"WE'RE ONLY as good as what we observe and what we're willing to take in," says Eric Hillerns. As co-director, with Tsilli Pines (and additional heavy lifting by Kate Bingaman-Burt), of the second annual Design Week Portland (DWP), he's referring to what it means to be a designer as well as what it means to "steer" DWP. The weeklong series of events casts an astonishingly wide net, with events that highlight virtually every discipline of design, from the graphic design and branding worlds to apparel and manufacturing to exhibit design, web design, and beyond.

"As a creative community, Portland has always had an 'aw, shucks' approach to promoting and receiving praise," says Hillerns of the inspiration for a festival that essentially brings communities, events, and institutions that are already active into united focus, packaging it into something attractive to both network-seeking professionals and creativity-loving fun seekers. "Our architects, industrial designers, interior designers, set designers, web designers, fashion designers, [and] directors are influencing culture all over the world. In many ways it feels like Portland has come into its own. The talent has always been here but we're becoming more comfortable with being recognized and talking about how we're contributing."

To that end, Design Week Portland is a point of entry to discover even more about what the creative energy in the city is doing, producing, and talking about. On the coming pages we've highlighted just a few of the opportunities to connect with people whose activities don't always fit neatly into traditional arts coverage, but there's much more where that came from. Find more—including over 100 businesses, studios, shops, and offices hosting open houses throughout the week—at designweekportland.com.


Design Week Portland runs Monday, October 7-Saturday, October 12, at venues across the city.