Last night was the big opening party for ShowPDX 2008. Put on by FIX studios and sponsored by Design Within Reach this now biannual furniture design contest is a great show every time.
This year the venue moved from the DWR store in the Pearl to the newly LEED remodeled architecture building at PSU. The PSU arch students I talked to were all very happy to be in their new space. There were 50 pieces this year, more than ever before. The venue had a central elevated space and overflow pieces filled the surrounding hallways. A less than ideal setup. By 6:30 there were so many people crammed into the space that you couldnt see anything. At least 500 people.
My piece was tucked in strange spot. I was a little disappointed because I had originally designed it to go in the center of a room. It is a sculpture intended to be viewed from 360 degrees. When I arrived the glass top had been put on backwards, pretty much ruining any chance it had in the competition as well. Nonetheless, i put those setbacks behind me and enjoyed the show. I dont think in terms of woulda, coulda, shouldas. Hopefully it will find a happier final resting place.
There were some great pieces and some mediocre. Immediately what caught my eye was a table/bench set by David Seoane. There was a brilliant pattern routed into the tabletop and filled with yellow epoxy. I saw on his site last night how he did it and am very impressed with his skill as well as his eye for design. Great job David! Im planning on contacting him to collaborate someday.
These shows are really great for networking and meeting fellow furniture designers. Im starting to recognize people from previous shows: Terry Bostwick was there as well as the guys from Reform furniture. David Bertman, who had my favorite piece at the previous show was there. He and I graduated from the same high school, Catlin Gabel. We met a more recent graduate of Catlin, Joseph Wessinger who submitted a very innovative folding chair. Our woodshop teacher, Tom Tucker came by and must have felt very proud to have three students from three different generations in this show. He is clearly doing a very good job!
I had the pleasure of meeting some fellow designers for the first time. David Laubenthal had a set of stools and a lamp made from pallet scraps. Scott Bord had two steel/plywood stools in the show. I also met Chad Wykhuis who does salvage remodeling.
Many of my family and friends came to show their support from all areas of my life. These shows are great in that all the unrelated social networks I have come together at once. Its a jolt of energy for my creative spirit. Thank you everyone for coming and showing your continued support. Also, much thanks to Jen Jako and Chris Bleiler of FIX studios for their efforts in putting on the show. I cant wait for 2010….