FRANKLY, Design Week Portland is almost too big. There are so many events and open houses on the monstrous schedule that it's borderline dissuasive. Making a game plan means spending quality time with (Dear Design Week webmasters, I beg of thee: Install a search function for 2015!) And quickly—make some tough decisions about what to prioritize, because tickets to many of the high-profile events go fast. It's worth it, of course; there are gems of intrigue and edification littered all over the DWP landscape (and most of them are free, although limited space means you should always check for registration links on the site).

Looking for a shortcut? Take this sample itinerary of our picks as a guide.


7 pm: Begin at the beginning. The DWP opening party will have a little bit of everything. The SET Creative marketing agency will have an installation in the space, Rev. Shines will be manning the decks, and drinks and food will be handled by Merit Badge, Olympic Provisions, and other local favorites. Also promised: "eye candy and surprises galore." Staver Locomotive, 2537 NW 29th, 7-11 pm, $10


Noon: See if you can sneak your way into the Metropolitan Group's full-up Designing Social Change, a conversation directed around the ability to design for diversity in race, ethnicity, and sexual identity. Leave feeling like you're a little bit better equipped to change the changing world. Metropolitan Group, 519 SW 3rd, #700, noon-2 pm, free (at capacity)

4 pm: The fantastic Namita Gupta Wiggers, who recently stepped down from the Museum of Contemporary Craft in order to work independently as a curator, museum consultant, and writer, kicks off a series of conversations at Design Week's geodesic-dome headquarters. First up is Mira Kaddoura of Red+Co, an advertising/film/design/technology studio that just launched its first initiative, Made with Code, to encourage more women to enter the tech field. HQ at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, 4-5:30 pm, $15


10 am: Part of a series of podcast tapings happening every morning at HQ, today Needmore Designs' interview series focuses on Kelsey Snook of Daily tous les jours, a studio focused on interactive public spaces, who was a "key player" behind the creation of Design Week's new headquarters. HQ at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, 10-11:30 am, free

2 pm: The Spinanes' Rebecca Gates will explore the role of sound in design and of musicians in cities, through an experiment in "songs, in-the-round listening, and a cat's cradle of sound sense exploration." Okay... we're listening. HQ at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, 2-3:30 pm, $15

6 pm: Metropolis magazine has approached architecture and design with a keen eye toward sustainability and ethics since its founding in 1981. Editor-in-Chief Susan Szenasy visits Portland for a panel discussion with questions submitted by audience members (send yours to with the subject line "Szenasy Talk" by Monday, October 6, at 5 pm), as well as to promote the new book Szenasy, Design Advocate. MFA in Applied Craft + Design Studio, 421 NE 10th, 6-8 pm, $10

7 pm: The folks behind Our Portland Story—which collects the art and remembrances of Portland citizens in a series of bound volumes—pays tribute to the city's latter-day design giants. The exhibit and Q&A panel Portland Designers in the Mad Men Era celebrates the work of Byron Ferris, Bennet Norrbo, and Charles Politz, whose worked helped shape classic brands like Jantzen, Pendleton, and Reed College. PNCA Commons, 1241 NW Johnson, 7-9:30 pm, $10


2 pm: Intisar Abioto of the Black Portlanders project approaches Oregon's African diaspora, past and present, in a multidiscipline experimental performance Story Design, A Danced Treatise on Story as Act of Place. HQ at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, 2-3:30 pm, $15

4 pm: Explore some of the creative design offices that inhabit the north end of town, like the offset litho and letterpress print shop Stumptown Printers, which will be giving informal, brief tours of the facility where they produce packaging for music and other media. Stumptown Printers, 2293 N Interstate, 4-7 pm, free

6 pm: Stefan Sagmeister's talk, Design and Happiness, is the BFD of this year's Design Week. It sold out long ago, but if you can finagle a way in, for goodness' sake, go! Portland Art Museum's Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park, 6-8 pm, $35-95 (sold out), see our article on Sagmeister, pg. 3

7 pm: The New Structure is a storytelling series "relating to historical, urban, and design topics." For the Design Week edition, they've gathered apparel designer Adam Arnold, architects Carrie Strickland and Rick Potestio, and former mayor Sam Adams to share their personal tales of design-related adventure. Rontoms, 600 E Burnside, 7-10 pm, $5-20 sliding scale


2 pm: One should always consider free advice when proffered, and so pay a visit to Jennifer Armbrust, who will draw from her "wealth of scholastic and experiential knowledge" to impart an "intuitive flow of ideas." Be prepared to be open about the private, in public. HQ at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, 2-3:30 pm, free

4 pm: Make a grab at a few of the open houses happening in Southeast. You like the endless scrolls of personalized eye candy Pinterest delivers to your screen, right? Why not pop into the Portland office? Did you even know they have a Portland office? Ford Building, 2505 SE 11th, 4-7 pm, free

7 pm: Architect Michael Graves designed the Portland Building, completed in 1981 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. In 2003, he suffered an infection that led to paraplegia, which in turn led to groundbreaking work in environment and tool design for living with disabilities, from shower heads to wheelchair replacements. In live conversation with journalist Randy Gragg, Graves will discuss his career's evolution and what the proposed remodel of the Portland Building should preserve or change. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park, 7-8 pm, $10


2 pm: Entertainment for People's monthly variety show New Shit Show hits the domes for a Design Week special edition, featuring Weinland's Adam Shearer, Andrew Dickson, and more. HQ at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, 2-3:30 pm, $15

4 pm: Two of Portland's best conversationalists come together as Namita Gupta Wiggers completes her interview series with today's guest, notorious Portland fashion designer Adam Arnold. HQ at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, 4-5:30 pm, $15

5:30 pm: Aspiring sneaker designers get the chance to workshop with Tinker Hatfield, who—NBD—designed the Air Jordan for Nike. In this Design a Shoe Workshop, he'll lead participants through everything from how to tape an ankle to an overview of design industry standards for presentation. But be prepared! You'll need your own roll of athletic tape; an iPad with SketchBook Pro, and stylus—or go old school with a pad of paper, a black fine-tip pen, and three Copic markers of any color. University of Oregon's Event Room, 70 NW Couch, 5:30-7 pm, free

6:30: Ziba founder Sohrab Vossoughi will lead a panel discussion with guests from Core77, W+K Garage, and the former chief design officer of Best Buy to tackle a massive subject: The Future of Product Design. Okay guys, go. An open reception will follow at the Ziba offices, as the company celebrates 30 years in the business of innovation and design. Ziba Auditorium, 810 NW Marshall, 6:30-10 pm, $10

7 pm: Creative nonprofit WeMake returns with the third annual WeMake Celebrates, in which one-of-kind designer birdhouses are judged and auctioned off in a tradition known as "Put a Bird in It." There'll also be music by School of Rock and maker activities with folks like Tanner Goods and Golden Rule Design. Leftbank Annex, 101 N Weidler, 7-11 pm, free


8 am: Spend the day learning the role of freehand drawing in the context of architecture with Portland architects Jim Pettinari and Bill Tripp. It's the last in a series of Saturday sessions usually only accessible to students. Take advantage of some free schoolin'! University of Oregon, 70 NW Couch, 8 am-5 pm, free

2 pm: Okay, it's time to monetize all this design inspiration. Maker's Nation's Creative Clubhouse puts local resources, like co-working spaces and legal and funding services, in the same place at the same time to troubleshoot challenges faced by creative freelancers and small businesses. Look for panels on everything from how to price your work to how to deal with a lack of creative real estate. Then: happy hour. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 2-7 pm, $5-15