10square - September 6, 2013 (photo courtesy of Dan Abrahamson, Assoc. AIA and DesignSpring)
It was against this lively backdrop that DesignSpring hosted its sixth 10square, this time in the foyer of the new home for the Oregon Contemporary Theater at 194 W. Broadway. A large audience was on hand to see wide-ranging presentations from an exceptional group of creative, talented thinkers and doers. Each inspired, informed, impressed, and amused using the now-familiar fast-paced, breezy 10 designers x 10 slides format characteristic of every 10square event. The following is a brief synopsis of the individual presentations:
Originally trained as a traditional wood carver & sculptor, Joe Valasek now enthusiastically embraces the potential and precision of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) routing in creating his bas-relief carvings. CNC routing allows Joe to focus upon his art rather than the physical challenges posed by his chosen medium. He produces intricate, precise designs (often inspired by nature motifs) that are otherwise impossible to craft by hand. Fascinated by pattern and texture, Joe’s decorative fine art panels and artwork can be found in luxurious custom homes as well as commercial settings.
For more about Joe’s work, check out his company’s website at http://www.carveture.com/index.php.
Yuliya is a Master of Landscape Architecture candidate attending the University of Oregon. For 10square she showcased her thesis project, a monument to courage, memory and life, honoring those lost to the Holocaust in her native Bulgaria. Using the cherga—traditional Bulgarian textiles made from a great number of brightly colored, interwoven threads— as a metaphor, Yuliya sited the monument in a historically Jewish neighborhood in Sofia. Richly layered and accented by useful objects (such as a bench in the form of an open book), her project’s intent is to create an open dialog about a tragic past.
Michael Bowles, Assoc. AIA
Mark is dedicated to the tenets of permaculture, particularly its core beliefs in the power of regenerative systems and nature’s resilience. He believes there is much we can learn from nature and that the only limit to a system is the extent of a designer’s imagination.
Vertecology is a portmanteau (VERTE: green, true, vertex, hub, vertical + ECOLOGY) coined by Mark as his name for the design and invention studio he operates. The Vertecology Hanging Garden is Mark’s brilliantly simple solution for those who long for an organic farm but are short of space. Made entirely of knotted rope, rigid platforms and simple hardware, the Hanging Garden is a vertical column of nature, utilizing stable geodesic forms that hold rigid as a system. It can hang from any 3 connection points able to take its weight, and provides 1.3 square feet of planting, growing, soil-building, air-freshening space per level.
We’re Not Made of Metal is currently on exhibit at the Oakshire Public House at 207 Madison Street in Eugene.
Jeffrey’s interests “bridge the gap.” Notoriously associated with environmental activism, he now directs his energy and passion toward the pursuit of a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon.
Jeffrey views cities as integral parts of the natural landscape: his Block 112 project posits knitting Portland’s north and south park blocks together at a critical nexus of the downtown grid. Likewise, he has imagined transforming Springfield’s Booth-Kelly mill site, examining its potential for redevelopment and identifying how the site can become a destination location with a pedestrian-friendly appeal.
Richard McConochie, Assoc. AIA
Richard McConochie has answered a unique calling: he’s become a professional pumpkin carver. His work runs the gamut from portraiture to landscapes, business logos to abstract designs. Many of his projects take upwards of six hours, are created using customized hand tools, and often feature kaleidoscopic projection.
The Zen of pumpkin carving offers lessons to those who follow its ways. Richard enumerated them for the 10square audience:
- Temper your patience
- Know your tools
- Embrace innovation
- Reach deeper to shine brighter
- Celebrate the 4th dimension
- Learn to let go (what you create lasts but a short time)
- Face your fears
- Teach your students to surpass you
- Do what you love
Alex managed a group of between 5-20 people over six months in the construction of a large structure for a local cooperative of Latino farmers. The 20’ x 40’ building now shelters a tractor, walk-in fridge, and vending area, and was constructed with a modest budget of only $5000.
Jim Givens, Assoc. AIA
Andika Murandi, AIA
* * * * * *If you kept count, you’ll have noticed that 10square v.6 actually featured eleven speakers rather than an even ten as the event’s name would suggest. I can’t imagine anyone objected to the bonus presentation; if anything, this year’s 10square only whetted our appetites for more.
Kudos to DesignSpring for another stellar 10square production. DesignSpring’s youthful initiative, energy, and vision have provided the local design community with a shot in the arm. The organization contributes greatly to the health and vigor of our local culture of creativity. 10square is a part of that culture, one that is becoming a welcome tradition. I enthusiastically look forward to next year’s edition.