Collaborative PDX

We’re on a mini-vacation in Portland, OR. Each time we visit this city a new idea pops in my mind or a movement makes itself more clear. This time the concept – and reality – of collaboration was crystal clear.

For example we walked to dinner from our eastside hotel last night. Yelp helped us find a place called Gonzos; known for great Israeli sandwiches. We walked their from our hotel to find a corner lot occupied by three food businesses. One was a brew pub, the other a pizza food cart, then Gonzos in another food cart. The majority of the lot was dedicated to an outdoor patio with tables and benches with mini-firepits.

Shared lot in PDX

Each business has something to gain from the collaboration: the food carts get a patio for their customers to eat in; the brew pub gets two food options for their drinking customers [they don’t serve food themselves], later in the non-summer months they can host customers inside for the food carts.

Another example was ADX; a maker shop near our hotel. The building was open to anyone who wanted to make stuff from fabric to metal. For a small membership fee you can join ADX and use the space and equipment; bring in your own material or use free scrap material left by other members.

ADX Portland

What I especially liked about ADX is how they blended the skill and experience levels of their members. There’s this elder fella – Charlie – who’s a master wood craftsman. He does his own thing but he also teaches the less experienced folks who come into the shop. Another example is a group that’s using a back corner to build wood boats. They’re teaching middle school students how to design and build boats. Finally they also collaborate with a city program to assemble electric bikes in the shop.
ADX Portland: assembling electric bikes
Everyone learns and builds together.

Apparently ADX has a sister shop in Seattle. Deborah did some searching and found these links for Seattle maker shops, community:

Get busy, collaborate and make something.


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