BY BRIAN LIBBY
PDX: DNA — 60 Minutes that Shaped Portland
Presented by UO Portland and John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape, 60 Minutes that Shaped Portland will be an evening of food, drinks, music, and stories in which five urban historians [their names thus far undisclosed by the university] discuss such topics as how a picnic for 300 on a highway median strip led to the building of Waterfront Park; how the bombing of Pearl Harbor shaped Portland racial politics in ways still felt today; how two twenty-something county planners hand-drew a map that created the Willamette Valley wine industry; and how a Talking Heads video shaped Stumptown’s cultures of sustainability, food, and film. University of Oregon, White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch Street, Room 142. 5:30PM Wednesday, January 18. Free.
Installation Art Series: Aaron Whelton
Local architect Aaron Whelton of Whelton Architecture, who is also a faculty member of Portland State University's School of Architecture, has created an architectural installation call "Stacked Toroid" in the lobby of the Portland Building as part of the ongoing Installation Art Series. Through simple methods of assembly implemented with great precision, "Stacked Toroid" responds to the status nature of Michael Graves's iconic postmodern Portland Building itself by expressing movement through its design. The Installation Art Series, coordinated by the Regional Arts and Culture Council, features interactive and experimental media installations in a small space in the Portland Building’s lobby. The program presents challenging and diverse works that encourage the general public to re-examine its expectations and definitions of art through dialogue about the role of art in public spaces. Portland Building, 1120 SW Fifth Avenue. Opening reception 4PM Wednesday, January 18. Free.
COTE Greenbag: Designing for Human Health and Wellness
Wellness is emerging as an important new trend in building design and operations, one that builds upon sustainability initiatives focusing in on the health and wellbeing of people, and how buildings can support that. This discussion will look at some of the associated concepts, tools and frameworks that are emerging with emphasis on the new WELL Building Standard (designed to complement green building tools like LEED). Architect Alan Scott, FAIA, who brings more than 30 years of experience with sustainable building design and techniques, will lead this discussion, the learning objectives of which are to understand issues related to wellness in built environment; learn about available tools including the WELL standard to support wellness in buildings; learn about how wellness fits into standards like LEED; and to learn about strategies to promote wellness in buildings. AIA Portland Center For Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 12PM Thursday, January 19. $35 ($25 for AIA members, $15 for Associate AIA members or those not seeking AIA Continuing Education credits, $5 for students).
As part of an ongoing speaker series from Portland State University's Initiatives for Community and Disaster Resilience (ICDR), a collaboration between the Center for Public Service and the Economics Department, engineer and author will speak about resilient energy systems. In 2013, he was an invited speaker at Tohoku University’s symposium for post-Fukushima disaster resilient energy systems. This was followed in early 2014 by a lecture series he gave in Jamaica on “Smart Energy Islands” funded by the Japan Foundation of New York. Bihn spent more than seven years working and studying as an engineer in Japan. Today, he lives in Portland and frequently travels to Japan in search of important energy stories. He holds a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from UC Davis. Portland State University, Market Center Building, 1600 SW Fourth Avenue. 11:45AM Friday, January 20. Free.
The Pearl District – Then and Now
The Pearl District was practically deserted 25 years ago. On this Positively Portland walking tour attendees will see how the district has been transformed into a dynamic walker-friendly neighborhood with contemporary and adaptive high rise housing, fine dining and world class entertainment. The Pearl District in Portland has become a model of high quality urban living and a must-see destination for visitors to our world-class city. Tour begins at AIA Portland Center For Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 1PM Friday, January 20. $15.
Bright Lights: Portland's Aerial Tram at Age 10
In 2007, Portland christened what was just the second urban aerial tram in the country (following New York's Roosevelt Island Tram). Connecting the city’s landlocked largest employer, OHSU, with a brownfield site that had lain largely dormant since the 1950s, and designed through the city’s first international architecture competition since the Portland Building, the tram launched a bold new chapter in the city’s history.
On the tram’s 10th anniversary, former UO Yeon Center director Randy Gragg brings together the architect and campus planners who brought it to life. The discussion will look at the history of decisions that inspired the tram’s construction, revisit the controversies around its conception, design, and completion, and we look at the dramatic expansion of OHSU the tram seeded and how it will shape the future of the campus, city and the region’s economy. Joining Gragg will be Sarah Graham, architect, cofounder of AGPS, Los Angeles/Zurich-based architecture firm and winner of the international competition to design the tram; Kirk Pawlowski, campus planner for Oregon Health & Science University (1999 - 2003) and now with Washington State University; and, Brian Newman, Vice President of Campus Development at OHSU. University of Oregon, White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch Street. 6PM Monday, January 23. Free.
Sharon Danks and the National Greening of Schoolyards
CEO and founder of the Bay Area-based Green Schoolyards America, an organization that leads the national greening of schoolyards movement and empowers individuals to become stewards of their school and neighborhood environments, Sharon Danks will lecture on the growing movement of greening school environments. Research shows a direct connection between healthy school environments and a child’s achievement and physical and mental health. Traveling the world to study hundreds of school sites and understand best practices, Danks has turned that knowledge and experience into the book Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation. Dance's visit is part of a regional Greening of Schoolyards Planning Project that the Intertwine Alliance is facilitating on behalf of dozens of community organizations and school districts. Its goal is to diminish the barriers and catalyze the development of school gardens, nature play areas and outdoor classrooms in all schools in the four-county region. Ecotrust, 721 SW Ninth Avenue. 6:30PM Monday, January 23. Free.
Addressing Homelessness Through Design
Todd Ferry, a professor with Portland State University's Center for Public Interest Design, will discuss the potential role of architects in addressing Portland's homelessness crisis through a look at the origins, development, and goals of the Partners On Dwelling (POD) Initiative. This effort emerged from the work of the Village Coalition and was developed at the CPID in partnership with City Repair, Communitecture, the Mayor's Office, local architecture firms, PSU, residents of Hazelnut Grove, and many others. AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 6PM Wednesday, January 25. Free.
The Founding And Early Years Of Portland’s Alameda Neighborhood
Northeast Portland’s Alameda Park Addition was first platted in 1909. Construction soon followed and by 1920, hundreds of houses and a busy streetcar line had been built in the new subdivision. Successive waves of homebuilding in the decades that followed have shaped the neighborhood of today. New challenges await Alameda’s second century, including Portland’s demolition trend which is reshaping the look and feel of this 108-year-old neighborhood. Using early maps, photos and newspaper accounts, historian Doug Decker (who is also behind the Alameda History website) will tell the story of how the Alameda neighborhood developed, profiling its key institutions and early builders and building styles, while also sharing stories of the early years from former residents. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, January 28. $20 ($12 for AHC members).