UNLESS YOU'RE an early riser who loves to network, CreativeMornings may have slipped under your radar. The series, which began in New York City in 2008 and has since spread throughout the world, has a dazzlingly simple premise: A creative person gives a speech in the morning. Breakfast is served. It's free.

Last month at the Hollywood Theatre, Portland's CreativeMornings chapter hosted videogame designer Jonathan Blow, creator of the brilliant indie game Braid, whose presentation began with a crash course in the relationship of function and commerce in game design, and concluded by taking his fellow designers to task for allowing economic interests to corrupt their work. It was fascinating, provocative, and kind of infuriating. I ate an apple fritter. All in all, an excellent Friday morning.

For the Design Week installment, CreativeMornings Portland is hosting bioengineer Drew Endy, a professor at Stanford who was designated a "Champion of Change" by the White House. Endy is a pioneer in the field of "synthetic biology," which considers ways living systems can be engineered to do new things. Possible topics under discussion: teaching wood to grow into the shape of a chair; making cheese from cultures collected from human skin; and a future in which living organisms can be programmed as easily as computers are now.


CreativeMornings: "Drew Endy, Designing with Biology" at Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, Fri Oct 11, 8:30 am, free tickets available at creativemornings.com.