Discover architectural details around Portland, all you have to do is look around!

Past Programs

afo has engaged and participated in many programs, exhibits, forums and partnerships over time…

Crossing the Columbia and Look Around are two former afo programs that still embrace our mission and values… Find out more about each project below.

In March 2010, the afo board of directors joined with PDXplore, an independent design collective, to develop an exhibit and forum, Crossing The Columbia: What Does It Mean? Concerned that the average citizen was unable to comprehend the scope, complexity and process of the proposed Columbia River Crossing project due to a seeming dearth of media coverage and an apparent lack of transparency on the part of project officials, the group set out to:

  • Create greater awareness of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area as one unified region with multiple commonalities and interests
  • Stimulate a deeper understanding of the role of comprehensive design thinking and its opportunities to influence the planning process
  • Encourage community leaders and public officials to maximize the CRC project’s potential for excellence

Planning experts were invited to a public forum in Portland to discuss the megaproject design. This forum is highlighted in the video below.

Our efforts were to strengthen the process and achieve a better result for Oregonians and Washingtonians alike. In the summer of 2013, the Washington State Legislature declined to provide that state’s share of funding for the project, closing the book on their participation after 20 years and millions of dollars that had been invested.

The Architecture Foundation of Oregon stands, as strong as ever, behind our initial position that comprehensive design thinking and its opportunities to influence the planning process are an essential ingredient from the beginning for the potential for excellence to be maximized in major public infrastructure projects. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with officials and citizens across Oregon as, together, we protect and celebrate Oregon’s environment and its development for current and future generations.

There is no place like here.

afo‘s Look Around campaign was a rather Christo-like project designed to expose Portland to the art of her own built environment by wrapping her in larger-than-life images of her architectural treasures. These wrappings took the form of scrims wrapping a construction site, or buses wrapped to appear as though they were moving buildings.

The walking guide, features the buildings that comprise the Look Around photo collection. All of the photos are the product of renowned Northwest photographer C. Bruce Forster.

Download the Look Around Guide — your personal map to 41 buildings, a sampling of Bruce Forster’s Look Around collection, incorporating a downtown/northwest tour and two shorter close-in eastside tours.

Download Look Around Guide

Download Look Around Architecture Family Guide

We hope Look Around will help you see what you walk past every day without seeing. To help you think about the impact on your life made by the buildings in which you live, work, learn, worship and play each and every day.