Unveiling the 2019 Design Impact Posters

October 31, 2019 | | View Comments

Be inspired by the 2019 Design Impact Poster Showcase, featuring talented Portland graphic artists.

This year marks our sixth anniversary in Portland, and we celebrated big with our second-annual Gala and our inaugural Design Impact Poster showcase.

As part of our grand celebration of design, we invited a hand-selected roster of Portland artists to share their interpretation of our Design Impact Areas. Each Design Impact Area represents a collection of ideas, expertise, and experiences surrounding a central theme where design makes a major impact. These concepts are at the foundation of Design Museum’s mission and the lens through which we see everything we do. 

These artists were each assigned an Impact Area and tasked with sharing their vision in the form of a limited-edition poster that was printed, framed, and auctioned at our prestigious Gala 6.

Each piece is a story of its own, situated in a larger context of how design is recognized. Participating designers include the team at GreenWorks, Alec Perkins of BRIC Architecture, Danielle Beattie of Think Joule, Nell Westerlund, Rick Landers of Landers Miller Design, Christopher Kenu Huang of Wieden+Kennedy, Ryan Sullivan of Sparks+Sullivan, Peter Ward, Wes Hare, and Noah Dijulio of Evolve Collaborative, Doug Merritt of EY Design Studio, and Kayla Winter, Kate VandenBerghe, Nick Carter, and Clarissa Fredericks-Wright of Saint Friend.

For the first time outside of Gala 6, we’re sharing these outstanding designs created by some of Portland’s most talented and creative teams and individuals.



Play Nature

Created by GreenWorks

Artist Statement: “Play is not just for the playground — it is the continuing, imaginative expression of creativity and healthy activity in nature, both wild and urban, connecting us to our environments, our home places, and our spirits.”

About the Design Impact of Play: There is nothing more creative than children at play. Their unbridled imagination inspires us to be more open to possibilities and to keep play as part of our own lives. Play is vital to our physical, mental, social, and creative health — and fosters the skills needed in the 21st century. 




Created by Alec Perkins; BRIC Architecture

Artist Statement: “Through the transformative power of design thinking, we see past educational practices give way to the promise of the future – a future where the freedom to explore and collaborate inspires 21st century learners to discover a diverse, interconnected world of knowledge.”

About the Design Impact of Education: We must prepare our children to thrive in the 21st century, but issues of inequality, disengagement, and a widening achievement gap persist. A revolution is needed in education that’s individualized, project-based, and hands-on. Amazing things are possible when we infuse design thinking into teaching our kids. 



Be Strategically Brave

Created by Danielle Beattie; Think Joule

Artist Statement: “Stand out. Make a statement. Work hard. Think big. Ask questions. Remain curious. Listen. Believe in yourself. Dig deep. Work harder. Calculate the risks. Organize the chaos. Have a plan. Course correct. Redirect. Figure it out. Deliver the best. Be seen. Be heard. Be passionate. And above all else: Be strategically brave.”

About the Design Impact of Entrepreneurship: The formation of new businesses is a driving force in the U.S. economy. Startups are finding the more design is incorporated into their organizations, the quicker they gain traction — venture capital firms indicate design as a key factor in improving portfolio their success rate from 10% to 80%.

Workplace Innovation

Cloud Commute

Created by Nell Westerlund; Nell Westerlund/Visual Communication

Artist Statement: “I am interested in expanding on moments in the natural environment by incorporating layers of information, creating an alternate point of entry. I use processes from architecture, graphic design and music composition. Underlying my work is a determination to uncover messages from our surroundings through it’s remnants, and re-imagine the space between data and atmosphere.”

About the Design Impact of Workplace Innovation: We’ve moved into the creative age — innovation is essential to economic success. However, our workplace structures are still very much rooted in the past and only 30% of employees feel fully engaged. Design can impact the shape of our offices, organizations, and culture to improve how we work.

Vibrant Cities


Created by Rick Landers; Landers Miller Design

About the Design Impact of Vibrant Cities: By 2050 the U.N. estimates 66% of people will live in cities. Design is a human-centered process shaping buildings, streets, public spaces, neighborhoods, communities, and entire cities. The goal is to create urban areas which are functional, beautiful, vibrant, sustainable, and resilient. 


Untitled but Naked 

Created by Christopher Kenu Huang; Wieden+Kennedy

Artist Statement: “I want to strip it down and celebrate the uniqueness of human beings in all the ways we are.  All the things we do to truly be and love ourselves. Cheers.”

About the Design Impact of Diversity: A fair and just society is essential so that everyone can experience life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All the systems and structures that make up our culture are designed — the ones that celebrate difference and provide for equal opportunity must be cherished, the ones that don’t must be redesigned. 

Data Visualization

Drawing is seeing.

Created by Ryan Sullivan; Sparks+Sullivan

Artist Statement: “The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see.” — John Tukey

About the Design Impact of Data Visualization: Through the web, apps, sensors, and more, we’re able to generate data sets so large and complex that it’s impossible to analyze them for decision making. As data continues to dominate our lives, the importance of organizing and presenting data in a way that’s actionable is of the utmost importance. 


Social Impact

From the Ground Up

Created by Peter Ward, Wes Hare, Noah Dijulio; Evolve Collaborative

Artist Statement: “Insight requires two parts action, one part inspiration—the nudge to move towards making a change. It requires context, participation, and the perseverance to understand the dependencies and underlying social barriers that people face daily. The complex nature of social impact demands that the problem be viewed from multiple perspectives as well as co-created by the people who will ultimately use the end product, service or solution. Developing a deep understanding of communities and the people who support them, requires more than empathy. Designers must foster conversations and tools for people to participate in the process of design. From the Ground Up, by Evolve Collaborative, seeks to express the need to meet people where they are, gain perspective and get them involved in the process of making an impact for themselves.”

About the Design Impact of Social Impact: Creative problem solving is perhaps most powerful when used for the public good, to help people in the most disadvantaged communities and underserved areas of the world. Creative problem solvers are imagining innovative solutions for the people who need it most. 

Civic Innovation

The Future Should be Brighter

Created by Doug Merritt; EY Design Studio

Artist Statement: “The words ‘government’ and ‘innovation’ almost feel like antonyms — change moves slowly and often at great compromise. I wanted to make something that felt dramatic, like some beacon had been switched on and even government institutions couldn’t resist.”

About the Design Impact of Civic Innovation: Government, along with other public groups and institutions, may be in the most need of design thinking and innovation. The challenge is to innovate within a large, complex, sometimes underfunded, system while preserving the ideals at the core of governing an ever-changing society. 




Created by Kayla Winter, Kate VandenBerghe, Nick Carter, Clarissa Fredericks-Wright; Saint Friend

Artist Statement: “We believe design can help care givers and receivers (which is to say, everybody) take better care of each other. We hope this poster reminds you that, despite the frustrating complexity of modern health care, right now, some intrepid someone is working scientific magic that might change your life.”

About the Design Impact of Healthcare: Healthcare is one of the most important and complex systems in our lives. At the core is the patient, the individual person who needs care. Around the patient are caregivers, equipment, processes, and more. Design plays a large role in shaping the patient experience to improve care.