These were the Beatniks of housing. They turned their backs to society – and streets and neighbors – to focus on individual backyard havens. Walls of glass invited the outdoors in. Ceilings soared. Massive wood beams were left exposed. During the late 1950s through the early 1970s Robert Rummer built almost 1,000 such houses in the Portland metro area. At the time, many people were skeptical of the modern look, preferring the traditional formality of Colonials or the cozy familiarity of Arts and Crafts.
Robert Oshtaz designs unique residential and commercial buildings. The floating home he designed for Randy Fennell and Kazuyo Tojo on the Willamette River seems to be part of the water. A house he designed for another client appears to echo the trees around it. We talked to him about his design process.
Chances are you've seen bags by Queen Bee Creations. Thousands of people across the country carry them. The shapes, colors and designs of the popular faux leather style vary but still remain instantly recognizable.
That's an amazing accomplishment for anyone in the accessories trade. Even more impressive? The products are eco-friendly, and designed, manufactured and marketed by a small independently-owned business in Portland, far from the fashion grid.
Sometimes, I'll admit, I think we Oregonians come across as a a little desperate for history. Remember the neon stag sign debate? People passionately argued for preservation of the words on the Made in Oregon sign because the advertisement was part of our heritage. Never mind that the sign had previously read "White Stag" for an Oregon clothing company. And before that, "White Satin" for a sugar refinery.
But I get it. Some extraordinary Oregon buildings have been mindlessly destroyed in the name of progress, and no one wants to see that happen again. It's heart breaking.
Lori Dennis is one of the top interior designers specializing in green and sustainable design for residential and commercial buildings. A year after graduating from UCLA's design program in 1998 she established her own company in Los Angeles working on residential and commercial interiors nationwide. Her work has been featured in several publications including Dwell, House Beautiful, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She also serves on the National Sustainable Council and is the author of Green Interior Design.