Day 5, July 27, 2012

Friday was our last day of Design Camp, and a chance for everyone to present their hard work and reflect upon what they’d learned this week.

  Campers worked diligently to finish their group projects in the morning.  Each group prepared a model of their music festival site in Portland’s Waterfront Park.

The studio bays were hushed as campers focused on creating their intricately detailed site models.

While some campers worked on models, others took a trip to the Fab Lab in the basement to learn about the neat fabrication equipment and get their products lasercut.

Thanks to instructor and Fab Lab manager John Leahy for the tour of the shop equipment and the help processing the lasercut pieces!

After lunch, campers pinned up all of their work for the afternoon design review.  It was incredible to see what everyone had accomplished in just 5 short days!  The work pinned on the walls showed the breadth of work each camper had created over the week, from individual band identities and logos, to consumer profiles, product prototypes, and 2D and 3D representations of music festival sites.  It was impressive to watch the campers stand up in front of a sizable group of peers, family, and friends, and present the concert experience they had worked together to create.  The campers’ designs displayed an incredible attention to detail, and the ability to take many disparate ideas and create a cohesive whole.

We were so proud of the 2012 Design Campers!  A huge thank you to the knowledgeable instructors,Lindsay, Lisa, and Zara, our intrepid camp assistant Alex, and to Nemo, Ziba Design, and Hennebery Eddy Architects for opening your doors to us!

And now here’s a close-up peek at some of the fantastic site models:

Day 4, July 26, 2012

Day Four of Design Camp was devoted to continuing work on the group projects, focusing primarily  on creating site plans and models for the music festivals.

After a quick warm-up, Lisa gave the campers a basic overview of architectural and space planning principles, imparting insight on how to create a site plan that will provide the concert experience while fulfilling all of the concert-goers needs.

In their teams, campers examined the site of their concert, and discussed possible layouts.

After a few hours work, all the campers gathered to present their team designs to the full group, and receive feedback and critique.

After firming up their ideas and making changes, campers began to build their site models!

Walking through the studio bays, the focus and enthusiasm of the campers was palpable. Everyone was working incredibly hard to bring their designs into reality, and it was inspiring to see the creative collaboration taking place.

Check back tomorrow to see what happened on last day of Design Camp, including the final presentations of the music festival logos, products, and sites!

Day 3, July 25, 2012

On the third day of Design Camp, campers worked intensively on developing their music festival plans, and visited Hennebery Eddy Architecture.

Campers warmed up in the morning with a boisterous game of group pictionary.

The instructors then divided the campers and their bands into groups of 5 or 6.  Each group will design a music festival site and a product to enhance the concert experience.

Zara walked the campers through the process of planning the concert experience: from receiving tickets in the mail, to arriving at the concert grounds, to the experience of the concert, to after the show.

Campers spent the morning working in their groups to diagram and plan the whole festival experience.

After a quick lunch in the park, everyone set out for the afternoon studio visit, Hennebery Eddy Architects, where Lisa works.  HEA is a leader in high performance buildings and sustainable design, and campers got to see plans for past and current projects, including several school designs.  Thanks very much to Lisa, Chandra, and Alan Osbourne for taking the time to speak with us!

After returning from HEA, everyone split back into their teams, and began brainstorming and drafting ideas for the flat pack product they will create for their concert.  The final product prototype from each group will be laser-cut from thin cardboard and assembled.

Designs were pinned on the wall for review and critique within the groups.

The day ended on a high note with an inspiring, impromptu visit from Jim Cutler, eminent NW architect, and one of the principals of Cutler Anderson Architects.    Jim generously shared his thoughts on creativity, and the necessity of unceasingly pursuing new knowledge and challenges.  This summer, Jim is teaching a graduate level architecture studio for the UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts in Portland, focusing on sustainable urban design.

Day 2, July 24, 2012

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!

Day 1, July 23, 2012

2012 marks the 4th year of UO Design Camp!  We are delighted to welcome 28 campers from around Oregon and across the United States, who will spend the next five days exploring the professional design world and learning about architecture, product design, and digital art.

Campers arrived bright and early on Monday to learn the announcement of our 2012 camp theme: music festivals!  Over the course of this week, campers will be using this theme to explore the design fields, including creating branding for a band, designing objects to improve a concert-going experience, and designing a venue for a music festival on the Portland waterfront. 

After morning check-in was completed, campers launched into a drawing exercise in which they were asked to draw two autobiographical facts that are true and one that isn’t.  It was up to the other campers to try to guess which fact was made up.

Following that warm-up activity, campers worked on sketching exercises designed to get the creative juices flowing.  This includes drawing the person sitting across from them, drawing one of their shoes from memory, and creating a floor plan of their bedroom.

Lunch in Waterfront Park included a pick-up game of soccer, and a chance to observe the site for the music venue they will be designing this week.

During the afternoon, campers visited Nemo Design, a creative agency that specializes in youth branding and the intersection between design and social media.

The campers had a tour of the facility and learned about both the design practice and design philosophy of the firm.  A big thanks to Ryan, Mark, Steven, and Kirsten for opening your studio to us!

Back at the White Stag, the afternoon activity was to develop persona profiles to help the campers specifically define the audience they are designing for.  Campers culled images from magazines to create collage profiles of their target consumers.

Instructor Lindsay AuCoin used the time to fulfill her dream of one day forming a “baby band.”

Check back here tomorrow for updates on Tuesday’s activities, which include the Design Camper’s trip to Ziba Design, and their walking tour of NW Portland architecture.