2015 Year In Review

To all of our members, sponsors, friends and cohorts, we’d like to say “Thank You!” for an incredible year with AIGA Portland. We have loads of surprises and excitement on deck for 2016, but before we gush about the New Year (keep your eyes peeled for for the January post), let’s take a loving look back at what we’ve accomplished in 2015.



Can you believe it?! We kicked off 2015 with a historical dMob dLux, gathering at Migration Brewing with our founders and friends to celebrate AIGA Portland’s 25th Birthday. On the heels of 2014’s national AIGA Centennial Celebration, we decided to keep the festivities alive for a little while longer.



For the past few years we’ve opened our doors to the design community for a free Open House. In February, Metal Toad was kind enough to host us. If you haven’t been before, it’s a great opportunity to meet the AIGA Portland board, our regular volunteers, hear about what we have in the works, and maybe get involved yourself! We’re always looking for new volunteers, partners, and ideas.



We absolutely love inviting new and old friends to town to share with our Portland community. Last year there was no shortage of visiting talent.



In May, we welcomed Sarah Hall and partner Arthur Vallin from Harley & Co. They discussed the power of creative pairs and the basic neurological building blocks for creativity. We found their case study of the Red Bull HR project absolutely fixating. We were also impressed by Sarah’s jovial sailor talk and entertaining insights. If you missed this event — you really did miss out.



In July, Jessica Walsh joined us at Revolution Hall. She shared her explorations of creativity, play, rule-making and rule-breaking, as well as tips on 40 Days of Dating, partnering with Stefan Sagmeister at Sagmiester & Walsh, and much more. It was a perfect balance to Stefan’s presentation at our 2014 Design Week Portland event.



In September, we were thrilled to partner with Powell’s Books to hear Art Chantry discuss his work and new book, Art Chantry Speaks. Art stayed true to his reputation by keeping it old school with his slide projector, telling wild tales from the 90’s Seattle punk rock scene, stroking his printer’s well deserved ego and looking toward the future of design in the digital age.



And last but not least, we rocked the Design Week Portland Pop-Up Week with none other than the famed Paual Scher. An AIGA medalist, member and supporter from way back, Paula shared a wealth of knowledge about working at Pentagram, identity design today, keeping up with the latest technology, as well as maintaining the quality of her own hand in her design work.





Of course we kept it real with our regularly scheduled events, like Studio Tours. Over the past year we were welcomed by some amazing studios, such as Wieden + KennedyCopiousScout BooksStruck, and Egg Press. For more info or to host a Studio Tour, contact our Programming Co-Chairs, Brad Smith, Alicia Bonnington, and Monica Mo.





Our monthly networking event, dMob, is held at a different watering hole on the second Wednesday of every month. This year, our venues for drink and conversation included dMob Historical dLux at Migration Brewing, River Pig Saloon, The Standard, Base Camp Brewing Co., dMob dLux BYOT at Rontoms, There Be Monsters, Punch Bowl Social, Lucky Labrador, and next week a special holiday edition at Rambler. For more info, contact our Programming Co-Chairs, Brad Smith, Alicia Bonnington, and Monica Mo.





We continued our Digital Dialogues event series sponsored by FILTER, and hosted by Smarsh, and Second Story. Each event provides a sneak peek into a different collaborative case study. This year’s events featured projects from AdpearanceStruckOVO, and Second Story.





After a brief hiatus, we brought back our educational series Career Tools, with the help of sponsor and host 52 Limited. This past year was rich with resources, including sessions like Be Relevant!: How to Manage Your Online Brand with Founder and President of Bonfire Marketing, Ryan Lewis. We also showcased Josh Barrett, AIGA Portland board member and founder of Create Legal. Josh gave us the low down on How To Build An Effective Statement of Work. We also heard from an impressive panel of creatives: Thomas Bivens of 52 Limited,  Kate Bingaman-Burt of PSU, JD Hooge of Instrument, and Pam Lauwerens of Nike for The Portfolio Show. Last but not least, we closed out the year with a talk by Patti Dobrowolski on how to Up Your Creative Genius. Patti walked us through a simple, visual, goal-setting process that we used to help us turn our vision of the future into reality.





In September, we launched our brand new series Women In Design. In keeping with the national Women’s Leadership Initiative, we began the series with a pop-up shop showcasing local female entrepreneurs.  For more info contact our Women In Design Directors, Marisa Green and Angela Reat.





We are constantly on the look out for new content. Last year we shared some inspirational stories via our blog series Design NakedInterviews with DesignersAIGA and community event recaps, as well as well as endless articles on our social media channels.





Each year, AIGA holds a leadership retreat for board members across all 70 chapters and they look to chapter leaders to share their successes and advise other board members. This year in West Michigan, AIGA Portland President Marisa Green co-hosted a breakout session on how to be an effective VP, as well as presented an inspiration story on accepting a dare from Stefan Sagmeister to “get naked.”



We are currently building a stellar Communications Team to keep up with all of the local and national goings in AIGA land and beyond. Think you’ve got the chops? Check out our Call to Action.



We couldn’t do what we do without you. Special thanks to AdobeFILTER52 LimitedSET Creative, and Premier Press. Thanks to Nemo Design for providing a space for us to hold our regular board meetings. And, a very special thank you to our AIGA national CEO and executive director Ric Grefe for leading the charge for the last 20+ years. We wish you luck on your next adventure. In closing, we sincerely thank our many dedicated volunteers whose regular involvement makes our organization run. We really couldn’t do it without you.



With that, we hope that you all have a wonderful holiday filled with endless design pop-up shops, quirky yule log videos, snowy adventures to Mt. Hood, and of course, the best design your little hearts desire. Wishing you a very special holiday season from your friends at AIGA Portland.

By Marisa Green
Published March 5, 2016
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