Bruton Design Intensive 2024 Workshop

Bruton Design Intensive 2024 Workshop


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The threshold is not only part of a building - it is a space the body crosses to enter or leave that filters the private from the public, which defines the admitted from the denied. It allows a transition between spatial spheres as well as social, economic, and cultural including biographic dimensions. It can be clear, visible, and physically tangible, as well as blur, emotional, and atmospheric.

Photograph of a child entering a dwelling in Ecuador. Location is marked as the Cultural Center. Courtesy of ArchDaily and Photographer Santiago Oviedo.
Photographer Santiago Oviedo.

Workshop Details

The 2024 Bruton Design Intensive will focus on working with a local non-profit organization and its community members. Students will engage in meaningful conversations and translate the community's needs into design solutions. A threshold as tangible space will be designed and built, with both functional implications and aesthetic-spatial qualities in mind.

Under the broader 'Threshold' theme, the project will focus on three primary areas:

A) Teamwork and community cooperation     
B) Conceptual approach meets participatory design     
C) Crossing the threshold between talking - thinking - designing - and doing    

Design and main production will be on campus. Students will visit the organization location twice to conduct a site survey and community engagement activities. The installation will be developed on Campus to enhance conversations within the academic community. Community members will be invited to challenge our reflections and creations. The structure will then be disassembled and reassembled at our partner's location for its long-term use.



2024 Partners

Photograph of Ursula.

Ursula Hartig


Ursula Hartig is a German registered architect with more than 24 years of experience in academic DesignBuild. In 2005 she funded CoCoon-Studio as a sector for contextual design and construction in an intercultural and interdisciplinary context. CoCoon-Studio creates awareness of the social and cultural implication of doing architecture and promotes sustainability and social engagement in the production of living environments. CoCoon is dedicated to the DesignBuild-methodology, fostering academia to dedicate knowledge as service for the community.

Ursula teaches academic DesignBuild studios at Technical University Berlin, Munich University of Applied Sciences and Portland State University. She is the co-director of the international designbuildXchange network and the Design for the Common Good Network - two platforms aimed at connecting, promoting, and sharing knowledge across socially impactful and designbuild projects worldwide. Her international designbuild projects won various prizes including the D.A.M. prize, Biennale de Arquitectura Quito, and Fritz Höger Prize, amongst others.

Marta Petteni

Marta Petteni, AIA International Associate

Founder & Principal,
Studio Petteni

Marta is an Italian licensed Architect and the Co-Founder of Studio Petteni - a Portland-based practice that merges research, engagement, and design to help address the social-environmental needs of the most vulnerable communities in Oregon and worldwide. Marta's decade-long experience lies at the intersection of design justice, post-disaster scenarios, climate change, and community resilience, and is in the advancement of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Marta is also the Co-Director & Project Manager of the AfroFuturism Oasis project, an innovative proposal aimed at converting retiring MAX Trains into safe and healing spaces for Portland’s Black and Brown communities. She has been awarded the 2024 Van Evera Bailey Fellowship from the Architecture Foundation of Oregon to expand this work.

Since 2015, Marta has worked on a variety of research and design-build projects in Italy, Spain, Ecuador, Fiji, and the United States, covering various roles – as a team member of for-profit and nonprofit organizations, as an independent consultant, and as an adjunct professor at Portland State University.