Reliving Gala 6 • Explore the Senses

November 13, 2019 | | View Comments

Design Museum Portland celebrated its sixth anniversary with this year’s iteration of our annual gala celebration, Gala 6: Explore the Senses, on October 19th at Slabtown’s Field Office in partnership with Lincoln Property Company and Killian Pacific. Our second-annual gala was an immense success thanks to Portland’s amazing community of supporters and designers. The evening’s attendees experienced an exciting night of sensory exploration—including, and most importantly, their sense of design.

Gala 6 was a highly impactful moment for Design Museum Portland as we raised more than $55,000 to put toward our programming in 2020 and beyond. This is an incredible feat in our non-profit growth, and we’re so grateful to each of our guests, sponsors, and partners for the truly transformational impact they have helped make in our city.

If you missed Gala 6 (or want to relive the experience), check out some of our favorite moments from the evening! 


Our Incredible Community Partners

First and foremost, we’d like to extend a big thank you to our fantastic sponsors and partners. This year, we welcomed a dedicated and diverse network of supporters, helping us make Gala 6 possible and allowing us to continue our work with Portland’s amazing design community. We’d like to especially thank our presenting sponsor Killian Pacific for the incredible support in this event, and for artists throughout the region. We’d also like to extend special gratitude to our generous food and drink partners for helping us bring Gala 6 to life.

Setting the Stage and the Importance of Space

We would like to again thank Field Office and our partners at Lincoln Property Company for lending us their beautiful and scenic venue for our event. With the support of the community, we were able to radically transform the space into an extravagant, luxurious soiree. 

We were also able to showcase several of the benches from our exhibition Street Seats, repurposing them both as an art installation and as a seat to take in the views. Guests were able to simultaneously enjoy a break from the dance floor against a wonderful backdrop, and catch a glimpse of the important programming funding supports.

Unveiling the 2019 Design Impact Posters

This year, we launched the Design Impact Posters Collection. In our inaugural year of this program, we worked with ten local designers and organizations to create stunning posters representative of our Design Impact Areas. Our Design Impact Areas are what inspire us to what we do, and what better way to showcase them than through the artistic vision of designers themselves? These posters were arranged in a brilliant tiled display at the entrance to the Gala space, becoming quite the popular photo backdrop. Signed, framed, and numbered prints of the posters were a feature of our extravagant silent auction. Thank you to all the wonderful designers who played a hand in the creation of this showcase! We can’t wait to see this collection take form over the upcoming years.

A Portland-Inspired, Design-Infused Silent Auction

Gala 6 featured a selection of more than 30 silent auction items that showcased a range of products and experiences from Portland’s most talented artists and local businesses. Notable items among this year’s lineup were a custom-designed Woolly Made wallet, tickets to the Oregon Ballet, handmade dog toys from House Dogge, exclusive sneakers from the Nike and TEDxPortland collaboration, decadent dining experiences from Portland’s most notable eateries, and one of our very own Street Seats benches. While the auction was silent, everyone deserves a round of applause for the enthusiastic bidding on all the wonderful items on offer this year

A Locally Sourced Meal, Family Style

For dinner, guests enjoyed an incredible locally-sourced, multicourse meal, provided by fantastic Portland restaurants Nodoguro, Lovely Rita, and Han Oak, with a decadent main course by Chef Shaun King. Before digging in, Larry Rodgers, Senior Director for Nike House of Innovation and the event emcee, led diners on a sensory-driven chocolate tasting experience provided by Greater Goods. Over the various courses, guests also heard about how hip-hop, art, inclusivity, and design intersect from keynote speaker Desmond Marzette, the Global Director of Brand Connections at Nike. We also heard from Karina Ruiz, Principal of BRIC Architecture and experienced educational planner, about how education shapes design innovation. 

After dinner, diners were welcomed to a decadent variety of dessert options. Sweets and guests alike were encouraged to mingle among one another, transitioning onto the lively dance floor made possible by Myles de Bastion and his team at CymaSpace. 

Experiencing The Senses

Gala 6 welcomed multiple sensory experiences for guests to enjoy at the social following dinner. This included an opportunity to block print postcards with DIY Bar, take an olfactory tour of Portland with Eleusis, experience 3D animation and video with NC3D, taste an array of CBD-infused candy and chocolate tasting from Greater Goods, and collaborate on “roses, thorns, and buds” of positives, areas for improvement, and potential within the design field here in Portland with LUMA Institute. 


That’s a wrap! We are so extraordinarily grateful for this reminder of the generous and supportive creative community in the city of Portland. We’d like to again thank all of the guests, sponsors, donors, and volunteers who made the night possible. We can’t wait to see what next year holds!