Portland Hospitality/Hotel Management

We had a great opportunity to give a special portland tour for the prestigious Japanese Developer Mitsui Real Estate and Creative Agency Yomiko from Tokyo. They work in the Hospitality business, primarily focused in hotels and resorts.

We created this short tour including Portland's famous branding agency OMFGco, who is the mastermind behind Ace hotel's branding and many other nationally renowned brands in town, and Evolve Collab, one of the most inovative strategy and design studios in town.

Rather than taking them to new and upcoming hotels in Portland, we took them to Oregon based bar and hotel group McMenamins' property Kennedy school and Edgefield resort just off of Portland.

They were shocked to discover that these two amazing hotels were very underrated and now well known compared to the trendy hotels and enjoyed learning about the space and history of the buildings.

OMFGco

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Evolve Collab Studio

Kennedy School

Edgefield

Mississippi Street

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Special thanks to everyone who participated in this wonderful tour.

WIRED Hotel Project - The First of Its Kind

Japan is undergoing a huge development sprint in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. One of the biggest challenges in preparing for this momentous event is accommodation. As the occupancy rate in Tokyo is already very high, Tokyo will need a major hotel and hostel expansion to accommodate the influx of tourists during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

We had an amazing opportunity to work on the WIRED hotel project in Asakusa, a historic entertainment district in Tokyo.

WIRED hotel is designed and operated by Cafe Company, a company with over 100 trending cafes and restaurants in Japan.

The hotel is the first of its kind, focusing on connecting members of the local Asakusa craft community with hotel guests, transforming the hotel into an international creative hub.

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

Credit: Nacasa and Partners

UPLIFT has worked closely with Cafe Company in the past, and for this project UPLIFT PDX member OMFGco provided strategic advice through a brand audit, refining design work originally done by the Cafe design team — creating English signage and graphic design marketed for an international audience. OMFGco also provided PR support through their extensive media connections in the US.

Credit: Nicolas Koreni

Credit: Nicolas Koreni

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Credit: Autumn Smith

Applying OMFGco's strategy, signage, and design work, as well as their deep knowledge of the hotel industry, elevated the hotel to a higher standard.

As a result, WIRED hotel was chosen as one of the best new hotels in Tokyo, and was featured on multiple Japanese and international media sources.

Congratulations to Wired Hotel and Cafe Company! Special thanks to OMFGco for their design work and strategy.

Check out their blog and video at: https://omfgco.com/work/wired-hotel

Visiting Design Week Kyoto 2017

Uplift was honored to be invited as guest speakers at Design Week Kyoto this year.

Our relationship started with Mr. Isao Kitabayashi, the founder of Design Week Kyoto and the owner of COS KYOTO, who visited Portland for the first time in 2012.

Since then, we have done various creative workshops and inspirational tours with groups of Kyoto business owners and city council members.

Our team member Jason Sturgill has been in the design field in Portland for last 2 decades and teaches design and illustration at Portland State University. Jason-san is also one of the founding members of Design Week Portland which influenced Mr Kitabayashi to start Design Week Kyoto. For the opening reception, Mr. Sturgill gave a presentation on his experience and his collaborations with Portland craftspeople, Katsu Tanaka from Uplift assisted in translation.

We stayed for the entire festival, experiencing the city of Kyoto and visiting a variety of factories and craft studios, talking with designers and artists and exploring potential relationships between the city of Portland and Kyoto.

Design Week Kyoto at JR Kyoto Isetan department store

Design Week Kyoto at JR Kyoto Isetan department store

Opening party for Design Week Kyoto. From Left: Jason Sturgill (Uplift), Masayuki Morishita (Okayama Prefectural University), Katsu Tanaka (Uplift), Isao Kitabayashi (Design Week Kyoto), Takayuki Sakakida (The Kyoto Shinkin Bank), Eiryo Nishimura (Nishimura Securities Co.,Ltd.)  

Opening party for Design Week Kyoto. From Left: Jason Sturgill (Uplift), Masayuki Morishita (Okayama Prefectural University), Katsu Tanaka (Uplift), Isao Kitabayashi (Design Week Kyoto), Takayuki Sakakida (The Kyoto Shinkin Bank), Eiryo Nishimura (Nishimura Securities Co.,Ltd.)  

Mt Fuji from Shinkansen, Bullet Train from Tokyo to Kyoto

Mt Fuji from Shinkansen, Bullet Train from Tokyo to Kyoto

Embroidery studio visit

Embroidery studio visit

Mumokuteki retail store

Mumokuteki retail store

Dinner with Mumokuteki crew and Rob Lowe (aka Supermundane) who was visiting from London.

Dinner with Mumokuteki crew and Rob Lowe (aka Supermundane) who was visiting from London.

Pagong Kamedatomi, Kyo-Yuzen Screenprinter factory tour and demonstration

Pagong Kamedatomi, Kyo-Yuzen Screenprinter factory tour and demonstration

View of hand weaving machine

View of hand weaving machine

Soushi-Tsuzure-en, Nail weaving studio tour

Soushi-Tsuzure-en, Nail weaving studio tour

Syubisya print shop tour

Syubisya print shop tour

Hand weaving machine at Fukuoka Weaving

Hand weaving machine at Fukuoka Weaving

Fukuoka Weaving factory tour

Fukuoka Weaving factory tour

Golden Pavilion in Winter

Golden Pavilion in Winter

Fushimi Inari Jinja (Shrine)

Fushimi Inari Jinja (Shrine)

Kyoto University of Art and Design: Entrance

Kyoto University of Art and Design: Entrance

Kyoto University of Art and Design: Kenji Yanobe Studio

Kyoto University of Art and Design: Kenji Yanobe Studio

Kyoto University of Art and Design: With World renown artist Kenji Yanobe

Kyoto University of Art and Design: With World renown artist Kenji Yanobe

View of the city from Kyoto University of Art and Design

View of the city from Kyoto University of Art and Design

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Ai, pure natural indigo dye factory workshop with Kyoto CEO group.

Ai, pure natural indigo dye factory workshop with Kyoto CEO group.

View of Kyoto Tower

View of Kyoto Tower

Kodo, Washi Japanese paper goods Factory Tour

Kodo, Washi Japanese paper goods Factory Tour

Japanese Breakfast at TAN

Japanese Breakfast at TAN

Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace

Yokoyama Bamboo factory tour

Yokoyama Bamboo factory tour

Special thanks to all those who participated in these events.

Delta Sky Brochure - Coordinating Special Portland Issue

We were given a great opportunity to work with Delta Sky crew members through Travel Portland to curate a restaurant tour in the city of Portland. We focused our locations primarily in SE and downtown Portland where many of the trending and popular restaurants reside. Our goal was to provide a hands-on experience of the Portland lifestyle to its fullest potential.

The tour was published in the Delta Air Line’s In-Flight Magazine. It will be in more than half-a-million back-seat pockets of all flights in and out of Japan during the months of January and February 2017.

The publication consists of information on the locations visited and presents its popularity within the city. The issue features places unique specifically to the city of Portland. All information is covered in English and Japanese versions.

Special thanks to all members who participated in this magazine shoot.

Creative Camp for 3 Prestigious Japanese Companies

This was our most challenging creative camp this year. We created a special work shop for 7 designers from 3 world renown Japanese companies. It was our first challenge to cover this level of creative mind in one trip. We planned this for 4 months to give the best possible option and the end result was amazing (at least we think it was)!

Although these 7 designers are world class designers who have been traveling all over the world, they have never visited Portland before.

For this workshop, we rented this amazing house on the NW hillside of Portland.

The house is located in the forest, just off of Portland's famous forest park in NW hillside. This house comes with an amazing landscape; approximately 20 acres of private property. This house has a private gate and private road to the main house, 6 beds, outside jacuzzi and many other amazing features. Best of all, it is only a 10 minute drive from Downtown Portland. It is in the middle of forest, so we saw wild deer, raccoons, snakes, and other animals around this property.

We felt in order to truly understand the creativity in Portland, they would need to experience the Portland lifestyle. At this Airbnb condo, we started the morning with a special Yoga and QiGong lesson by our amazing instructor Jill Knouse, and Brenda from dancemode.

Then had breakfast at various Portland famous cafes before we started our creative tour.

Through various support from our members, special thanks to Jason Sturgill who gave us a great tour at creative offices and a great farewell party at his house.

We have visited ...

Creative Studios:

Wieden+Kennedy

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Craft Studios:

Stumptown Coffee

Special Thanks to all the creatives who participated this amazing camp.

Portland - Shimokitazawa Creative Tour

From September 11-15th, We had the great opportunity to host business owners and developers from city of Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, thanks to our member, Ryohei Suita.

Shimokitazawa is a center of subculture scenes in Tokyo, and is right next door to Shibuya, the most popular city in Tokyo.

The main purpose of this trip was learning how creativity in cities works; how to present local product and nurture the city's designers and creatives.

We started our tour directly from the airport, to Portland's famous farmers market in Hillsdale.

Farmers Market

The weather could not be better. We tasted all kinds of fruits, cured meats and observed how they displayed products.

MadeHerePDX

The Shimokitazawa crew were very interested in Portland's local production and craft movement, so we went to visit Made Here PDX. Co-founder and UpliftPDX member Bob Davis gave us a great discussion, telling about how they started the store and how they differentiate from souvenir stores in town.(https://madeherepdx.com/)

The Good Mod

Next stop was The Good Mod. This 20,000 square foot creative work space / furniture space is located on the 4th floor in a buildin at heart of downtown Portland. Founder Spencer Staley gave us a great tour at their creative work space.(http://www.thegoodmod.com/)

 

The next day we went to visit Mitsu Yamazaki at PDC, the Portland Development Commission. He just recently published his first book, "Portland: Making the World's Number One Place to Live". He gave us a great presentation about how the Portland molded itself into this creative city.

 In this tour, we had visited various studios, work spaces and creative agencies to experience the current work style in Portland and feel the overall vibe.

 

Egg Press

Egg Press is a nationally-renowned greeting card company, producing unique hand drawn illustrations and textile patterns using vintage German letterpress machines.  They are considered one of the pioneers in the resurgence of letterpress printing.(https://www.eggpress.com/)

Grovemade (special thanks to uplift member Ken Tamiya)

Grovemade is a Portland leading craft maker, specializing in phone cases made out of bamboo and other woods.  They have been featured various magazines and media for their quality of work.(https://grovemade.com/)

Coava Coffee Roasters

Coava Coffee has been considered one of the best roasters in Portland. They have two shops in Portland getting a cult-like following.  We visited their new roasting facility which just opened in July 2016. (http://coavacoffee.com/

IPRC Independent Publishing Resource Center

A resource center for zine creation and letterpress book making. This facility has nation's largest collection of zines. (https://www.facebook.com/IPRCPDX/)

Pinball Publishing

They create pocket-sized notebooks out of 100% recycled paper. (http://pinballpublishing.com/)

Ford Building

The Ford building is a creative office space, with multiple creative offices including Pinterest's Portland office, and our member Jason Sturgill's studio “See Saw Club Studio”. (http://www.fordbuildingpdx.com/)

Kiriko Made

Uplift PDX founder Katsu Tanaka also owns the brand Kiriko, specializing in Japanese fabrics and made in Portland goods, distributed all over the United States. Their new retail space is located Portland's Old Town neighborhood. (http://kirikomade.com/)

Shimokitazawa crews were also very interested in Portland's food scene, so we took them to some of our most favorite restaurants in town.(http://kirikomade.com/)

Ned Ludd

First night at Ned Ludd (http://www.nedluddpdx.com/). Our member Michelle Basta and her partner Jason French own this amazing restaurant. All the seasonal ingredients are carefully chosen and cooked by in wood-fired ovens. 

Superbite

Second night at Superbite (http://www.superbitepdx.com/). Superbite is the newest addition to downtown Portland's food scene. Our member Kurt Hafman collaborated with restaurant OX to start this new restaurant. Their course menu is, in our opinion, the best in town.

 

Through this creative tour, we came up with a few new projects ideas connecting creators in Shimokitazawa and Portland, and inspiring creative exchange between the two cities.

Mass×Mass Touch Portland Tour

Uplift member Teppei Ichiba organized this great tour called “Touch Portland”, for shared office/startup business support office in Yokohaya Japan called Mass x Mass. This tour was more focused on business professionals. Most participants were in creative fields including advertising, web design, architecture, and university professors. Expectations were high, but in the end, everyone had an amazing time. We had great support from many Uplift members - Special thanks to Jason, Eric, Bob, and Jeremy for their hospitality.

The first studio visit was at Stumptown Printers. Stumptown uses vintage letterpress printers to create album covers, posters, and flyers.

The first studio visit was at Stumptown Printers. Stumptown uses vintage letterpress printers to create album covers, posters, and flyers.

Owner of Stumptown Printers, Eric Bagdonas, teaching the team about letterpress printing.

Owner of Stumptown Printers, Eric Bagdonas, teaching the team about letterpress printing.

At The Rebuilding Center, filled with sinks, windows, doors, and reclaimed wood. NPO specializes in selling used, reclaimed, and salvage materials for home DIY projects. (They are in the process of opening a Rebuilding Center in Japan with our fellow friends http://medicala-design.com/ )

At The Rebuilding Center, filled with sinks, windows, doors, and reclaimed wood. NPO specializes in selling used, reclaimed, and salvage materials for home DIY projects. (They are in the process of opening a Rebuilding Center in Japan with our fellow friends http://medicala-design.com/ )

We visited Made Here PDX, specializing in local products made in Portland. Co-founder Bob Davis talked about starting this business model, and the process of curating local brands.  

We visited Made Here PDX, specializing in local products made in Portland. Co-founder Bob Davis talked about starting this business model, and the process of curating local brands.

 

We visited a few new co-working spaces. They liked Centrl Office

We visited a few new co-working spaces. They liked Centrl Office

That night, we shared dinner at Ned Ludd.  Special thanks to Michelle Basta for providing us an awesome dinner on the patio.

That night, we shared dinner at Ned Ludd.  Special thanks to Michelle Basta for providing us an awesome dinner on the patio.

The next morning started with mind and body movement exercises by Brenda Russel from Dancemode. Brenda mixes Qi Gong, African dance, and various other movements to help release tension and stress.  

The next morning started with mind and body movement exercises by Brenda Russel from Dancemode. Brenda mixes Qi Gong, African dance, and various other movements to help release tension and stress.  

Everyone was so energized after the class, all of us full of smiles at the end.

Everyone was so energized after the class, all of us full of smiles at the end.

We visited various portland local creative agencies. First was OMFGco, a creative studio renowned for their amazing work with Ace Hotel, Stumptown Coffee, and Olympic Provisions, to name a few.

We visited various portland local creative agencies. First was OMFGco, a creative studio renowned for their amazing work with Ace Hotel, Stumptown Coffee, and Olympic Provisions, to name a few.

OMFGco Co-founder Jeremy Pelley showing their the new office.

OMFGco Co-founder Jeremy Pelley showing their the new office.

Secret meditation room, hidden behind their book library.

Secret meditation room, hidden behind their book library.

The basement can be accessed through a private elevator.  Employees can come down anytime to work on private hand-making projects, such as screen printing and offset printing. Balancing out the power of analog and digital is one of their strongest sources of creativity.  

The basement can be accessed through a private elevator.  Employees can come down anytime to work on private hand-making projects, such as screen printing and offset printing. Balancing out the power of analog and digital is one of their strongest sources of creativity.  

We also visited Revive Design, a Portland-famous upholstery studio that revitalizes vintage furniture.

We also visited Revive Design, a Portland-famous upholstery studio that revitalizes vintage furniture.

Founder Leland Duck gave us a great speech about the history of Revive design, as well as his fascination with reworking the old. It is like opening hidden treasures. He told us that he has found pretty much everything in old sofas; old watches, coins, and pens. Sometimes he finds handwriting on old wood by famous furniture makers. Each piece holds amazing stories.

Founder Leland Duck gave us a great speech about the history of Revive design, as well as his fascination with reworking the old. It is like opening hidden treasures. He told us that he has found pretty much everything in old sofas; old watches, coins, and pens. Sometimes he finds handwriting on old wood by famous furniture makers. Each piece holds amazing stories.

We also visited the Nation’s first non-profit brewery, The Oregon Public House.

We also visited the Nation’s first non-profit brewery, The Oregon Public House.

"Have a pint, change the world!"

"Have a pint, change the world!"

Ryan Saari, the founder of Oregon Public House, told us about how he started this business and how to operate as a non-profit.

Ryan Saari, the founder of Oregon Public House, told us about how he started this business and how to operate as a non-profit.

Coava Coffee, one of most respected coffee roasters in Portland.  They share the space with Bamboo revolution, a famous manufacturer of sustainable bamboo products.  

Coava Coffee, one of most respected coffee roasters in Portland.  They share the space with Bamboo revolution, a famous manufacturer of sustainable bamboo products.  

We visited Maak Lab Studio and retail space. Founder Taylor Ahlmark gave us a special Q and A time.

We visited Maak Lab Studio and retail space. Founder Taylor Ahlmark gave us a special Q and A time.

WEWORK Portland Office, renovated from the old US Oregon Customs building.   

WEWORK Portland Office, renovated from the old US Oregon Customs building.   

Meeting with Mitsu Yamazaki, who works at Portland Development commission specializing in business between Japan and US. Also the author of the Japanese book ”Portland, Making the World's Number One Place to Live".

Meeting with Mitsu Yamazaki, who works at Portland Development commission specializing in business between Japan and US. Also the author of the Japanese book ”Portland, Making the World's Number One Place to Live".

We also had a great opportunity to visit Instrument, one of Portland's leading digital media creative studios. They recently moved to this new building, and their new space is amazing.  

We also had a great opportunity to visit Instrument, one of Portland's leading digital media creative studios. They recently moved to this new building, and their new space is amazing.  

They even have a dedicated space for VR for future digital media projects.

They even have a dedicated space for VR for future digital media projects.

Farmers Market at PSU.  It rained little, but so many people were out shopping. Great products and amazing curation help this market so successful.

Farmers Market at PSU.  It rained little, but so many people were out shopping. Great products and amazing curation help this market so successful.

Although it rained, vendors were still full of smiles!

Although it rained, vendors were still full of smiles!

Next Stop was “The Good Mod”.  They specialize in Mid-century furniture. They also do custom work. When we visited, they were working on large conference table for Nike HQ.  

Next Stop was “The Good Mod”.  They specialize in Mid-century furniture. They also do custom work. When we visited, they were working on large conference table for Nike HQ.  

We organized a home party-style dinner at the Airbnb house we rented out. Dinner was prepared by Obon PDX.   Fumi and Jason used all local ingredients, and made amazing Japanese food.

We organized a home party-style dinner at the Airbnb house we rented out.

Dinner was prepared by Obon PDX.   Fumi and Jason used all local ingredients, and made amazing Japanese food.

Uplift PDX Member Ryuichi Suita and Shinya Kabata came to join the party.  Everyone had a great time.  

Uplift PDX Member Ryuichi Suita and Shinya Kabata came to join the party.  Everyone had a great time.  

Talking about overwhelming amount of experiences in Portand.

Talking about overwhelming amount of experiences in Portand.

Portland's city culture is so connected to the nature surrounding it.  We went to hike at Angel’s Rest, 40 miles East of Portland city center. 

Portland's city culture is so connected to the nature surrounding it.  We went to hike at Angel’s Rest, 40 miles East of Portland city center. 

A few extra photos from this tour.

Eating ice cream at Salt and Straw.

Eating ice cream at Salt and Straw.

Portland famous Mississippi Records

Portland famous Mississippi Records

Brunch at Sweedeedee next door to Mississippi Records.

Brunch at Sweedeedee next door to Mississippi Records.

We chose Trifecta for the last night's dinner.  It is operated by Ken’s bakery. Their fresh baked bread was served with some amazing food.  Everyone commented that the final dish was most amazing steak they ever had.

We chose Trifecta for the last night's dinner.  It is operated by Ken’s bakery. Their fresh baked bread was served with some amazing food.  Everyone commented that the final dish was most amazing steak they ever had.

Special thanks to all the participants, and we hope to see you all again soon.

Special thanks to all the participants, and we hope to see you all again soon.

Japan Management Consultants Association 2016 Portland Tour

For our third collaboration with Kota Sakagai from Japan Management Consultant association, we prepared a 4-day creative workshop for 15 business owners from Japan. 

Most of the participants had never been to Portland, or had no experience at all in US culture. However all of them were very eager to learn about creative offices and their work environments in Portland.

Unlike most ordinary businesses tours, we started our tour with morning Yoga and Qi Gong lessons to loosen up the body, and then having morning coffee at Portland's famous coffee shops. We also took a Sound Bath Meditation class to chill down.

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Creative agency provided us background of their work and space in the form of a discussion or presentation. Special thanks to Jeremy at OMFGco, Celia at Instrument, and Keith at Swift.

Instrument

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At Night
Each night we had an amazing dinner at Portland's best restaurants, with the support of Michelle Barista and Kurt HuffmanWe also had great catering services from Obon.

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We also visited a few of Portland's leading craft brands such as Eggpress printing and Grove Made. (both upliftpdx members)

Our hope for our creative work shops is always giving another prospective for the participants life styles, as well as their work style. It is always our pleasure to see how they transform their attitude toward work and life balance and seeing their big smiles at the end.

We are looking forward to seeing them again soon and working with Kota for our next venture!

Beam & Anchor

Portland Creative Studios Tour

We've been having many creative office tours lately, providing a great experience for our partners in Japan. On June 8th we did a tour with business associates from YomikoMitsui Estate, and Jun Mitsui architecture.

Creative offices in Portland provides a very unique, laid-back workspace, compared to more technical offices in big cities like LA and New York. Most of the offices were in old buildings, renovated from old warehouses, schools and old factories. Work and play are not clearly divided.

Many employees bike to work, bring their dogs, and free food and beverages - including beer - are provided. Many offices do not even have dedicated desks for employees, instead large tables are provided for quick meetings, and employees can work in various spaces in the studio.

As a nature-driven creative city, Portland offers a new style of work space, which is very beneficial for professionals and creators from Japan to be inspired.  We would hope to see this style of creative offices to spread to places like Japan as well. 

OMFGCO