I hope you’ve had a chance to see our latest exhibition, Extraordinary Playscapes. A few weeks ago I was sitting outside next to the new playscape we installed when 20 kids rushed the structure. I watched as they ran and climbed, as well as explored and imagined — exactly the activities our exhibition promotes.
As you know, we’re a new kind of museum — and Extraordinary Playscapes embodies our unique approach. Over three years of research, development, and design went into producing the exhibition on-view now at PNCA — featuring 40 playscapes from around the world. To bring the museum out into the city we installed PlayForm 7, a play structure that promotes free, challenging play for all. When the exhibition closes, we’ll donate PlayForm 7 to the City of Portland and it will be reinstalled permanently in Ventura Park. We also placed our Beacons at other amazing playgrounds around the city including Harper’s Playground and Westmoreland — Beacons are public signage that tell the design story of the park you’re standing in because design is all about context. The whole program is linked by a print publication we call the Playground Passport. To activate the program we produced a series of thought leadership events featuring local play experts and designers, as well as an epic pop-up adventure play workshop for kids and families.
Design Museum Portland not only exhibits and showcases great design, we take action — we use design to make positive impact for real people.
This year we also produced Rapid Jewelry, an exhibition and fashion show featuring new designs for 3D-printed jewelry, and Product Pitch Party a special event promoting local design entrepreneurs — along with a year’s worth of design impact-focused thought leadership events.
I’m writing to ask for your help to support the year ahead at Design Museum Portland, so we can produce more great programming like Extraordinary Playscapes. In 2017 you can expect our work to cover diversity in design, affordable housing, resilient cities, healthcare, social impact, and more.
The world needs good design and strong community more than ever. And your support fuels our impact. Please consider making a year-end gift to support the museum and our work. Thank you!
Sam Aquillano — Executive Director, Design Museum Portland