Extraordinary Playscapes!

Before my life as the guy running Portland Design Events, I went to grad school at the University of Oregon in Portland.  My terminal thesis project in the program was titled, Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Role of Design in Obesity and Diet-Related Disease.  I spent a year on that project, researching the causes of obesity, how the built environment contributes to it, and how design can help to combat these issues.  A couple years after I graduated, I joined the Board of Directors at The Center for Architecture where I helped to lead the Building Fit program in 2015.  I continue to be involved with the CFA as we plan our upcoming Designing for Wellness program later this year.  All of this is to say that health and wellness in design are very near and dear to my heart, and have been for years.  You can then appreciate my excitement when I opened my email today to find this video from Design Museum Portland:

I have no affiliation with Design Museum Portland or the Extraordinary Playscapes program, but this strikes me as a fantastic program that is going to have a tremendous impact on our community.  Let’s get kids outside!  Let’s let them play!  Let’s encourage physical activity, and foster creativity!  In order to make this happen, the museum needs a little help, and I hope you will join me in helping to spread the word and make a contribution to make this vision a reality.  I’ll let DMP Executive Director Sam Aquillano sell you on the rest in the text from his email, which I’ve copied and pasted below.  Full exhibit information and sponsorship levels are available on the Design Museum Portland Extraordinary Playscapes webpage.  From Sam Aquillano:

I’m writing you on the cusp of our biggest project ever at Design Museum Portland — it’s focused on something we care deeply about: play.

Yes, that’s me in the photo [posted above], playing outside at age 4. And me again, playing outside at age 34. I was so lucky to have a childhood filled with outdoor play, imagination, and adventure. I know those experiences shaped me into the designer and entrepreneurial risk-taker I am today.

The world has changed but the importance of outdoor play hasn’t. That’s why we created our latest exhibition: Extraordinary Playscapes — you’re going to love it. It’s the culmination of 3 years of research and development. In true Design Museum fashion, we’re creating a city-wide celebration of design and play, with a world-class exhibition at PNCA’s new gallery as its hub. The exhibition received unanimous praise in Boston and I’m asking for your help to make it a big success in Portland.

Check out amazing press from Boston Magazine, Curbed, Fast Company, and NextCity; and watch our 90 second video about the project.

We can’t do this work without you! Help us transform Portland, inspire creativity, and promote outdoor play, all by design. We have some great benefits to recognize your generosity, please consider a gift to support Extraordinary Playscapes, our goal is to raise $10,000 before September 30.

Thank you for your support!


Cover image and video courtesy Design Museum Portland.