How ‘diversion architecture’ will make outdoor concert festivals more sustainable

May 20, 2016 by  
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Everyone looks forward to outdoor music festivals, but most large scale gatherings contribute a staggering amount of waste. That’s why every year Happy Valley, Oregon hosts The Pickathon Music Festival, one of the world’s most sustainable concert events. Pickathon has taken the waste-free concept very seriously ; building stages from recycled or recyclable materials, eliminating bottled water and plastic utensils, and providing an EcoShuttle service to and from the grounds. Partnering with The Diversion Design/Build Studio at Portland State University’s School of Architecture , Pickathon’s student-led experiment explores a new wave of sustainable design: Diversion Architecture. The concept shows that collective gatherings need not require an enormous carbon footprint ; it just requires thoughtful design. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Al_646xss&feature=youtu.be Grandparents perform Grandparents “Kids In The Alley” on the Pickathon Tree-Line Stage at Pendarvis Farm. For the past 4 years, Portland State University’s Diversion Design and Build Studio student-led design experiment has partnered with Pickathon, focusing on two core strategies: the diversion of non-typical, re-used materials, and the diversion of non-typical experiences like those embodied in festival gatherings. RELATED: Portland architecture students build incredible outdoor stage from 520 recycled pallets The Pickathon story involves a constant re-thinking about the way we use materials and how we might minimize consumption. A telling example of this design process was the move to eliminate bottled water from the weekend festival (likely the highest grossing line-item at a typical summer music festival). In order to eliminate bottled water, Pickathon decided to truck-in drinking water and offer it free of charge to anyone bringing their own cup. Further, in order to eliminate the use of plastic cups, Pickathon designed a special stainless steel pint mug that could be used for water but which would also be the sole vessel allowed for beer purchases; give them your cup, they’ll fill it with beer. This simple design change immediately eliminated both plastic water bottles and plastic cups from the festival, and created a remarkable fully-embraced culture around the thoughtful re-use of everyday items. The stainless steel cups are re-used year after year. Silverware, tableware, and indeed architecture soon followed suit. Image © Dylan Vanweelden It is important to note that the goals of Pickathon should not be primarily understood as the desire to design a sustainable music festival, but as the desire to design a relevant, responsible and thrilling community experience of contemporary music. The founders of Pickathon , now in its 16th year, continue to insist upon a creative agenda in all aspects of the event. As they state: Since day one, the idea behind Pickathon has always been pretty simple: what does it take to be the best weekend festival of the year for music lovers? …Innovation has always been at the center of this process and through the years many important elements have come together; collaborating widely on yearly, diverse lineups that are built on the idea of great music being the sole criteria; refining six unique performance venues designed to create juxtaposing alternate realities; ….maintaining a low crowd density; becoming the only large music festival to eliminate plastic and minimize single use items; recruiting the finest food and drink purveyors in the land; focusing constantly on eliminating “normal” festival hassles; enabling families to thrive. This attitude mirrors that of Portland State University with regards to sustainable architecture; sustainable design must be poetically engaged in the material human world or risk being irrelevant to the human dilemma on this planet. Image © Tim LaBarge With these innovations to the typical music festival already churning away, Pickathon approached the PSU School of Architecture with the challenge to design and implement a 1,000-person performance area as an addition to the existing festival infrastructure. This new performance space, named the Tree-Line Stage , had four primary design criteria: • To continue Pickathon’s philosophy of high-experiential impact coupled with low-environmental impact. • The site was to be returned to its found condition, an idyllic meadow leaning gently towards the horizon of the Cascades. • Costs to be kept to an absolute minimum. • The performance area needed to be a completely new design, every year, in order to keep the concepts of low-impact design at the front of the community’s mind. The Diversion Design/Build Studio is currently designing a new Tree-Line Stage for the 2016 Pickathon Festival and will soon be sharing the design process with you. Inhabitat readers will have a special opportunity to vote for the initiating re-used material, design intentions, and experiential effects – stay tuned for this exciting series. + The Diversion Design/Build Studio at Portland State University Travis Bell is Assistant Professor in Ecological Design at Portland State University’s School of Architecture teaching lecture courses, design studios, and design/build courses. Travis’ primary interest lies in making architecture that is in closer alignment with the natural patterns of our environment. This primary interest grounds a research, teaching and design agenda focused on appropriate material choice, the prioritization of authentic craftsmanship, passive systems design, adapted historical technologies, explorations in Critical Regionalism and temporary architectural solutions.

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How ‘diversion architecture’ will make outdoor concert festivals more sustainable

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Cloud Nothings perform at the Pickathon Music Festival

January 5, 2016 by  
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We’re ringing in the New Year strong with an electrifying new video from our partners over at Pickathon, the world’s most sustainable large-scale outdoor concert . In 2015, the Mountain Stage brought us talent ranging from jazz legend Kamasi Washington to the folky vibrations of indie band Vetiver , and the rowdy yet intelligent sounds of Red Dirt group Turnpike Troubadours . To mix things up, we’re launching our first episode this year to the tune of a scuzzier lo fi sound that simply has critics going gaga. Catch a video of Cloud Nothings performing after the jump! Read the rest of EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Cloud Nothings perform at the Pickathon Music Festival

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Cloud Nothings perform at the Pickathon Music Festival

Meet aquafaba: the humble bean juice taking the baking world by storm

January 5, 2016 by  
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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Turnpike Troubadours perform at the Pickathon Music Festival

December 1, 2015 by  
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Since the summer we’ve been featuring exclusive video footage from our partners over at Pickathon, the world’s most sustainable large-scale outdoor concert . The talent so far, from indie folk band Vetiver to jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington , has been nothing short of outstanding. Today’s feature, from the festival’s Mountain Scene, is no exception. Not your average Red Dirt group, the Turnpike Troubadours began by playing humble gigs in their home state of Oklahoma before taking the scene by storm and selling out shows in cities as unexpected as Los Angeles. Take a look at the video after the jump! Read the rest of EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Turnpike Troubadours perform at the Pickathon Music Festival

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Researchers sprout ancient seeds that have been dormant for 850 years

December 1, 2015 by  
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After sitting in a clay pot for 850 years, ancient squash seeds are bearing fruit. In 2008, archaeologists uncovered a seed ball , sculpted clay used to store seeds, at a dig site on the Menominee reservation near Green Bay, Wisconsin. Within this seed ball, seeds from a previously unknown variety of squash were found. Squash-growing pioneers successfully germinated these ancient seeds and produced the first Gete-okosomin squash crop in centuries. The seeds of this squash are now being distributed to indigenous communities throughout North America. Read the rest of Researchers sprout ancient seeds that have been dormant for 850 years

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Researchers sprout ancient seeds that have been dormant for 850 years

Exclusive video: Vetiver performs at the Pickathon Music Festival

November 3, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. This fall we’ve partnered up with Pickathon, the world’s most sustainable large-scale outdoor concert , to bring you exclusive videos from this past summer’s headliners. It’s not easy to describe Vetiver’s music. There’s a definite folklike quality to it but there’s something a little freakier in the mix too. For the most part they feel like a really good jam session- good times and good vibes- and it’s precisely this that makes it so the band’s San Francisco’s roots come as no surprise. “I’m still figuring the album out. It feels like someone I’ve just met yet known for a long time,” says songwriter and frontman Andy Cabic about their 2015 album Complete Strangers. He pretty much sums up what we love about it! Read the rest of Exclusive video: Vetiver performs at the Pickathon Music Festival

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Exclusive video: Vetiver performs at the Pickathon Music Festival

Exclusive video: Kamasi Washington performs at the Pickathon Music Festival

October 30, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Hailed by LA Weekly as the Inglewood saxophonist who “might have made the best jazz record of the year”, Kamasi Washington is not your average force to be reckoned with. He first picked up a saxophone at the age of thirteen and since then has gone on to play alongside the likes of Gerald Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, George Duke, Lauryn Hill, Jeffrey Osborne, Mos Def, Quincy Jones, Stanley Clark, Harvey Mason and Chaka Khan. Washington is one of several artists to perform at Pickathon, the world’s most sustainable large-scale outdoor concert . Read the rest of Exclusive video: Kamasi Washington performs at the Pickathon Music Festival

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Exclusive video: The Barr Brothers perform at the Pickathon Music Festival

July 31, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. Somewhere between a dusty Americana and West African groove lies the soulful grit and instrumentally diverse folk-rock sound evoked from The Barr Brothers. The Montreal-based quartet features mesmerizing slide guitar, evocative vocals, and intense drumming, interwoven with soft, subtle harp drifts. Their rich, avant-garde sound is at its finest amongst the trees or atop a mountain — they’ve been known to play upon the rim of the Grand Canyon, welcoming tourists to film them. This year, they are sharing their unique sound at the 2015 Pickathon Music Festival , happening this weekend in Happy Valley, Oregon. Pickathon is the world’s most sustainable large-scale outdoor concert , and we can’t get enough of the sound. We’ll be releasing a series of exclusive live music videos with Pickathon throughout the fall, so be sure to stay tuned for more new tracks coming from the wilderness of Happy Valley. + Pickathon Music Festival

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Exclusive video: The Barr Brothers perform at the Pickathon Music Festival

Patrick Nadeau’s Green-Roofed Wave Home Changes Appearance with the Seasons in France

July 31, 2015 by  
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Get a sneak peek of Pickathon, the world’s most sustainable music festival, opening this weekend!

July 31, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. The Barr Brothers perform from the Pickathon Mountain Stage Outdoor concerts and music festivals are notorious for producing insane amounts of waste. From single use cups and beer cans, to the stages themselves, the egregious amounts of litter that is left behind at the end of a show is appalling. Luckily, there’s one indie music festival that is taking great strides to change the concert landscape, and they have great bands too! As the only environmentally-friendly large-scale outdoor music concert, Portland’s Pickathon Music Festival combines great indie bands with eco-designs in Happy Valley, Oregon, including a reusable stage made from 520 upcycled shipping pallets , solar powered lighting, recycling and composting. But if you can’t make it up to Oregon this weekend when it kicks off, don’t fret — starting today Inhabitat will be introducing you to a whole lineup of emerging musicians at Pickathon with an exclusive live broadcast right here. Check out the video above for a sneak peek! Read the rest of Get a sneak peek of Pickathon, the world’s most sustainable music festival, opening this weekend!

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