ShowPDX is one of the long-running events that makes Design Week Portland worth leaving the house for. Now in its ninth year, the show is a small juried furniture exhibition with a specific focus on brand new work from the Northwest. The votes have been cast, and if you're in town you have until the 14th to visit them in person at the Fisk Building.
As is becoming PDX-standard, this year's submissions showed a heavy slant towards woodworking (they still call us Stumptown for a reason) and lightly updated Midcentury lines. There were some standout pieces, with and without vintage wood appeal. Here are our favorites.
Phloem Studio has retro wood in the blood, but I love the thick rope update to the traditional woven seat on the Harbor Chair. Really elegant frame doesn't hurt. Inspired by childhood boating adventures, it's scratching my macro textile itch without going absurdly nautical.
The Kindred Tables are a set of three indoor-outdoor mini tables, collaboratively designed by Ashley Tackett of SERA Architects and Gavin Younie of Outdoor Scenery. Their separate backgrounds in interior design and landscape architecture combined well with these airy looking but super solid pieces that would work as well in a garden as in a living room. Steel bases with marble off-cut tops make for durability, but the side-centered leg placement keeps them from feeling too clunky and suggests a jewelry-like stone setting.
I'm obviously still a sucker for snap-together plywood designs, because the Radius Dining Table and Chairs by Holah Design and Architecture, feel neat enough to blog about. Noteworthy points: felt sturdy without being wildly heavy or multiply reinforced, table leg design wouldn't create knee-woes, profiles and cutouts give a slight Scandinavian vibe without going overboard.
Though it already got some play at ICFF, Jordan Miller's Silvia Chair made me stop and smile all over again. A University of Oregon class project gone very right, the chair uses plymetal and countertop laminate with a hand applied Sugru edge for a more pleasant tactile finish. It is inspired by the curling of dry leaves, and I want one.
ShowPDX is on view at 380 NW 13th and Flanders this Saturday and next Monday and Tuesday, from 12–2pm daily.