No. 2

Crossing the Columbia: What Does It Mean?


A video by PDXplore takes a look on the impact of the proposed Columbia River Crossing project.

In March 2010, PNCA was proud to host a month-long series of events organized by designers from the independent design collective PDXplore and the Architecture Foundation of Oregon, Untitled is now hosting a series of videos that capture the provocative discussions on the advancing awareness of design and its important role in the urban planning process.

The exhibition and forum Crossing the Columbia: What Does It Mean? focused on helping the public better understand the magnitude of the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) , the planned construction of a new bridge across the Columbia River linking Oregon and Washington. With more than 500 attendees, discussion focused on the impact of the project on the region, inspiring broad discussion about the CRC’s potential to achieve design excellence.


Collectively, AFO and PDXplore hope to stimulate a deeper understanding of the role of design thinking and its opportunities to influence the planning process through an in-depth examination of this pivotal urban design and transportation project.

The group states, “The CRC project will impact the Portland-Vancouver region for decades and demands a clear vision of its far-reaching economic, ecological, cultural and social significance. With the increasingly timely goal of broadening the discussion about the CRC’s potential to achieve design excellence, we encourage individuals to make their voices heard.

This recent series of events were building on the momentum of the 2009 PDXplore events at PNCA where the five PDXplore designers lead a panel with elected officials and city planners to address the challenges facing Portland and their vision for the future.

Video: Crossing the Columbia

The following videos address some of the key questions and points posed during the forum’s highlight, Fresh Design Perspectives. The event featured provocative discussion about the CRC project among a distinguished panel of international design experts and scholars: Boston Globe architecture critic, Robert Campbell; artist, Ed Carpenter; outgoing Director of Design for the National Endowment for the Arts and University of Virginia architecture professor, Maurice Cox; Toronto architect and urban design consultant, Ken Greenberg; and author of The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River, Stanford University Professor and MacArthur Fellow, Richard White.

Crossing the Columbia: What Does It Mean? from PDXplore on Vimeo.

The video may also be watched in these shorter segments posted on YouTube:

Part 1: Will the Northwest continue its leadership in to the 21st century?

Part 2: What happened to the river?

Part 3: What will be our return on investment?

by Becca Biggs

— Posted on 06/01 at 01:09 PM

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