Design Week Portland: Events

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Design Week Portland Case Studies-Part 1

The Design Week Portland festival features hundreds of events representing the topics of creativity, architecture and digital design. While numerous events sell out each year, certain events are recommended repeatedly on travel and entertainment websites. Three events that have consistently elicited positive reactions are the Opening Party, the adidas Maker Labs, and the Pressure is Good for You Talk Show. Due to popularity, these events return one year to the next and were most recently offered at the 2019 Design Week Portland.

OPENING PARTY

  • A leading brokerage firm in Portland, Urban Nest, indicates that the Opening Party has yielded the highest attendance of any other event at Design Week.
  • The event was held at Jupiter Next in 2019 and at Custom Blocks in 2018.
  • In 2019, this event featured curated installations by Kamp Grizzly, Craig Winslow, Matchless, Neon Distributors, and many others.
  • The 2019 event featured free snacks from Garden Bar and Peak Extracts Chocolate. Beer, wine, food, and other drinks were available for purchase from Merit Badge, Dirty Pretty, Cooper's Hall, Ash Wood Fire Pizza, and Townshend's Distillery & Q Sodas.
  • The 2018 event featured photo booths, food trucks, and design activations from Plastic Sunshine, PDXoriginals, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and several others.
  • Designed as a community celebration, previous participants indicate that attendance is a must. The event is described as the perfect excuse to party and attendees enjoyed the delicious food and "good tunes."
  • Opening Party was sold out in 2019.

ADIDAS MAKER LABS

THE PRESSURE IS GOOD FOR YOU, A TALK SHOW

  • This event merges a talk show with a variety show created by Instrument, a digital creative agency based in Portland and a repeat partner with Design Week Portland.
  • Held on a Friday evening, the themes of feel, fear, insight, humor, and the creative process are explored through conversation, humor and knowledge-sharing.
  • A returning event due to popular demand, each year presents a new guest list that Design Week Portland hopes participants will love.
  • Portland-based designer and creative director Adam Garcia serves as an inspiring host and participant favorite.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

In order to carry out this research, we first reviewed the event listings from Design Weeks Portland 2018 and 2019. We used three measures to determine which events were positively-received by people who attended them. The first indicator was whether the event was sold out, as we believe that this is indicative of popularity and positive reputation. The second indicator was if the event had been offered in both 2018 and 2019, as event organizers would only repeat events that had been successful and worthy of being offered again. Finally, we considered the number of times that specific events were listed on blogs or travel guides. The three events listed in our research represent the most commonly mentioned events. After determining which events to research, we reviewed a variety of travel, entertainment, and local Portland blogs to obtain participant reactions.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Design Week Portland Case Studies-Part 2

Three case studies of events held for Design Week Portland that elicited positive reactions include the Youth Track Program, IDL Gameday, and Dungeons & Dragons & Design.

CASE STUDY 1 — YOUTH TRACK PROGRAM

DESCRIPTION
  • For the first time, the Design Week Portland extended to the youth, giving 30 students from Portland Public Schools access to tours, lectures, and the core exhibition of the week.
  • "The youth were exposed to inspiring speakers across practices, giving them a broad overview of varied disciplines and areas of creative work. They met the people behind that range of creative work, and engaged with the creative team who conceived the Green Loop exhibition, an experience that helped them understand the influence of design in place-making, planning, and policy."
REACTIONS
  • The students from Portland Public Schools and New Avenues for Youth who took part in Design Week Portland 2017 observed events ranging from branding, architecture, fashion, and video.
  • A large portion of them rated their experience as excellent (65%), and others rated good (35%).
  • None of them were disappointed.
FEEDBACK
  • Isabel C., from Alliance High, said, “I knew that an architect created ‘plans’ for a building… but to see an awesome building like the one I visited was awesome!”
  • Maya L. at Franklin High said, "getting to see all of these creatives in their spaces was so eye-opening to me."

CASE STUDY 2 — IDL GAMEDAY

  • The IDL Gameday event featured in the Design Week Portland 2019 on Thursday, April 11, from 6-9 PM.
  • "IDL Worldwide teamed up with the Portland Trail Blazers to showcase their 2018 season Gameday Posters for Design Week Portland."
  • Together, they produced a limited-edition print of 100 copies.
REACTIONS
FEEDBACK
  • As a result of the Poster Series, guests were able to "view the season's gameday posters, purchase or bid on exclusive art pieces by poster artists, get a live screen printed custom poster, and more."
  • "The program has raised over $60,000 to date, which is used o impact local underserved children and families positively."
  • It also allowed local artists to share their interpretation of Rip City with fans.

CASE STUDY 3 — DUNGEONS & DRAGONS & DESIGN

  • Portland Design Week held its first-ever live Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) event In 2019. D&D is a collaborative game that features amazing stories, unforgettable moments, and creative problem-solving. Every participant had a task, and everyone worked together to achieve a common goal.
  • The event featured illustrations presented on a large screen to introduce the characters, along with materials designed for everyone present at the show. It also had an audio component, including Spotify playlists made from video games and movie soundtracks.
  • "Each attendee left with a screen print made by Seizure Palace as an artifact of the evening."
REACTIONS
FEEDBACK
  • The event provided a lot of fun for the participants as they got to experience a "dangerous adventure filled with laughs, smiles, and gasps."
Sources
Sources

From Part 01