Support our next exhibit: Extraordinary Playscapes


Hi there!

I write this 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 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 above as well.

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

Give $25 

  • You’ll get a big thank you and multiple high-fives from all of us at — do it for the children!

Give $50

  • You’ll get an invite to the members-only pre-opening reception and be among the first to see the exhibition
  • We’ll recognize your gift on our website in our new magazine alongside photos from Extraordinary Playscapes
  • We’ll also recognize your gift in the upcoming Extraordinary Playscapes exhibition catalogue
  • Plus the thank you and high-fives!



Give $100

  • You’ll get our special edition: Design is Everywhere t-shirt
  • Free tickets to Extraordinary Playscapes events
  • Plus you’ll enable us to get supplies for 10 kids to take part in our playground design workshop this summer
  • And we’ll recognize your gift online, in the magazine and in the exhibit catalogue as well! And don’t forget the big thank you and pre-opening reception!

Give $250

  • Get a private tour of the Extraordinary Playscapes exhibition for you and a friend — you pick the date and time and we’ll walk you through the exhibition, providing insight along the way!
  • And we’ll recognize your gift in the Playground Passport
  • Plus the t-shirt, tickets, print recognition, and many thanks!



Give $500

  • Lunch with a playground design legend — you’ll get a special invite to lunch with architect and PlayCubes creator, Richard Dattner, right in the Extraordinary Playscapes exhibit on October 6.
  • You’ll also get a copy of the upcoming Extraordinary Playscapes exhibition catalogue— it’s the exhibit, in book form!
  • And! A private tour! Special edition t-shirt! Recognition! Tickets! Thanks!

Give $1000

  • Enjoy an epic 1-day tour of the entire Extraordinary Playscapes experience with 2 of your friends as we tour the exhibition and visit the 5 extraordinary playscapes featured in our Portland Playground Passport. Transportation and lunch provided! I promise we’ll get to run, climb, slide, and we might even learn a thing or two along the way. : )
  • Plus a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet and enjoy lunch with Richard Dattner, a copy of the upcoming exhibit catalogue, and everything else!



Give $2500+

  • Underwrite one of our educational Beacons so we can install them around Portland at 5 playscapes including the new PlayForm 7 in front of PNCA, Harper’s Playground, Khunamokwst Park, The Fields Neighborhood Park, and Westmoreland City Park — with recognition on the Beacon itself and in our Playground Passport
  • Plus all of the above!


Thank you for your generosity and support. I know you know that creating something like Extraordinary Playscapes, at this city-wide scale, takes a lot of love, time, and resources. Your support makes a huge difference for us. Thank you for making a gift!

See you on the playground!

– Sam Aquillano, Executive Director