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.