Portland jewelry juggernaut Betsy & Iya are famous for their cuff bracelets modeled after bridges like the ones in their hometown, and now they've added even more: "Both new designs, the Hernando de Soto Bridge bracelet and the Steel Bridge Cuff, are inspired by real-life bridges; the Hernando de Soto bridge in Memphis, Tenn., and the Steel bridge in Cross’ adopted hometown of Portland, Ore. join bracelets based on the Brooklyn, Golden Gate, St. Johns, and and Fremont bridges. Prices are $69 (brass) and $89 (silver plated) for the Hernando de Soto Bridge bracelet, and $79 (brass) or $99 (silver plated) for the Steel Bridge Cuff Bracelet."
The Steel! Finally!
Aaaaaand Memphis, in case you have a connection there:
Design collaborations are common enough, but early word on one slated for early fall has caught my particular attention. Liza Rietz and BOET's Emily Bixler are apparel and accessory designers for the most part, but both of their work easily overlaps with fine art perspective. Rietz's designs, especially her one of a kind masterpieces, are the sort of clothing you can call "sculptural" without exaggeration, and while Bixler most frequently traffics in metal and fiber as earrings and necklaces, she's also done great installation and wall handing work, even fashioning some lighting fixtures for a month-long trunk show she held at Yo Vintage! last fall. The two have neighboring studios up in NW, and the news of an upcoming shared project is the best kind of inevitable. Via Rietz:
Emily and I have gravitated towards each others work for years now, and are looking to design and make a collection of sculptural clothing combining Emily's signature crochet and textural knitting with my structural garment construction. We are both fascinated by garment as sculpture - focusing on architectural and textural elements and how a garment takes shape once on the physical body. In blending our two distinct but similar modalities, we hope to achieve aspects of design that would otherwise not be possible. We are hoping to have a collection of no more than 10 pieces and we are planning on having an opening in late September or early October with the intention of displaying the collection for a month.
Stay tune for more on the project as it develops.
I am now in literal awe at the frequency with which the city's design scene is churning out lookbooks. One a day, almost? This one, "The Rummer House" from Frances May, features one of the houses in a small pocket of mid-century modern homes in SW Portland designed by Robert Rummer. I was lucky enough to attend a dinner in one a few years ago, and they are quite impressive, my favorite detail being the inner courtyard atriums that all the rooms wrap around. This shoot is naturally more about the clothes, but if you have some love for 20th century architecture, you can read more about the houses over on Modern Homes Portland.
Have you ever wondered if those perfectly styled, modern houses/bedrooms/kitchens everyone keeps posting on Pinterest actually exist in the real world? Well, here's your chance to check out some fancy, modern digs right here in Portland.
The third annual Portland Modern Home Tour gives you an opportunity to explore nine stellar examples of modern architecture via a self-guided tour. Portland architects get the spotlight in this citywide "gallery" of their work and you get to see their creations up close and personal. If you're inspired by architecture, passionate about interior design, or simply want to check out the inside of that cool house you've seen in the neighborhood, mark your calendars for this event.
Portland Modern Home Tour
Saturday, March 29
11am to 5pm
Price $30 advance; $40 day of; kids under 12 can accompany their parents for free.
More info and tickets available online: modernhometours.com/event/portland/
You might already be aware that the Pacific Northwest College of Art is in the midst of an impressive expansion (here's my post on the new dorms from back in August), or that part of it includes Portland's original US Post Office, the grand old lady at 511 NW Broadway that I, at least, had never been inside of until yesterday, when the construction crew let me borrow one of their hard hats and check out the in-progress space.
Built in 1916-18, the building has, obviously, a ton of history, and that level of architectural detail that nobody seems to have the money to ever, ever do anymore. The West side of the building is currently a parking lot, but when the building reopens as the school's Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, this is the side where the main entrance will be (opposite from the original main on Broadway). Eventually, that block is due to become an extension of the park blocks, which will give it a lovely campus vibe. Inside, much of the building has been protected as historical, so the huge, grand front hallway retains all its sumptuous detail. This ground floor will eventually hold the PNCA admissions office, gallery (so stoked to add this to the First Thursday circuit), and a black box theater.
The upstairs is significantly plainer but still cool, especially the 18 giant walk-in safes that came with the building and are going to stay (I think they'd make good dark rooms for a History of Photography class or maybe just really dramatic coat closets). (Also found in the building: a room filled with American flags. Apparently, even after the building was no longer in use, a maintenance guy still had to come in to lower the flags to half-mast at the appropriate occasions.) The solid wood doors and huge, functional windows are all staying, though many of the rooms will be opened up to make larger classrooms and studios. On the lower, northern side of the building are a plethora of skylights that have been sitting covered. Having them open, creating a light-filled atrium is going to be pretty impressive, to say the least.
As we told you and told you again, the historic/still relevant Hollywood Theatre is raising money on Kickstarter to replace its decrepit circa-1970s marquee with a recreation of the original 1926 design.
Today they announced that they've exceeded their $55k goal (the total was over $60k as of this writing), which means we'll be seeing a spruced up theater on one of our main boulevards in the near future. However, feel free to keep donating. A secondary goal of $75k will keep them in light bulbs for a while, not to mention give 'em a little cushion against those old-building construction surprises.
About a month ago we called your attention to the Hollywood Theatre's launch of a Kickstarter campaign (something we do very sparingly) to replace its marquee, which is leaking, causing other damage to the building, and just generally falling apart. The proposed replacement is based on the original, which opened with the theater in 1926—an occasion so momentous they named the surrounding neighborhood after it.
You may have also noticed that it's suddenly in the shadow of a five-story building that's practically being built on top of it, so the new marquee will help the landmark maintain its visibility. It's worth keeping buildings like this in repair because people simply don't make 'em like they used to, with sumptuous detailing like the Hollywood's (gorgeous, dramatic) having been replaced by a bunch of clean, straight lines (boring, less expensive). But in addition to its significance in local history and architecture, the theater has made great strides in the last decade or so to remain a cultural destination by virtue of the programming itself. They've gone the extra mile to create innovative programs, from the Grindhouse Festival to Filmusik, B Movie Bingo, and Hecklevision (sometimes in collaboration with the Mercury).
The campaign's got 11 days to go and they're less than $10,000 from their $55,000 goal (money needed outside grants and donations already secured—marquees ain't cheap, apparently), so if this is the first you've heard of it, consider making some of the Hollywood's old ghosts feel like good times are here again.
An embed of the Kickstarter video is after the cut.
Last week, on one of the hottest days of the year, I ventured solo to The Vineyard in West Linn to check out this year's offerings from The Street of Dreams. With six different houses all hovering around 1 million dollar asking prices, attendees were able to catch a glimpse of how rich people live. All of the houses had unique features, but the similarities included more bathrooms than bedrooms, outdoor living spaces with televisions (not to mention televisions in pretty much every room,) and intercom systems playing music, so no matter what room you are in you will never miss a beat of that Billy Joel song you will invariably be blasting if you lived in one of these homes. Some of the unique features included an elevator, a DIY brewery, an exercise room with it's own private bathroom and shower, and two of the houses had spaces devoted specifically to gift wrapping.
Okay, it may sound like I am being sarcastic and knocking it, and part of me is, but I do really like going to The Street of Dreams every year and checking out the latest advancements in home building. I just think that maybe it's a little much. Do people really need that much space to live, and so many televisions and bathrooms? On the up side all of the homes featured sustainable elements, with one home even being Earth Advantage Platinum Certified, and there were some moments where I wished I could pick-up the amazing room I was in and attach it to my own house (they were mostly bathrooms, of which my own 1920's built house only has one.)
To summarize, I think this year's Street of Dreams is worth visiting, as you will most likely find a few things you actually really like and can use as inspiration for your own home. Better do it quick though, the last day is August 26th.
The Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft and Mercy Corps are collaborating to bring the exhibit Design with the other 90%: Cities to Portland beginning August 17, and running through January 5. Of the exhibition's six thematic sections, three will be featured at the Mercy Corps Action Center, and three at the Museum.
The exhibit is the second installment of of a series by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design museum that began in 2009. It will "explore design solutions to the challenges created by rapid urban growth in informal settlements, otherwise know as slums," says a museum spokesperson. It will include architectural models, photos, video, and interactive kiosks covering projects such as alternative housing design, low-cost clean water, education initiatives and more. The exhibition is divided into six categories: Exchange, Reveal, Adapt, Include, Prosper, and Access.
Not too long ago, I sat down to a coffee at Stumptown and I couldn't help but admire the finely crafted wooden bar and cabinetry that lines the inside. It's so distinct, so clean; it's so subtle, yet quietly potent and powerful. Dying to find the creators, I did some research and discovered that it is the work of MADE Studios, a slick little local gem that Portland calls its own.
Founded 12 years ago by Bo Hagood and his creative business partner Tim, both alumni of Oregon College of Art and Craft, the studio is a manifestation of a deep love for a union between form and utility.
"It was frustrating," explained Bo, "that in school everything was supposed to be so conceptual. It often lacked function. So finally I said, 'I'm going to make things that actually work.'"
Don't think for a second though that by making things useful meant a sacrifice to beauty. The design seems to me the perfect marriage between ultimate form and ultimate function. Think clean, elegant lines, and sweet touches like custom veneers with the wood grain running the length of the piece.
I asked Bo what his most commonly asked for pieces were, and he gave me an interesting answer. "It goes through phases," he told me. "During the recession, people came to us with lots of interior renovation projects. But now, decorative furniture orders are back up." That seems like a good sign, I thought.
MADE works closely with Esque Studios, another fantastic local that specializes in glass to make pieces like these:
I also asked Bo what some of his inspirations were. "Most of my inspiration comes from hardware," he said. "I spend time just walking around in Wink's Hardware—do you know that place?" Yeah, I know that feeling, I told him.
Now I'm sure you're thinking, "If I were to custom order one of these gorgeous handmade pieces for my home or business, what would be the turnaround time?" Bo told me that it typically takes them three or four weeks to finish a project, but with shipping you can expect to wait about ten to twelve. Not bad at all.
Please visit their website for contact information and a full portfolio.
Last year's Architecture and Design Festival featured a runway event with some of Portland's most architecturally influenced apparel designers (Liza Rietz, Adam Arnold, etc). This year fashion is still incorporated into the fold, but things are a little more abstract. Body Building is an exhibit curated by photographer Christine Taylor that aims to show "an intertwining union between materials, as a single complex organism that embodies how fashion and architecture shape our world and the spaces we inhabit." Tasked with this are artists Emily Ryan, Hans Lindauer, Jennifer Jacobs, Laurence Sarrazine, Lisa Radon, Opulent Project, Brendan Coughlin, and Taylor herself, the most obviously linked to fashion being longtime apparel designer Emily Ryan, who's been rather quiet of late. Other contributors are responding to the challenge with sculpture, video, LED lighting, a "bulletproof" necklace, and even an essay installation.
Located in the center west space at 525 E Burnside of the bSIDE6 building, the exhibit is meant to be viewed from outside, although guests will be allowed indoor for the launch party taking place on Saturday Oct 8 from 7-10 pm w/DJ DJ Armatronix, interactive LED and video, and booze from House Spirits (21+). The installation itself will be up Oct 1-Nov 5.
The festival runs for an extraordinarily long time, kicking off with an opening night party tomorrow at the Center for Architecture and culminating in an Oct 27 "Party of the Century Gala," in reference to the 100th Anniversary of AIA in Oregon. In between are more exhibits, tours, award ceremonies, lectures, films, and parties than you can shake a stick at. Check out the full event schedule here.
The American Institute of Architects' Portland Chapter is kicking off a month-long festival celebrating the opening of the AIA 100th Anniversary exhibition, highlighting Oregon architecture over the last 100 years. The Center for Architecture will host the opening soiree on Thursday, complete with music, cocktails, and local organic hors d’ouevres. Cost: $5 at the door. Tours, workshops, and a gala will all take place over the month. Design Matters: A tour of Exceptional Portland Homes gives inquiring minds a glimpse into six stunning Portland homes. (Saturday, October 1, more deets here.) For Architectural Details: A Photography Workshop on Saturday, October 15, professional photographer Josh Partee will guide you and your camera lens on a two-hour walking tour of exceptional examples of Portland Architecture. And don’t miss “The Party of the Century.” Held at the Portland Art Museum, The Party of the Century Gala celebrates the 100th Anniversary of AIA in Oregon. Break out your finest threads, brush up on this month’s Architectural Digest, and purchase your tickets here.
Thought fashion season was over? Think again. The Portland Center for Architecture is presenting work by Dawn Sharp, Liza Rietz, Adam Arnold, Sword + Fern, and Emily Ryan on October 29 (7 pm). There are only 100 $20 tickets, and they're going fast, so get yours here, now!
On a related note, check out these shots from Dawn Sharp's S/S '11 collection, taken by David Reamer:
More details are in for the October Installment of Subject to Season at the Ford Building (2505 SE 11th #106). The open studio event has a "dark wave theme," and will feature Haxel Cox, Fieldwork, Melody Geer, Afton Hakes, Hilary Horvath, Kim Namanny, Olo Fragrance, Palace Clothing, Clara Seasholtz, and Yo Vintage. Should be a delectable mix of fashion, styling, flowers, and art! Be there.
Okay, so I don't even have off-street parking at my house much less room for chickens, but if I did I would want to know about Portland Henhouse, which I just stumbled on today (I might also want to paint mine Swedish red). Pistils carries the adorable chicken houses made by Ryan Tinsel (who you can also order from directly via the web site), and they come in two styles, the standard Villager:
and the more luxe Woodsman:
They're beautiful, and they don't come cheap ($370+), but think of all the money you will save on eggs! In other animal-structure news, stay tuned this summer for photos of my insanely crafty boyfriend's first aesthetically pleasing cat tower project. Custom orders may not be out of the question. . .
Behold, Eve—the world's tallest model who clocks in at 7 feet tall. Also behold the smaller model in the shoot, who's just starting to figure out she was only hired to serve as "contrast" and to do failed high fives.
I'll admit I slid into last night's Chinese-design panel late, with the Q&A already underway, so maybe I missed the part where the panelists were obsessing about other areas of design, but architecture in particular was right at the forefront of the discussion. Likewise, the architectural development in Beijing were what I found most commanding in the China Design Now exhibit currently up at PAM, which is responsible for the sudden flurry of China-related events. So it's only fitting that tonight is "China Architecture Now," a discussion with Chinese architect Yung Ho Chang in the museum's ballroom. If you want more info on the massive explosion of dramatic development happening on the other side of the world, get thee to 1219 SW Park with $12 in tow ($5 if you're a member), by 7 pm.
Just about the only reason I can think of to envy people living in a remote Iranian village are these incredible houses built into the natural topography. People in this region have been living in such structures for over 1,600 years. If you're ever traveling out that way, look for signs to Kandovan:
So much more awesome than one of those new condos. I bet they'd even qualify for LEED certification.
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