Portland, Oregon

Welcome to Open Architecture Portland! Through the spirit of collaboration, OAC PDX strives to empower local communities in need by facilitating appropriate design solutions with lasting benefit and a sustainable mindset. As an organization founded upon design advocacy, OAC PDX offers its design services pro-bono with the intent that these services should lead to paid work for the profession.

OACpdx has been in operation since March of 2010. Since then, the chapter has completed 10 design projects, including 5 built projects, hosted multiple fundraising and community events, and built incredible lasting partnerships within the local non-profit and design communities.

The experience of working with AFHpdx allowed our project to exceed expectations and give our community the means to visualize and actualize their own successes. Our mission, and they way we achieve it, are forever elevated by the contribution and the dedication of this amazing resource.

— -Dave Lowe (Volunteer Services Manager at Our United Villages, one of OACpdx's recent clients)

  • 5

    Board Members

  • 331


  • 10

    Completed Design Projects

Photo by OACpdx

OACpdx is always looking for new community partners to work with as well as volunteers to join our mission. While many of our volunteers work in Architecture, we need volunteers with all kinds of skills and backgrounds in order to function and thrive. We believe a cross-disciplinary approach makes our projects better and more impactful. If you are a non-profit with an awesome project idea and you would like to request design services from OACpdx, or if you are an individual with a passion for design advocacy and want to volunteer your time/services, you can contact the OAC chapter at OpenArchitecturePDX@gmail.com. You can also join us at one of our monthly chapter meetings which occur every 2nd Thursday of the month from 6:30-8pm. The location changes occasionally (we like to keep things fresh and exciting!) so check our facebook page www.facebook.com/openarchitectureportland for the most up to date info on our meetings, events and projects.

I got involved with OAC Portland because of my interest in humanitarian work in the realm of landscape architecture and architecture. There is not an organization made up of landscape architects that are doing similar humanitarian work, so when I found out about OAC Portland I found that there were opportunities to contribute to this realm through OAC.

— Scott Sutton (Volunteer)

  • 5

    Different design related disciplines represented by our volunteer base. We're not all Architects, we promise!

  • 17+

    Local Organizations that have partnered with OAC since 2010

  • 280+

    Pints of local craft beer consumed at monthly chapter meetings since 2010

Photo by OACpdx

Made Resilient Studio Description OAC Portland’s Disaster Resiliency Studio strives to better prepare our community before, during and after a natural disaster by: 1. Creating a network of connections and resources between community groups and city organizations at both local and regional scales. 2. Promoting awareness by educating and engaging the community through creative design solutions. By initiating the conversation about disaster preparedness and resiliency we hope to help mobilize our community into being proactive about preparing for disasters. These steps will help facilitate faster communication within the city and neighboring communities and better equip our city to successfully respond to an actual event.

On June 5th, 2014 Gallery 135 & Open Architecture Portland (previously known at Architecture for Humanity PDX) joined together for an evening of Art, Design and Community Discussion as we work together to envision a more resilient Portland. The Art Show and Silent Auction coincided with the Pearl District’s First Thursday Events to present a collection of local artists’ responses to the idea of a Resilient Portland: “Can disasters serve as harbingers for positive change? What does a resilient city look look? Imagine a Portland without…”

— OACpdx

  • 10

    Made Resilient Volunteers

  • 20+

    Agencies partnered with OACpdx's Made Resilient Studio

  • 3

    Made Resilient Community Events

Photo by OACpdx

Open Architecture PDX has been working with Our United Villages on the redesign of their Commons Space at the ReBuilding Center in Portland’s Mississipi neighborhood. The team designed and constructed a protoype kiosk to display multimedia content to help OUV better communicate the mission behind the ReBuilding Center. The Community feedback event in July 2015 was a great success and the remaining kiosks are currently under construction. The project also included analysis and graphic design to improve wayfinding as well as design of work stations, a video booth and a kids kiosk which will form phase two.

Inspiring people to value and discover existing resources to strengthen the social and environmental vitality of communities.

— OUV Mission Statement

  • 7

    Active Volunteers on Project

  • 10+

    Build Days

  • 850.5

    Volunteer Hours Spent on Project

Photo by OAC PDX

Why wouldn't you take advantage of the opportunity to take over a parking space to create a temporary park?! Open Architecture PDX did just that last summer as part of the national Park(ing) Day 2016. Passers by enjoyed foosball, snacks and art installations created in-situ from materials donated by the ReBuilding Center. It was a beautiful fun day and a great opportunity to interact with a community we worked with as part of the Envision Division project. A big thank you goes to Peter Meijer Architects and Waterleaf Architecture, both of whome donated their employees' time to allow this day to happen.

I loved that there was something for all ages and that instead of bringing finished artworks to install, there were materials to create with throughout the day. My two year old loved the makeshift Foosball!

— Caroline Hather (Parking Day Attendee)

  • 3

    Parking spaces taken over

  • 16

    Cupboard doors repurposed

  • 2

    Firms donating employee time

Photo by Julia Drachman

Loop PDX Competition Entry Has Been Submitted! For the month of February 2016, seven dedicated volunteers spent their weekends creating a proposal for the John Yeon Center's Loop PDX Competition. The competition called for a clear, beautiful, safe, and provocative plan for a 6-mile bike and pedestrian loop through Portland. The finalists will present during Design Week 2016 and we'll post our own proposal as soon as those finalists have been announced.

Goals of Competition: • Amplify neighborhood character • Create recreation opportunities • Connect the inner and outer city • Invite conversations between strangers • Create memories • Experiment • Play • Make new public places fast • Re-envision the city

— Loop-PDX

  • 7

    OAC volunteers participated in the competition

  • 20,000

    To be awarded to winning proposal

  • April 18

    Winners announced

Photo by Portland Monthly Magazine

In November 2014, OAC Portland partnered with nonprofit "Growing Gardens" to design an outdoor classroom for the newly-created community garden at Stephens Creek Crossing, an affordable housing complex. Our project team worked closely with residents to develop a design that fit the community’s vision: a space to gather, engage with neighbors, and learn gardening skills. In November 2015, Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. (OTI) came onboard to provide pro bono construction services as a part of their pre-apprenticeship program for women. The class got a start on the structure, and in January 2016 a second class arrived to finish the job. The Stephens Creek Crossing Outdoor Classroom is expected to be fully functional by summer 2016.

AFHpdx/OACpdx was helpful at every turn; I felt comfortable approaching them with any question, and they were always available. They really cared about the community and the community's input, and they were willing to jump through hoops to address all of the community's concerns.

— Laicy Wester (Stephens Creek Crossing Garden Coorinator)

  • 6

    Active volunteers worked on the project

  • 5+

    Design Meetings

  • 8

    Build Days

  • Find out more about our partner Oregon Tradeswomen

    Click Here

  • Check out Oregon Tradeswomen awesome pre-apprenticeship program

    Click Here

  • Find out more about Growing Gardens here

    Click Here

Photo by OACpdx