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.
- 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 exc use to party and attendees enjoyed the delicious food and "good tunes."
- Opening Party was sold out in 2019.
ADIDAS MAKER LABS
- Described as an "open source creator space" by Design Week Portland, this multi-session event was offered five times at the 2018 festival and four times at the 2019 Portland Design Week. It is held at the North American Headquarters of the adidas company.
- The event features innovative tools and technology. Participants can customize, design and print a complimentary t-shirt. Adidas designers provide graphics or attendees may bring their own creation on a thumb drive.
- This creative studio also invites participants to learn about the wildly successful adidas brand and the company's vision.
- Online magazine Willamette Week lists this event as one of "The Six Fashion-Forward Design Week Events We’re Most Excited About" and a great opportunity for event attendees to dive behind the scenes at adidas.
- Those who attended expressed that they participated enthusiastically and that no special design skills were required for the event.
- All four sessions of this event were sold out in 2019.
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.
- Attendees report that the event is full of surprises and serves as a nice little Friday night activity.
- This event was sold out in 2019.
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.