Camp in its beautiful architecture and thoughtful design used to market products. Students learned how design and commerce intersect, and saw how this leading-edge firm uses design to target consumer groups.

After the tour of the W+K headquarters, campers returned the the White Stag Block, and met with Craig Hickman to see an application of the non-commercial side of Digital Art.  Craig is a U of O Digital Arts professor, digital photographer, and the inventor of the computer-based drawing program KidPix.

One of Craig’s projects, entitled “The Enigma Gadgets,” is a series of mysterious interactive Arduino devices.
After lunch, everyone went outside to play ultimate frisbee in Waterfront Park.

The afternoon was an intensive design session for food containers.

Zara introduced the group to the project, then set them to the task of modeling containers using construction paper.

Students worked together to create three-dimensional food containers from two-dimensional materials…

… and discovered that all sorts of other products can be modeled with paper.  🙂

The campers paused to present their prototypes to the group, and give each other feedback in an informal design review.  Oregon Public Broadcasting sent a journalist to cover this session, and will be creating a short piece about Design Camp to appear on their website.

After the design review, campers finished the day by creating templates for the containers, which will be cut on the laser-cutter in the White Stag Fab Lab!

Day Two: July 12, 2011

Day Two of Design Camp focused on development of food cart concepts from Day One, as well as fun design challenges, research, and skill building.

Campers warmed up with exercises like portrait-drawing and group Pictionary.

On Monday, campers created inspiration pages that identified the type of food served at their conceptual food cart, and a profile of their target client.

Using their inspiration collages as a jumping-off point, campers were challenged to develop not just one logo, but 100 different iterations of a logo for their food cart.

After lunch, it was time to get the creative juices flowing with the Rube Goldberg challenge.

Campers were divided into teams, presented with a pile of recycled and reclaimed materials, and challenged to transport a marble up and over a studio desk, using kinetic energy to move devices such as levers, weights, and ramps.



Campers showed their aptitude for discovering creative and elegant solutions to this problem, as well as a flair for the purely decorative.

During the afternoon, campers explored Old Town/Chinatown restaurants, cafes, and food carts to research potential disposable packaging options.

Local vendors were delighted to show off the disposable packaging they use.

 In deciding what type of packaging they will use at their food carts, campers are encouraged to think about the whole life cycle of a product: from raw materials, to manufacturing, to use, to disposal.

The other focus of the afternoon was learning how to use Adobe Illustrator.

In the computer lab, Colin lead the campers through the basic steps to creating vector drawings of their logos.

Later in the week, campers will get to print their logos with a vinyl cutter to create sticker signs for their food carts!

Day One: July 11, 2011

Design Camp 2011 Theme:

Food Cart Communities

The Design Camp 2011 theme is Portland food cart communities.  Portland is famous for its food carts, housed in anything from VW buses to gussied up gardening sheds, and serving every type of food imaginable. The food carts, which represent an idiosyncratic and imaginative divergence from traditional fast food culture, are a quintessential part of Portland’s identity.This year, we welcomed twenty-six Design Campers from all over Oregon as well as from Sweden, Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Seattle, and Hawaii.

The Design Camp Instructors introduced themselves with a pecha kucha style presentation, which entailed showing 20 images, each for 20 seconds.  Click here to learn more about the background of our 2011 instructors and staff.

After some warm-up exercises and discussion, everyone headed out into the city to explore the food carts first-hand.

Design Campers headed to the food cart pod at SW 10th and Alder to sketch and record their observations.  This in-the-field research will be important for them in the coming week, as they think about graphic design, products, and architecture that will enhance food cart communities in Portland.

At lunchtime, Design Campers visited Dump Truck, a food cart that specializes in dumplings.

The Design Campers interviewed the Dump Truck owner and got a tour of the inside of the small but efficient cart, which serves the dual functions of kitchen and storefront.

Campers then had a chance to freely wander around and observe the food cart pod, and the wide variety of design approaches on display at each cart.



After observing the food cart pod at 10th and Alder, everyone walked to nearby Director Park to eat some tasty Dump Truck dumplings and observe the public enjoying their lunches in the park.

Students enjoyed their food, but also paid attention to the way the public space was designed and used by the community as a lunch spot.

After lunch, everyone headed over to the headquarters of Ziba, a design consultancy in NW Portland.  The Ziba building is not only home to some of the design leaders in Portland, but also an architecturally stunning space.

Design Campers enjoyed a tour of the firm, then headed back to the University of Oregon in the White Stag Block.

Back in studio, everyone began a brainstorming exercise, to record their observations and impressions of the food cart pods.

Campers identified the key elements necessary for a successful food cart, and which problems would require design solutions.

Campers then narrowed down their focus to designing a cart that serves a particular type of food and an attempt to cater to a particular type of client.

Day One wrapped with everyone tired from their excursions around the city, but excited, inspired, and absorbed with their project for the upcoming week.