As an annual event celebrating the many layers of design in the city, Design Week Portland brings together makers, designers and a community of creative individuals to start conversations, increase awareness, and serve as a catalyst for new ideas. Spread over the course of a week, this wide-ranging conference includes lectures and happenings as well as open houses at some of the leading design firms in Portland.
Not strictly limited to one mode, DWP has events in disciplines ranging from graphic design to illustration and fashion to architecture. The festival returns April 6–13, 2019.
Highlights from 2018’s festival
In 2018, Design Week Portland created a “Core Track” program, consisting of six events held at six different locations spread throughout the week. Topics ranged from architecture in our rapidly growing city, to sustainable fashion and ethics in the clothing industry, to a hands-on macramé class (complete with cat cuddles). These events were the heart and soul of DWP, showcasing the diverse voices that help shape Portland’s creative community.
Over 100 different studios, retail spaces and agencies took part in Design Week Portland by hosting open house events during the run of the festival. Each day focused on a different geographic region of Portland, so visitors didn’t have to spend time driving when they’d otherwise be chatting up industry professionals. Participants took advantage of this exclusive inside peek at the home bases of some of Portland’s brightest creative ventures.
A dizzying collection (over 300, actually) of speakers, workshops, screenings, exhibits, parties, panels, auctions, happenings and shows rounded out Design Week Portland’s offerings. The Letterpress Printers Fair included hands-on printing demonstrations, while the adidas MakerLab gave guests the opportunity to design a t-shirt to take home.
For those who weren’t sure where to start, Design Week Portland came up with a solution: based on nine key disciplines like Type & Image, Fashion & Apparel and Illustration, DWP created detailed itineraries that mapped out the events, activities and open houses to best fit anyone’s particular area of interest.