Blog

A Story of Regeneration

SERA’s own Kyle Emery recently presented at the AIA Oregon Design Conference. In a refreshing departure from architectural rhetoric, Kyle shared a personal experience about finding value where you least expect it. Worthy of noting is that his story was presented “The Moth” style, i.e. without any devices or reading. Check out Kyle’s complete story […]

Celebrating Our Sustainable Action by Enhancing Livability

As the thermometer jumps around between the 50 and 90 degree range, the sky fluctuates between skin frying warmth and dress drenching deluges, our minds begin to transcend our daily experiences and think forward to the summer, planning out all of the expeditions we’ll undertake.  It’s at this time of year that SERA puts together […]

The 1% Solution: Revamping the Multnomah Arts Center Gallery

By Gauri Rajbaidya Back in 2010, I performed a musical piece to open the discussion on Arts and Culture in Portland as part of the City’s Portland Plan process. This is where I first met Michael Walsh, the Executive Director of Multnomah Arts Center Association. That particular event was at the Gerding Theater, an old […]

SERA Portland Postcard Project

SERA’s Portland Postcard Project is an experiment in storytelling and placemaking, inspired by the Neighborhood Postcard Project. These postcards will help us understand what makes Portland, Portland. Fill a blank postcard with a drawing, photograph or simply your story. Be sure to check back here frequently, we will be posting a collection of our favorites. […]

Love in Sustainable Design

I’ve been passionate about good design and inspiring places most of my life.  Over those years and the centuries before, styles and fads have come and gone, ideas about what good design is, and ways of building things have all shifted significantly.  Without delving too deeply into the reasons, it seems fairly safe to say […]

The Dollars and Sense of Green Design: A Hospitality Study

At SERA, our work in the hospitality industry focuses on blending design, guest comfort, operational efficiency, and sustainable initiatives. About two years ago, I was talking to someone from a major hotel brand, who thought that green Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E) added an extra 10% to the costs of a hotel refresh project. My […]

The Challenge of the Creative Class – A Follow Up

In 2011, we wrote about Portland’s Creative Class slump, noting that, despite being generally regarded as one of the country’s preeminent “creative class” cities, Portland has failed to translate its reputation for livability into real economic gains. Given the city’s persistent struggles with unemployment, underemployment, and low wages (despite attracting artists, designers, intellectuals, hipsters, and […]

Celebrate Lafayette: Young SERA Designers Win Competition

Occasionally, a group of emerging designers here at SERA will pool their talents and take on an independent design challenge. Such was the case when Krystan Menne, Kristin Slavin, and Jodi Hanson heard about the “[Imagine Downtown] Lafayette, LA” open-ideas competition a few months ago. Not only did this interdisciplinary team of designers dive into this […]