In Portland, It’s A Material World

Ben Jacklet at Oregon Business is reporting on Portland Center for Innovation and Design, an emerging materials library for the design community.
Sohrab Vossoughi, CEO of Ziba Design, is spearheading the initiative.

Vossoughi says the plan is to set up a Portland branch for Material Connexion, a global design consultancy which runs a “library of innovative and sustainable materials” in New York City with an extensive collection of the many varieties of plastic, steel, wood and concrete, along with specific information about properties and performance. Companies such as Ziba and Nike subscribe to Material Connexion and visit frequently, but smaller firms and start-ups can’t afford to travel regularly to New York. Vossoughi believes that a branch in Portland would nurture local firms and entice new ones to move here.
“The idea is to create a place where creative people can go and get access to resources that are a source of inspiration and innovation,” says Vossoughi.

According to the Facebook page for the organization, “access to the library will position the Portland region as a globally competitive design center, while supporting innovation, talent and new and existing jobs in key industry clusters, including architecture, interior and landscape design, industrial design, footwear and apparel.”
Some of the Portland firms/institutions (aside from Ziba) that are “champions” of the project: Adidas North America; Columbia Sportswear; Keen Footwear; Second Story Interactive; Nau; Pacific Northwest College of Art; Portland State University; Skylab; The Felt Hat; University of Oregon; Vizwerks; Zimmer Gunsul Frasca.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.