It's Design Week, Portland!

Happening now is the first ever Design Week Portland, which celebrates design as one of our city’s most promising cultural and economic resources through a series of talks, exhibits, films, and open studios all across town.

Kudos to the organizers for putting together an action team with more than 50% women to create and produce the diverse programming, which highlights creative process, craft, and practice across visual disciplines. Extra kudos to our former design intern Julianna Johnson and her business partner Kate Giambrone, of Bologna Sandwich, who were selected to design the print collateral and signage.

We’re excited to participate, too! Our awesome art director Kristin Rogers Brown is organizing a show called “Design Crush” to showcase the range of creative thinking in our local print publishing culture at the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Oct 9-12). Peek inside the studios of influential art directors including a range of local publications and presses, art and design magazines, alt-weeklies, and comics and book publishers. By pairing favorite pieces from the designers’ studios with work that inspires and influences them, the exhibit is a love letter to the medium and the people who shape it in Portland.

Below are a few of our picks from the week’s events. See the complete schedule at, and register to guarantee a spot.

Design Crush photo from the Bitch exhibit
Bitch on the wall at Design Week

Today (Wednesday)

Publication Studio
Matthew Stadler will talk about Publication Studio as a print-on-demand publisher, the future of books, and the creation of a public around these works. After the talk there will be a short demonstration of how the studio produces a book on demand.

Publication Studio was founded by Matthew Stadler, formerly the literary editor of the gorgeous Nest Magazine and co-founder of Clear Cut Press, and Patricia No. Based in Portland, the studio also visits other cities to collaborate with like-minded fellow travelers and found “sibling studios” using the same equipment and approach. Currently there are six Publication Studios, and the one in Portland is run by Patricia No, Antonia Pinter, and David Knowles. Read more here.

Em Space
Em Space hosts a series of tours and talks about designing for letterpress printing. You may even get your hands inky…or at least watch. Talks start at 3:00, 4:00, and 5:00, but you can stop by anytime!

another wall at the design crush exhibit
More Design Crush courtesy of Timber Press!

Thursday, Oct. 11

Open Studios, NW
Grab a map or a Design Week Passport booklet from the Type Truck (10am-5pm at Pioneer Courthouse Square, Morrison Corner) or online, and get a peek inside design studios throughout the NW quadrant.

Be sure to stop by the Museum of Contemporary Craft’s open house at the tail end of open studios, 3-6pm, to see us at Design Crush: Publications Showcase. See who’s in (hint: Bitch!), and read more here.

Join five of Portland’s “most design-fascinated writers” at Ziba design for a talk on the innovations and systems design that has shaped Portland into what we know now, and a panel discussion about the role of design criticism and writing in a visual society. FREE, 5:30-7:00 PM. Read more and register here.

another shot of the design crush wall, this one showing some Dill Pickle Club stuff
Our pals from the Dill Pickle Club at Design Crush

Friday, Oct. 12

The Artist is Present
The Design Film Festival presents Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present, a documentary about how a performance becomes life—and life becomes art. Abramović uses her own body as a vehicle for performances that confront, challenge, and move her audiences. She’s been a lightning rod for controversy, constantly causing critics to question what art is, and why.

The feature-length documentary takes us inside Marina’s world, following her as she prepares for what may be the most important moment of her life: a major retrospective of her work, taking place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Read more at the festival website, and register now to see the film at the Art Institute of Portland at 8 p.m.

Sign painting
Local designer and sign painter Remedios Rapoport, of the studio The Gentle Revolution, is holding a FREE sign painting workshop at the PSU Art Building, 10:00 am-4:00 PM.

Marianne Wex
The first US exhibition of Marianne Wex, at Yale Union, is a series of large, collaged panels exploring the difference between the sexes. Wex photographs her unwitting subjects to document the ways that social hierarchy defines, and body language illustrates, gender roles.

Put a Bird in It
And last but not least, WeMake hosts Put a Bird in It, a party featuring 96 amazing birdhouses created by local and national design stars galore (from Bitch friend and illustrator Kate Bingamann-Burt, to Laika studio and so much more!). Get a sneak peek throughout the week at Union Pine, 12-2pm, and join the party and auction Friday night at 7:30 with food, beer, music, and several digital exhibits.

Happy Design Week, Portland!

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