Portland State Magazine Fall 2022

FROM WOODEN SPOOLS TO PICKATHON STAGE AFTER A TWO-YEAR hiatus, music once again filled the air this August at the beloved Pickathon music festival in Happy Valley, Oregon. And as in years past, PSU architecture students got the chance to hone their skills and creativity by designing and building a temporary performance venue almost entirely from repurposed materials. The resulting Cherry Hill stage, one of eight venues at the festival, was constructed from more than 175 giant wooden cable reels borrowed from Portland General Electric work yards around the Portland metro area. A team of four graduate students from the School of Architecture artfully stacked the large spool-like shapes to form two towers rising 21 feet above the earth, with smaller structures popping up nearby. Bamboo cladding along the interior enclosures added a textile-like surface. “We were influenced by the idea of how both bamboo and mushrooms are connected underground through a complex root system, and how they seek voids in the surface to pop up vertically from the earth,” said graduate architecture student Daniel Athay. “We’ve been thinking of these structures as echoing the behavior of mushroom clusters, organically occupying the landscape.” The form was designed to encourage exploration, said Athay. “People are going to be able to walk under it, through it, and really engage with it, seeing it from a variety of angles.” This year’s project continues the school’s “diversion design-build” tradition of repurposing materials from other uses to create an innovative, sustainable, zero-waste performance environment at the Pickathon festival. After the festival, materials are returned to their original purpose or given new life elsewhere. Over the course of the three-day festival, the stage served as backdrop to 18 musical acts, including indie rockers Built to Spill and Wu-Tang founding member GZA. You can watch this year’s project come to life at youtu.be/bCQfbuY3paM. —KAREN O’DONNELL STEIN park blocks Architecture students transformed borrowed wooden cable reels and bamboo into a temporary music stage (top). The team included (l-r) Daniel Athay, Maddy Capizzi, Travis Bell, and Matt Wiste (not pictured: Aaron Mayers). INTERNATIONAL ACCOLADES PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S alumni magazine and the PSU Foundation were recognized with three Circle of Excellence Awards in an annual competition showcasing outstanding work in educational advancement from institutions around the world. Portland State Magazine won a gold award in the long-form news writing/features category for the 75th anniversary feature “Pieces of History.”The spring 2021 cover feature took a new look at the university’s past through the stories of 21 artifacts. The magazine also received a bronze award for alumni magazines printed twice a year. The PSU Foundation won its own bronze award in the publication design category for its 2022 Campaign Impact Report, a printed report celebrating the successful completion of the university’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, which raised $300 million for students, faculty, and programs. The peer-selected Circle of Excellence Awards are awarded by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and are the premier recognition program for educational advancement. In 2022, CASE received more than 4,500 entries from 636 institutions in nearly 30 countries. Of those, volunteer judges selected 626 exemplary entries for bronze, silver, gold, or Grand Gold recognition. TK PATRIC SIMON 8 // PORTLAND STATE MAGAZINE