WeMake's Design in Action, Feels $6752.29 Good

1 Idea

7 People planning

8 Sponsors

100 Birdhouse Kits

95+ Makers

96 Birdhouses

15 Agencies/studios

38 Volunteers

1 Event space

2 Events 

1 Larger than Life sketchXchange guest

130 sketchXchange participants

Over 600 attendees throughout the night

1 top twitter trend #putabirdinit

$6752.29 Raised for arts and music education

It’s not too often you get a chance to see everyone you know from the design community in one space, at one time, but if you attended WeMake’s sketchXchange and Put A Bird In It auction, chances are you did. This event was brought together by a handful of folks passionate about process and the spirit of community. We were set on making an impact not by ourselves or for ourselves, but collectively with all the folks we consider to be a part of our design community. Put A Bird In It, was an opportunity to make a difference at the lowest level, to support future artist, designers, and musicians. It was an opportunity to engage an open dialogue about design through one simple medium. So to hell with Put A Bird On It, Portland people are way more capable of just putting birds on things and calling it art. WeMake art, WeMake connections, WeMake believe, and we did.

At every turn, you couldn’t help to smile at someone, or see people smiling. Everyone was happy, and why wouldn’t they be? We were there to celebrate our design community! The event space at Union Pine was used to its fullest and the creative energy was magnetic. I can not tell you how many people stopped to tell me how awesome everything was, how inspired they were, and how happy they were to be a part of the night’s festivities. I mean 96 beautifully designed birdhouses in one space was a pretty awesome sight, but it was more than that. We were celebrating design, being Portlanders, and embracing the notion of Design in Action.

It’s not just the money we raised that made this night special. It was giving a young designer a chance to buy a piece of art from someone who they admired, on a budget they could afford, for a cause they supported. Everything about the night from Draplin’s sketchXchange, all of the rad houses, each with their unique story, and even placing in the top trends on Twitter in Portland that evening was inspiring. We were reaching out to people and saying, “Hey you should see this!”, admire it, be a part of it, and share it. It was a good thing on so many levels.

I personally want to thank my team, the artists, makers, architects, industrial designers, graphic designers, agencies, and small design studios who took the time in their busy schedules to create something inspiring and to show their support for arts and music education. I also want to thank Vitamin T for all of their support with this event. They’re contribution allowed us to create the birdhouse kits and help to throw an awesome party. Of course we couldn’t have done it without the support of Union Pine who offered up their time, space and patience. Union Pine was the perfect venue to celebrate! 

Lastly, thank you to everyone who went to any Design Week Portland event. It was an amazing week filled with awe’s, ooh’s, and feel good inspiration. WeMake was happy and honored to collaborate with DWP and to serve as a member of the planning committee. We look forward to next year and to how we can get the community involved in another Design in Action project. Will there be birds? Who know’s, but there will be something that involves giving back to the community on a level that is grass roots. On a level that allows for so many different types of designers to contribute to. After Put A Bird In It, we have some big shoes to fill. 

Be sure to check out more photos here, here, here and here! ha ha! And special thanks to DJ Coast2c for the great music she spun all night!