Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

3/27/2015

Nothing is too small to inspire devotion

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

What can be more pedestrian as carpet, something you literally walk all over, every day. Designers may aspire to erect buildings or monuments, but the reality is that everything can aspire to something greater.

Just look at the case of the late, great Portland Airport carpet, which is currently being torn apart and replaced with a supposedly more modern counterpart.

The old PDX carpet via Jonathan Simmons
In a great history done by Adam Clarke Estes of Gizmodo, the carpet's origins are as humble as you can imagine. Its design was created by SRG Partnership in the 80s. The firm took inspiration from X-shaped runways that can be seen from the control tower. The city's boom in the 90s invited more feet on the carpet. Even when the bubble burst, the city became a cheaper option than Seattle or San Francisco, turning it to a mecca for visual artists and designers--all of whom began to see the carpet hallmark for home.

Portland's popularity finally made another airport upgrade necessary. Officials never knew locals prized the carpet as much as it did, but once the announcement was made public, an outpouring of sadness and nostalgia expressed through InstagramFacebook, and Twitter surfaced. PDX nails, tattoos, shoes, beer, and even poetry.

PDX merchandising via @ursiday
If something like a carpet can be so loved, why not something as customarily overlooked as the project you're working on now?

Though the PDX carpet will live on in other products and endless homages, I'm sure, its greatest lesson for me is that there are no inconsequential undertaking. One only needs a little love and time.

With that, it's the weekend! TGIF guys. Hope you find a little inspiration this weekend.


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