Portland lacks a proper contemporary art museum. There is also an argument to be made for a design museum. But professor Clive Knights and his Portland State University architecture students have something different in mind. Continuing their explorations of the relationship between urban environments and storytelling, these Vikings are forging onward with discussions of an institution built around verbal storytelling: the Narratorium. Knights and his department are hosting an upcoming event to take the idea forward:
You are invited to participate in an open public discussion to consider the viability of a new form of civic institution for Portland dedicated to the art of storytelling and the traditions of oral history: The Narratorium. Sixteen architecture students proposed many different versions of such an institution this recent Winter term and this work will act as a prompt for conversation and strategizing.
We will be asking: Is storytelling significant enough in contemporary experience to warrant its own institution? Are we failing to nurture and sustain an important dimension of our culture, that embodied in the recital of a tale? Have we lost contact with mythic experience and the power of narrative to articulate our shared values? Does Portland need an oral archive? How can the interest of public and private agencies be stimulated? Can feasibility be examined by learning from precedents such as the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh?
The Narratorium Forum is open to the public and will discuss the actual possibility of such a place here in the Rose City. The meeting will be held this Saturday, May 3, at 2PM in the Department of Architecture's temporary home, the Unitus Building (2121 SW Fourth Avenue), 3rd floor.