It’s Design Week in Portland! The week when all of the makers, the tallest and the smallest, get together to talk about the looks they love, the technology they’re using, and the newest concepts and products they're dreaming up. From streetwear to downtown Portland to sporting goods to candy, everything's on the drawing board.
We started out the festival last week with a live "Think Out Loud" show at the Redd, an old industrial building in Southeast Portland that's serving as DWP's headquarters. This week, we're packaging some of those interviews together with new reported stories from the rest of the fest.
You might not think the javelin needs innovation. It worked for 400,000 years of human history, right? But track and field athletes are always pushing the limits. We spoke with record-breaking javelin thrower Tom Petronoff about the need for a new design vision and the time he almost speared Alberto Salazar. You can see videos of some high-class javelin chucking and a vintage clip of Tom Petranoff narrated by Caitlyn Jenner here.
Jamal Qutub has been in love with animation since he was a kid. For work, he creates animations for clients like Adidas and Intel, but in his spare time, Qutub runs AEPDX, a meetup group for local animators. For the past three years, Qutub has been putting together an animation challenge during Design Week. Local animators submit short films to be viewed and voted on by an audience of their peers and interested DWP spectators.
And if you’re excited about Portland’s booming animation scene, make sure to check out OPB's deep dive on all things Oregon animation on "Oregon Art Beat." It’s all about how the local industry grew from a couple of singing raisins sculpted in clay to things like 3-D printed Boxtrolls and samurais.
What could be better at the end of Design Week Portland than dessert? Jami Curl told a sweet story on Friday about how she built two successful companies, QUIN Candy and Saint Cupcake, that stand out in the forest of Portland food brands. We visited her at her QUIN Candy production room this week and heard all about her candy design.
“Don’t just rise, take flight” is the tagline of streetwear label dfrntpigeon, which is a collaboration between the non-profit New Avenues for Youth and branding gurus AKQA. Run by marginalized and homeless youth, the agency designs and sells shirts and apparel that are expressive, political, sometimes humorous, and sometimes dark. They’ve just released their newest line of tees, the Identity Collection, with screen printed shirts like “Humanity,” which shows four forearms holding a cigarette, a grenade, an hourglass and a digital clock, surrounded by a ring of flowers.