Our second day of Design Camp was devoted to exploring Portland’s rich design landscape, thinking about space and user experience, and working in reductive language to create simple yet powerful images. Our Design Camp theme, music festivals, provides a framework for campers to learn design skills and sample different design fields.
In the morning, the campers delved into digital art and product design as they developed identity and branding for an imaginary band. Then they packed up lunches and headed out to learn about architecture and design in the Old Town/Chinatown and Pearl District neighborhoods.
With its rich history of decay and redevelopment, the Old Town/Chinatown (OTCT) neighborhood is an ideal place to study adaptive use. The neighborhood contains historic 19th and early 20th century buildings in all states of use, from vacant and dilapidated properties to vibrantly renovated buildings. Despite its somewhat grungy reputation, OTCT is a vital intersection of Portland society, where universities and galleries rub elbows with soup kitchens and homeless shelters, and the Portland public descends en masse on summer weekends to enjoy the bustling Saturday Market.
The walking tour included a visit to the Natural Capital Center (more commonly known as the Ecotrust Building), a landmark in sustainably retrofitted historic buildings. The Ecotrust Building was the first historic re-design in the United States to receive LEED Gold certification, and was later joined by many others in the neighborhood, including the Portland Armory, the first U.S. historic landmark to receive LEED Platinum status.
Inside the Ecotrust Building, Design Campers observed how the building had been updated for commercial needs, seismic safety, and sustainability, while still preserving the primary historical features, including the original brick archways and wooden rafters.
Design Campers ate lunch and enjoyed the sunshine in Jamison Square, a fantastic place to observe how people congregate and make use of public spaces.
The walking tour culminated with a visit to the Ziba Design headquarters, an international design consultancy. There, industrial designer Christian Freissler and communication designer Amin Zahiry spoke about product design and the prototyping process. Thanks to Christian, Amin, and the rest of Ziba for sharing your expertise and passion for design!
After returning to the White Stag Block, campers settled in for a quiet afternoon creating and refining logos for their bands. Once the logo designs are finalized, they will become vinyl stickers and posters!
Thanks to Lindsay, Lisa, Alex, and Zara for the busy, informative, and inspiring day!