Blog

PlyPAD: An affordable, replicable tool in the fight against homelessness

In previous blogs, we shared the PAD (Portable Adaptive Dwelling) we created to help address homelessness in an urban environment. Our designed-and-built sleeping pod was part of the larger POD Initiative, which asked local teams to iterate a second design using plywood as an affordable building material, and CNC technology as a means of replicable construction. […]

RSVP for our #DWPDX Discussion on Resilience

The term ‘resilience’ is increasingly being used in architecture and urban planning to describe the durability, adaptability and flexibility of our built environment. With the increasing threat of volatile weather due to climate change, the high probability of a large-magnitude earthquake striking the region, and the slower moving but equally transformative effects of economic changes […]

Project Spotlight: AC Hotel Portland Downtown

Last month, guests were served the first round of tapas and signature cocktails at AC Hotels’ newest property, in downtown Portland, Oregon. Originating in Spain, the brand by Marriott is aimed at travelers seeking a modern, European twist to their trips – even if their travels are stateside. Blending laid-back comfort with visual excitement, the AC Hotel Portland […]

Design Study: The Adaptable Home

In September of 2016, The Center for Public Interest Design reached out to their network of designers and activists to participate in the POD Initiative, to design and build a modestly sized home for someone without one. We previously wrote about that here. Since then, the POD Initiative and the City have been in talks […]

SERA joins effort to address homelessness with design of ‘PAD’

UPDATE: See photos of the completed project on our Facebook page. Fourteen locally-designed and built “sleeping pods” intended to address homelessness — including one by SERA staff — will be on exhibit in early December. SERA’s PAD, or Portable Adaptive Dwelling, is one of 14 submissions for the Partners on Dwelling (POD) Initiative, intended to ensure […]

How a design comes to be a building

Despite what Howard Roark and Ted Mosby imply, most buildings are not the product of a sole architect’s vision at the drawing board. Rather, a design is created by the architectural team and engineers, who hand over the permitted documents to the contractor to build. This is how it’s planned, but what really goes on? […]

2016 AIA COTE Top Ten Plus winner

Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt receives AIA National’s highest sustainability honor

This Earth Day, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognizes the Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt Federal Building with this year’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Plus Award for reaching impressive resource efficiency following its 2009-2013 sustainable modernization. Extensive aftercare studies show that the building at 1220 SW 3rd Ave. boasts 55% energy […]

Design discussions: Creating active public spaces

At SERA, a group of staff passionate about design created Design Interest Group Integrated Thursdays (DIG IT for the acronym-lovers in us) to strengthen our dialogue about how design fits into our practice. At each event, staff is presented with a topic, given background, and asked to create a well-designed experience that addresses the topic’s […]

peak of roof against blue sky

Small home, big lessons: What I learned from my ADU

If you’re like me and don’t know the difference between a fun hobby and just more hard work, then you might be interested in building yourself what is called an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). An ADU is essentially a small home in your backyard that is just small enough to seem like a project any […]

(Dis)Connect

In order to maintain healthy connections in a complex and evolving world, we sometimes have to seek places with characteristics that resemble those of our ancestors from millennia ago. At SERA, we’re currently exploring what those conditions are, and how to integrate the natural and built environments to the benefit of human health and well-being.