DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND'S citywide series of open houses are an excellent way to meet makers, designers, thinkers, and their cool products—however the sheer number of them is totally overwhelming. Over the course of four days—Tuesday, October 8 through Friday, October 11—more than 100 studios, offices, firms, and makers open their doors to the public. We've assembled a few highlights, corralled by quadrants, days, and times, to give a sense of the exciting offerings (see designweekportland.com for the full schedule). Time to slip on those rain boots, get out, and explore!
SOUTHWEST: TUES OCT 8, 4-7 PM
Retail spaces Tender Loving Empire (412 SW 10th) and Crafty Wonderland (808 SW 10th) are always charming; either makes a great first stop for a walking tour. As a bonus, Crafty Wonderland is offering 10 percent off for the occasion. Pushmepullyou Press (8215 SW 10th) is a small press run by designer Michael Kelley in his backyard shed, where he creates sweet letter-pressed prints, books, and cards. The mission of company LOOPTWORKS (621 SW Alder, #900) makes it worth a visit—they're devoted to repurposing textile waste, turning consumer excess into up-cycled T-shirts and tech product covers.
NORTHWEST: WED OCT 9, 4-7 PM
The Good Mod (1313 W Burnside, 4th floor) is a beautifully curated furniture shop on W Burnside, located on the top floor of a well-lit warehouse; they specialize in mid-century and industrial furniture, and it's especially fun to poke around in their workspace to see motley furniture just before it's refurbished to a sleek modernist state. James Florschutz Studio (618 NW Glisan, R-1) is the studio for the mixed-media sculptor of the same name; Florschutz works with discarded materials, and created the large wood-sculpture wall at ADX. To catch the educational side of things, swing by PNCA (1241 NW Johnson) and the University of Oregon in Portland (who usually have great catering, just saying; 70 NW Couch).
NORTH/NORTHEAST: THURS OCT 10, 4-7 PM
Albeit a warehouse, Beam & Anchor (2710 N Interstate) is located in an enchanting space, populated by lovely, locally made furniture, providing workshop space for craftsmen as well as retail space. To see some fine art, trek over to Get Happy Studios (2119 N Kerby, Ste. C21). It houses a variety of painters and other artists; they throw a great party, so their open house is bound to be a good time—their studio is like a creative's wonderland. In the North Coast Seed Building is Fontana Studios/Sky Crawford Design (2127 N Albina)—painter Blaine Fontana is one of the minds behind the recent mural project Forest for the Trees. Stumptown Printers (2293 N Interstate) have an amazing studio, and their rare old-school presses alone are worth the trek, in addition to a great portfolio (printing for locals like Powell's and the Alberta Cooperative Grocery, as well as music folks like Sun Records). Kinfolk magazine (328 NE Failing) is a gorgeous, sleek, worldly magazine based in Portland, and their open house gives you the chance to see how and where it all comes together.
SOUTHEAST: FRI OCT 11, 4-7 PM
To see the DIY realm of magazines, head on over to the Independent Publishing Resource Center (1001 SE Division), which is always enjoyable, especially if you still haven't visited their newish location. So many creatives share the space that it's overrun with posters and zines and drawings—it's brewing with energy. (Side note: A fun game is to count how many cats you can find plastered around the IPRC.) A great print studio is KeeganMeegan & Co. (17 SE 3rd, #109), known for gorgeous, whimsical hand-illustrated letterpress (clients include the Flaming Lips, Beirut, and Patton Oswalt). Pinball Publishing (1003 SE Grant) is also on the docket this year—their Portland headquarters are where the trendy pocketbooks Scout Books are created. Also in the printing realm is Em-Space Book Arts Center (407 SE Ivon), who, in addition to their open house, will be hosting the annual Portland Letterpress Fair (Sat Oct 12, noon-7 pm) at Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (2250 SE Water). It includes a new, delightful-sounding element: the Steam-Powered Design Challenge, a "large-scale, collaborative printing competition" sponsored by local laser-engraving company Etchpop.