Portland is changing. Maybe you’ve noticed? Walking down Southeast Division or North Williams, it’s hard to miss the rapid growth and constant construction that have overtaken once-sleepy neighborhoods. (For a smart take on the topic, read Carl Alviani’s recent article “Repacking Portlandia.”)
Embedded in all of these changes are decisions that reflect what Portlanders value—what we choose to preserve, to demolish, to build, to celebrate. On Tuesday, October 7, as part of Design Week Portland, Sheepscot founder Dave Weich will moderate a conversation with five Portlanders who are involved in first-hand ways with those decisions.
“Being able to exercise judgement about what to protect and what not to protect—it’s a moment that cities have had forever. Even Portland.”
Joe Zehnder has served as the City of Portland’s Chief Planner since 2001; previously, he worked in planning and development in Chicago, Baltimore, and Vermont.
“Our memories are encouraged by what we see. Stories become codified by what the landscape tells us. And what’s worth preserving is very much a political decision.”
Reiko Hillyer is an assistant professor of history at Lewis & Clark college, where she specializes in built environments and African American history.
“People arrive in Portland and reflect on people’s friendliness, strangers connecting. What’s behind that? Some of it is the physical space in which we interact.”
Peggy Moretti is the executive director of Restore Oregon, which works to preserve historic buildings and to advocate for the environmental and social benefits of preservation.
“Recently, in terms of architecture, the Portland buildings that have risen to the top of the national picture all have a sustainability side to them. People are here because of their love and connection to the outdoors. It only seems logical that we’d be building in line with that.”
David Staczek is a Senior Designer at ZGF Architects, where he has focused on healthcare projects and multifamily residential projects around the country.
“The best production design is the stuff you don’t notice—the feeling, sense, overall atmosphere. We try to maintain the look and feel of the city even though we might not be in a place that’s specific to the script. We don’t feel like we need to dress it up too much.”
Tyler Robinson is the Production Designer for the IFC comedy Portlandia; he’s created sets and props for all four seasons of the show so far.
In addition to the discussion, Live Wire’s Courtenay Hameister will share an original essay and DJ Bobby D will spin songs about buildings and cities. We’re excited, and so’s local media—the Portland Monthly wrote an in-depth preview about the show, and the Portland Mercury called it a Design Week Portland “highlight.”
Design Week Portland: Portland Past Present Future: Our Architectural Narrative, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, Tuesday, October 7th, 7pm, $14, tickets: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/676363