Put A Bird In It—Featured Maker, fix studio

The neighborhood birds will be lining up around the block for their chance to hang out in our latest Put a Bird In It birdhouse. With a mixture of humor and whimsey, the designers at fix studio have created a miniaturized version of Portland’s iconic food cart.

fix studio is a collaborative design studio that is committed to crafting warm, thoughtful, well-executed designs in a variety of mediums. You can clearly see their expertise and attention to detail in their birdhouse. Let’s take a look at their process and learn a little more about what inspires the fix studio team. 

Tell us about the people who worked on this project.

We enjoyed the opportunity to create something fun that supports art in our public schools. Chris Bleiler, Bird Projects Director, at fix took the lead and played on Portland iconic themes and the rest of the team hunted for the right pieces once we landed on an idea. Jennifer Jako, Avian Interiors Expert, selected materials, and Noelle Bullock, Flock Font Designer, arranged text.

Arts in the schools are the reason we design today. Jennifer Jako says, “I remember my grade school art teacher letting me take time with my art projects and explore my creativity.” Having art class was vital to all of us; it was where we felt at home during the school day. We’ve created a design practice where most days are like art class.

What are your current design influences and inspiration?

Timelessness, aerodynamics and a sense of humor. We tell you anything else, and we’d have to serve you to our hatchlings.

What is it about Portland that attracts such a diverse community of makers and artists? What do you think is important about community and design?

Quality of life is good here. Most cities that experience growth provide room for creatives to develop a career path - Portland has provided a supportive environment that nurtures our creative assets. Community and design go hand in hand; they feed one another. If you can’t share design and the design process with others it is less rewarding. It is far more interesting to have people sharing their work which creates a healthy discourse. There’s a kind of collective consciousness we’ve observed, even in design. fix studio is passionate about the community of people who design, build and create in Portland. We put on a furniture show, www.ShowPDX.com, every other October to celebrate many of these people and their work.

Have you created 3D artwork before? What do find exciting or challenging about creating this birdhouse? 

This is the first time we’ve ever peeled our hands from the keyboard… still removing the slivers from all the woodwork! (laughter) Really, there isn’t a whole lot 3D we haven’t done. However, it was refreshing to work on something at this scale. We referenced a nursery rhyme ”Sing a Song of Sixpence.” It was nice to work on something with a short production time, realistic deadline, and a client that will love whatever we produce with no changes! And how often do we get to use only found materials, an empty Advil bottle, the Birdy kit and a trashed RC car?

Please give us a little detail about your process and approach to the project so far. What have you enjoyed about it?

We concepted ways we might approach making a birdhouse. We wanted to create something that referenced Portland-centric things, that was aesthetically pleasing while making people smile. Pie hole! Ideas bounced around the studio, including RVs, travel trailers, food carts, deconstructionist nests by assembling chopped plywood slivers, treating the bird as a client to make a birdhouse a bird would actually use, and we thought of making a glass birdhouse - which on second thought seemed cruel! Food cart stuck. We’re hoping to start a bidding war at the auction; who doesn’t want to own their very own avian food cart? When we posted a pic of the 4 and 20 bird house, we enjoyed that some of our FB fans thought we had made a human size food cart!

This little birdhouse is just one of the amazing pieces that will be auctioned off to help raise money to support music and art programs in Portland schools. Be sure to join us for the Put a Bird In It auction and party on Friday, October 12th!