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annual Upstream Music Fest + Summit—a series of concerts and talks that will overtake Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood from May 11 to 13—design took a leading role. Vulcan Inc., Allen’s investment and philanthropy juggernaut, selected SkB Architects to help design a spatial plan and facilities that are uniquely responsive to the site: approximately 20 urban blocks around Occidental Park. In addition to the main stage, just north of the stadium, and the smaller free stage in Occidental Park, more than 24 local businesses will host live performances. SkB designed metal rectangular structures for the Summit breakout sessions, to be held in WaMu Theater (speakers will include hip-hop artist Macklemore and record producer Quincy Jones) and will transform a stadium parking lot into a beer garden and food truck stop. As a subtle nod to Pioneer Square’s gritty aesthetic and its history as one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, the designers will utilize metal trussing and plywood as construction materials throughout the project. “A lot of artists at Upstream are new and local,” says SkB principal Steve Olson. “We avoided a super-sleek aesthetic because we wanted to capture the rugged feeling of both the neighborhood and the quintessential emerging artist. We wanted it to feel real.” h

GARAGISTES

GREAT DESIGN CAN BE FOUND IN THE MOST UNLIKELY OF PLACES— even in an unassuming garage in a residential neighborhood. After moving to Northeast Portland in 2014, after years of living in New York and L.A., Thomas Renaud and Noel Hennessy decided to pursue their individual loves of ceramics and textiles by turning their basement into a studio. There Renaud creates earthenware “with a ’70s vibe,” and Hennessy handdyes and screen-prints fabric goods such as napkins, dog beds, and pillows. As their inventory grew, they moved their finished products into their garage. What had begun as storage space eventually turned into an informal monthly sales event—which garnered a more enthusiastic response than the duo anticipated. “People were generally surprised by discovering this tiny garage,” explains Renaud. “From there, Little Garage Shop was born.” Since they first rolled up their garage door to the public in December 2015, their enterprise has gotten a bit more formal, with monthly studio sales held every third Saturday through the summer and thoughts of opening actual city retail space and bringing in additional makers. But for the moment, they’re happy in their live/work/ shop space, and the clients who visit them (see updates on Instagram at @little garage_shop) are delighted to discover the most glamorous garage in town. h

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SKB ARCHITECTS

MOST FESTIVALS RELY SOLELY ON EVENT PLANNERS AND PRODUCTION COMPANIES TO SORT OUT LOGISTICS. But when Paul Allen conceived the first

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GRAY No. 33  

Pacific Northwest Design: The Hunt

GRAY No. 33  

Pacific Northwest Design: The Hunt

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