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Eric Cantona

Heinz Rudolf had virtually nothing to do with the Four Corners School. It was done by Kevin Nyhoff (architecture) and Jennie Fowler (interiors) while at BOORA.

It is a beautiful renovation/reuse of a former racquet club on a very, very tight budget for some seriously disturbed kids.


Brian, you are missing WPA in the rising star category...not to mention shining stars or shooting stars.

Brian Libby

Sorry about the goofs. Eric, I've crossed out the Rudolf reference. (Have you just given your secret identity away?) And truth, I've added Works and Eric Kaster to the rising stars announcement. Guess I must have accidentally left while that last award was still being handed out. I was very anxious to hear how Greg Oden had done against the Heat in the second half.


All 22 winners and runners-up (as well as Masters and Rising Stars) are on the Portland Spaces website's "Design Awards" page, with photographs and project descriptions included: http://www.portlandspaces.net/designawards/awards

Eric Cantona

don't know what "secret identity" you speak of. this is who i am:



Does anyone think partners at large firms solely execute their own projects? The project wouldn't have existed for the firm if he hadn't brough it through the door. Anyone who knows Heinz knows that he doesn't have a project that he isn't involved in. And Kevin and Jennie didn't do it alone, either.

Brian Libby

To jchh, I don't mean to imply in crossing out Heinz's name that he wasn't involved in the aforementioned project. But I was purely speculating in that regard, and I seem to recall the firm prefers the design credit to be a firm-wide affair anyway. I think anybody who follows local architecture very heavily knows Heinz is a real rock for BOORA when it comes to green K-12 schools. But like any firm, it's of course a collaborative affair.


eric cantona

i should mention two things:

1. i am not employed by BOORA.

2. i was reminded by my 'source' that credit should also be given to Brian Jackson, who was the actual principal in charge.

i should not be so quick with my posts sometimes...


One other minor correction ... Deca Architecture has just the one 'c'.


Thanks for the awards coverage. To clear up any confusion, works completed in Oregon (including Vancouver as part of greater Portland) by Oregon-based firms between January 2005 and Spring 2008 were eligible.

Frank Dufay

quintessentially hippy-Portland

As long as we're doing corrections...it's hippie not hippy. :-)



I hope you have time to discuss the proposed Powell's addition in the near future.

jon w

Let's see, the winning landscape categories included a community center, a yurt, and a chicken coop. Given that a large part of Portland Spaces is supposed to be devoted to exterior "spaces", either the jury was too archicentric or it doesn't say much about the current state of portland landscape architecture.


There are wonderful landscape architects and landscape designers in this community and some amazing designed spaces. Why they weren't recognized is, I'm guessing, a failure on the part of the competition.

randy gragg

hello commentators,

does anyone have any constructive thoughts about the Root Awards for the future? We worked very hard to lay a foundation for the future and to hopefully evolve it into a wider celebration of the ENTIRE design community. Aneeda's comments about our "failure" to properly address landscape design was less about the quality of the work out there than it was about just needing to be sure we could chew what we bit off for the first year.

We'd love to hear some real feedback, like, for instance, how to add more categories and disciplines without making it cumbersome. Do you think we should move it farther away from AIA awards?

We created the whole thing to try to build community, let us know how to do that better.


Eric Cantona

thanks for providing the forum for the awards, Randy, it's a great way for the wider community to experience good design outside of the AIA/APA/ASLA/ASID/etc.

i have a couple of comments:

• landscape architects in this area are have a distinct self-image problem. given time they’ll collectively come around. i would guess the amount of quality submissions from LA’s for these awards was probably pretty sparse, to non-existent. that should increase in future years.
• i would definitely argue for NOT expanding the categories. It seems to me that there’s a place for just about any discipline. i might even argue for less.
• finally, i can’t hold back – the winner in the kitchen category is really bloody awful. the word that comes to mind is schizophrenic. the two runners-up, while not extraordinary, are much more cohesive, and less frenetic. looking through some of the other categories i see many other kitchens of much greater distinction (name-checking an old fave band...).



I would agree in part with Eric. I think there are a few issues that may or may not be addressable. One of them being the fairly intense high standard pool of readers that comment on this blog. I would say part of the success of Portland Space's is being able to appeal to a mass market of varied tastes, opinions and expectations. I would argue the categories and judges are on par with this diversity - hence the diverse (and varied) pool of winners. In this respect, I think the Root Awards did a great job.

While there are very talented, intelligent and interesting folks who frequent this blog, I would say only a very small part of the general community has any idea this blog even exists (no offense Brian). The point I'm getting at is - this may not be the best place to bite off valuable constructive criticism representing the entire body of the community.

On the flip side, the 'creatives' in Portland are increasing at impressive rates. Portland's number of talented people is actually understated I feel. To not value or directly acknowledge this powerful caucus might be a mistake. Providing a platform for those who are not AIA members is a great move.

The million dollar question is: How do you appeal to the masses and the critics? I certainly applaud the effort to bring community together.



seems to me that there is so much, that the gravity of the recognition has less impact.

one comment that seems rather consistent in journalism today. it would sure be nice for all the designers and architects whose work is published and used to sell magazines, to at least take care to credit those responsible for the design of the work.

Registered Arch


As I think you know, Jeff Lamb is not a registered architect and should not be described as such.

Registered Arch

Sorry That last post was directed to Brian, not randy.

Brian Libby

Sorry about referring to Jeff Lamb as an 'architect'. That's my mistake. I know he's not registered as such, and didn't mean to insinuate otherwise. I must say, though, I'm always a little surprised how quick people are to point this out. To me, Jeff is an architect whether he studied architecture, chemistry or theater, even if he doesn't have the registration to prove it definitively and needs someone else to rubber-stamp the documents.

Double J

How about exhibition spaces?

Eric Cantona

sorry Brian, but your attitude towards the term "architect" is more than a little disturbing, given the title of this blog.

that rubber stamp is the process of many hours of studying, practicing and testing, not to mention the significant financial outlay. it tells us that the holder has a minimal level of competence to practice architecture in the eyes of the state. it is actually illegal to call yourself an architect in this state without one.

if you had to go through what many of us of various disciplines did to get that cheesy little stamp, you might have a different attitude towards the subject.


brian, replace "architect" with "doctor", "lawyer", or "engineer" and then see how you feel.


I attended the awards event, and it was a great success on it's own measure. The only comment I heard from other attendees was the desire to 'see' the award recipients. The format of announcing winners and delivering awards was efficient, but we all wanted to see the smiling faces. Congratulations on a successful first Root Awards.

Brian Libby

Guys, I see what you're saying about "architect" as distinguishing a professional with training like a doctor or engineer. I fully admit Jeff is not an architect. I guess I characterized the debate too much as splitting hairs. But what Jeff does creatively is help create architecture, even if he's not an architect. That's what I wanted to focus on. It's not to say someone with an architecture degree and no registration is the same as a registered architect. But if Jeff were a doctor, I'd still trust his healing abilities/knowledge even if he didn't officially have an MD after his name.


I don't see what the fuss is about loosely using the term "architect". As eric c. mentions above about the self image problem of local landscape architects, we have been living with local critics calling us landscape designers for years.


Some of the best 'architects' aren't architects. Sorry, it's true. In my mind, if someone is designing and their level of design innovative and compelling, that person is an architect. It doesn't matter, except to the envious architects. They need to get over it.

Rick Potestio

On the addition of categories:

I think you have in mind as a model, the Portland Design Festival, Katz's program of a few years back. I hold that the PDF was the best design awards and show ever held, for many reasons: It was all inclusive. It exhibited the entries in a very public and professional manner. It included a number of talks and parties, where, to the greatest benefit of all, designers from all disciplines met each other... and finally, the awards were given to the highest quality work.

I am not sure how that model fits with the Spaces Magazine focus, or if it needs to. But I do want to emphasize that, from the perspective of the designer, the best part of PDF, was the exposure through exhibition, and the opportunity to meet designers in other disciplines.

I can see a category called "gadgets" in which a Kitchen Aid blender might be entered, but would wonder about a category called "closet" where shoes were the entries......

Could you team up with sister publication, Portland Monthly to do a more comprehensive awards program?

Thinking about the future:

I think the credibility and stature of the awards will be based on the design quality of the winners your jury selects each year. As a design competition, I think that design quality must be the foremost consideration.


Thanks for all the comments and, especially, for appreciating the demands of appealing to both wide and deep audiences.

A couple of clarifications: I only played a role in picking the Masters and Rising Stars. All the other awards were selected by jury. I watched many good designers and some good friends end up as runners up or get no notice at all. I'd welcome suggestions for jurors for next year -- keeping that needed balance of understanding and appreciating design, craftsmanship and sustainability in mind.

I would like to expand the categories to include other design disciplines so that the awards will be a celebration of ALL the design talent in Portland. What I'm thinking is maybe a two-tiered system where maybe "bathrooms" and "kitchens" and the like could get awards and be featured on the web site, but the best overall "room" of any kind would get a grander award and be in the magazine. We could do something similar with, say "apparel" and "industrial design" and such.

Finally, yes, the program was too abbreviated in its treatment of finalists and winners. We were really worried about it being too long. It ended up being 45 minutes shorter than we expected!

But thanks for your thanks and support. We worked really hard as we will do in the future. So hang in there with us!


Kathleen Mazzocco

Hi, Brian,
In response to your (rhetorical?) question about Ziba in this post, the firm entered designs for the Root Awards that fit into their time criteria -- 2005-2007. Some of those projects may have been initiated in 2005, but evolved over time (e.g., Umpqua 1.0 and 2.0). The projects entered were the ones that related best to the award categories. Ziba does create environments and"spaces" but much of its work is in other kinds of experiences and products that do not fit the bill (but that have won other awards). Just clarifying. Thanks!


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There is a rumor that Siena and a.k.a Jeff Lamb and Gary Redick are closing their doors for good at the first of the year so whatever you address as "architects" it really doesent matter anymore.

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