Design Camp 2013 – Day Five!

On Friday, campers put finishing touches on their projects, and then we wrapped camp with a design review.  Family and friends were invited to listen to the presentations and see the incredible amount of thoughtful design work that the campers had accomplished in just 5 days.

Campers had the chance to present their projects, including consumer profiles, lasercut leather bike badges, posters, product prototypes, and architectural models. It was very impressive to hear how each camper had approached the design problems put before them, and the ingenious solutions many of them had found!

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful week of fun and creativity, and thanks especially to our fantastic teaching team who shared their professional design experience, enthusiasm, and wisdom!

Alison Ho, Digital Arts Instructor

Kara Williams, Product Design Instructor

Lisa Ward, Architecture Instructor

Alex Atallah, Counselor


Scroll down for more pictures from Day Five:

Getting ready to lasercut the bike badges!


Watching the lasercutter in action.


A bike badge is complete!
Finishing work on one of the bike-in theater site models.


Campers presenting their work to the reviewers.


Presenting graphics designed for the personalized bike badges.


Each camper designed a product and made a prototype. Campers designed bike storage, water bottle carriers, unique bike seats, and hands-free cell phone systems for cyclists.
Campers worked in teams to design a bike-in theater for a SE Portland river-front site.











Design Camp 2013 – Day 4!

The focus of Day Four was exploring the fields of architecture and landscape architecture.  Campers broke into groups to brainstorm and design a bike-in movie theater – an outdoor space that catered to bike riders the way drive-ins cater to cars.

Collaborative group work is an important part of the design process, and campers took to it like pros, brainstorming and putting together idea boards, refining and focusing their designs, and constructing models to show their final plans for the bike-in theater.

Scroll down for more pictures from Day Four:













Design Camp 2013 – Day Three!

The campers in the auditorium at Ziba.

The third day of Design Camp was devoted to product design ideation.  The campers worked on sketching and modeling products, and transforming ideas from paper to 3-dimensional objects.

The afternoon included a field trip to Ziba, a design and innovation consultancy firm based in Portland.  We learned about the clever architectural design of the building, and got a glimpse of the daily life of professional designers.  A highlight of the tour was observing that the collaborative design processes we are undertaking in camp are the same that professional designers use every day.

A hearty thanks to Amin and Kirsten for the spectacular tour!

Scroll down for more pictures of the Day Three activities:

Campers drew their dream houses with their eyes closed for 10 minutes.


Finishing bike badge designs with the help of instructors Kara Williams and Alison Ho.


Working in groups to review sketches made at the Portland Art Museum.




Campers created sketches and models of their shoes and other belongings to learn how to communicate in 2-D and 3-D.





The campers prototyping their products.


The detritus of design work.



Design Camp 2013 – Day Two!

During the second day of Design Camp, campers explored the field of digital arts with instructor Alison Ho.  Campers sketched designs for personalized bike badges, and then received a tutorial in Adobe Illustrator design software.  At the end of the week, their Illustrator designs will be input into the lasercutter, and will be used to create leather bike badges for each camper.

In the afternoon, everyone enjoyed a visit to the Portland Art Museum to view the Cyclepedia exhibition and draw inspiration from the wild and wonderful bicycles on loan from designer Michael Embacher.

Scroll down for more pictures of the Day Two activities:

The campers learned about negative and positive space by sketching bicycles.


Untangling the human knot – a challenge in team work and communication!


On the way to the Portland Art Museum.


Sketching bikes in the Cyclepedia exhibition at the Portland Art Museum.




After viewing the Cyclepedia exhibition, we walked through the modern and contemporary wings of the Portland Art Museum for further inspiration.




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Design Camp 2013 – Day One!

This year marks the 5th year of Design Camp, a one-week intensive that gives teens and young adults a glimpse of the creative and rewarding design fields.  Each year, Design Camp focuses on a single theme through which the campers explore architecture, product design, and digital arts.


This year, we are studying the bicycle as a utilitarian vehicle that moves through and interacts with space, as an art object, and as a product that can be adapted for nearly infinite circumstances and users.  The bicycle is a particularly timely subject, as it has become an increasingly prominent part of Portland’s urban identity.  Camp also happens to coincide with the Portland Art Museum’s special exhibition, Cyclepedia, giving us the opportunity to introduce the campers to the rare and spectacular bicycles on loan from the private collection of designer Michael Embacher.


During the first day of camp, instructors lead campers through some foundation-building activities, and in the afternoon, we had a “hands-on learning experience,” riding bike surreys on the waterfront to observe and participate in Portland bike culture.


Scroll down to view photos of the day’s activities, including the fabulous bike tour!

Drawing exercises and games to warm up creative muscles!
Drawing exercises and games to warm up creative muscles!


Manager John Leahy introduced the campers to the Portland Fab Lab’s digital fabrication equipment, including the 3-D printer and lasercutter.


A highlight of the Fab Lab tour was watching the lasercutter engrave Fig Newton cookies.


John Leahy shows campers examples of architecture models utilizing the lasercutter, and other digital fabrication equipment.


Campers and instructors unwound during lunch with a game of soccer on the Waterfront.


Campers created user profiles to help them define the specific needs of the individuals they are designing for.


Campers and instructors modeling our 2013 Design Camp t-shirts


A very important part of the biking experience – safety equipment!


And we’re off on our adventure!


Biking past Salmon Springs fountain.



Returning via the Hawthorne Bridge, with a gorgeous view of the city.