Bora Floats – Surprises + Successes

What a day! The weather was warm and sunny, the river was cool and calm, the waterfront was buzzing with activity, and there was a shaved ice stand. Honestly, what more could you ask for? By all measures, our Fruitloop was a success, even though it didn’t turn out quite how we expected. We had…

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Noodlecraft – Testing the Waters

We want our watercraft to have a spatial quality, so that it can be occupied in more than one way. It also needs to stay upright, and safely support multiple people. After churning on some scratch models (physical and digital), and experimenting with how to join and shape pool noodles, we landed on a form…

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Most Outlandish Watercraft – Materials and Prototyping

The Big Float is rapidly approaching, and the Bora crew has been busy. As an informal LaBoratory initiative, we’ve approached this Outlandish Watercraft challenge as a means of supporting Bora’s culture of making, the integration of craft and technology, and our belief in the power of “artful moments” to bring joy, wonder and delight. In…

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The Big Float – We Love Our Willamette River

We here at Bora are big fans of the Willamette River. In fact, creating improved access to the river was a major component of our Water Avenue Yards design/research effort. Now that the sunshine seems to have stuck, we’re dusting off our swimming suits and getting ready for the 7th annual Big Float on July…

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Exploring 360 Video on the Beaverton Jobsite

After his last visit to the Mountainside High School site, Jeremy Larsen came back with some 360 still photos captured on his phone. It was a great way to experience the project’s scale, and feel more immersed in the space, but a phone camera is still a phone camera. So this time, Jeremy went out…

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Mayor-Elect Ted Wheeler Tweets Water Avenue Yards

In case you missed it yesterday, KOIN 6 News interviewed Bora Principal Michael Tingley as part of a piece on our Water Avenue Yards design research project. They reached out to us following a tweet from Portland’s Mayor-Elect, Ted Wheeler, in which he called our reimagining “stellar.” For more information on the Water Avenue Yards…

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Exploring Virtual and Augmented Reality

In recent months, Bora has been exploring new ways of visualizing unbuilt spaces. Revit, Rhino, and other 3D modeling programs have become the industry standards for producing everything from renderings to construction documents, but these tools still fall short of providing fully immersive experiences. There is always a tension between presenting a design concept that…

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Design Week Portland Recap: Potential in the Central Eastside

Last Tuesday we hosted a panel as part of Design Week Portland, discussing the current and potential future state of the Central Eastside. With over 70 people in attendance, the event was engaging and lively. The ideas our panelists and audience members brought to the table were thoughtful and challenging, ranging from major infrastructural interventions…

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Exploring Acoustic Diffusion

We work on a lot of auditoria, theaters, and lecture halls—spaces where acoustics are paramount. Between education and performing arts, much of the work we do involves optimizing an audial connection in large spaces full of excited people. We’re always thinking about how to do it better, but sometimes you have to make study opportunities…

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Uncommon Solutions, Part 2

For the Airbnb CX Hub, ‘uncommon solutions’ was our design mantra. In addressing this, we did several in house tests studying the effect of staining on plywood sheathing, in regards to the creation of color, texture and patterning. Through this, we discovered a white wash mix that not only whitened the soft wood portion of…

Design Research

Uncommon Solutions, Part 1

Each project brings with it a unique set of conditions and its own identity to express through space. To be truly responsive and provide solutions that embody our clients’ identities, missions or brands, we have adopted an exploratory ethos that seeks new possibilities and uncommon solutions in materials and methods. With the use of our…

Design Research

Exploring Building Performance with PSU Students

PSU students help Bora understand actual building performance at three Oregon schools through research collaboration. Since 2012, Bora has participated in a joint research program with the School of Architecture at Portland State University.  This program, partly funded through NCARB grants, links students in PSU’s advanced building technology courses with local practitioners to conduct research…

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Transparency is the New Green

In recent years, building owners and the construction industry have come to recognize that buildings have a significant impact on the health of their occupants. As one example, Dr. Bruce Lanphear created this video, illustrating the effects of toxins on the developing brain. Forward thinkers in design and manufacturing are uniting around the idea that…

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Kinetic Cloud: A Bora Studio Installation

Nestled below the ceiling, Kinetic Cloud consists of hundreds of translucent tetrahedra suspended in a grid. Their points illustrate an undulating pixel field that interpolates the oscillations of two sine waves. Viewers are invited to engage the installation by rotating two hand cranks in either direction, controlling the speed and shape of the field. The Kinetic Cloud moves…

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