It is not always clear when we start a project, how our work will unfold. In designing the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility East Housing, DLR Group brought us on to study how environmental graphics could support their design for positive human development. We understood the importance of bringing inspiration to a traditionally institutional and harsh facility.
For over a year, we collaborated with mural artist Blaine Fontana and led the process with incarcerated youth and Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) staff to find shared values. We heard what the young men are learning and their hopes for others who find themselves there. They contributed poems, stories, images and sketches as we all navigated sensitive topics such as cultural inclusiveness, respect and safety. I was impressed by their thoughtfulness and ability to express their ideas. Working with the youth and the dedicated OYA staff was an eye-opening experience unlike typical design undertakings.
Opening day was particularly heartwarming. The youth gave tours of the new facility, exuding pride as they told the mural stories. We hope that telling the mural story will continue to be a part of each cottage community.
The grand opening for a modernized, state-of-the-art Franklin High School on Saturday September 2nd welcomed alumni, families, faculty, Portland Public Schools officials, along with the design and construction teams. It was clear that the school remains a landmark of its southeast neighborhood and offers fond memories to returning alumni from classes as far back as the 1930s.The campus and renovated building have been transformed by the hard work of many dedicated individuals in order to serve future generations. Along with Portland Public Schools and its faculty and students, we at Mayer/Reed share the overwhelming sentiments of pride and optimism for the learning, social and athletic opportunities now possible at Franklin High School. We are truly pleased to have served a significant role in the success of the project.
Summer is here and sunny days are in the forecast. As you head out to enjoy the weather, capture your experience of a favorite place that Mayer/Reed had a hand in shaping. We’re inspired by the moments of joy, beauty and reflection that have been submitted to our Beyond Opening Day call for entries.
The Friends of the Columbia Gorge have big plans in the works for Oregon and Washington’s famed recreation destination. A 200-mile trail system connecting small towns, farms, wineries and wild areas will open opportunities for multi-day adventures, create contiguous areas of protected lands and support Gorge economies by connecting trails to communities. With nearly 80% of the land for the “Towns to Trails” loop secured and 40% of the trails in place, the plan for this new adventuring idea is moving closer to reality.