Designing and Building     Oregon, By Design (O/BD)

Oregon By Design is a research and development project focused on connecting the needs of local communities around the state with design strategies and resources. 

It's organized in three distinct phases to ensure clarity of goals, objectives, and deliver measurable outcomes.  Each phase will conclude with a report evaluating results of the work. Subsequent phases will build on the lessons learned of its predecessor, and will be refined and adjusted accordingly. Here's how we do it:

Phase One, 2013 - 2015 
  • Step 1: Research and define O/BD Initiative- research design policy examples, identify & convene Advisory Council
  • Step 2: O/BD Template- statewide interviews with key public & private industry leaders, host Symposium to review template with Advisory Council & key leaders
Phase Two, 2015 - 2018
  • Step 3: O/BD Pilot Projects- in collaboration with the  AFO and the University of Oregon's Resource Assistance for Rural Enterprises (RARE) communities were selected to participate in O/BD Design Skills Workshops (DSSW).
  • Step 4: Building on the success of the DSW, O/BD, the AFO, and RARE are collaborating to create 'Strategic Doing' Workshops that identify implementation strategies.
Step Three, 2018 - 2019
  • Step 5: O/BD Pilot Project evaluations- achievement of goals, levels of success, refinement & next steps
  • Step 6: O/BD Program- an ongoing collaboration with the AFO and RARE; creating statewide 'Design Support' program, networking Oregon's communities while building capacities and capabilities.


Spearheaded by architect Robert Hastings, FAIA, in collaboration with the Architecture Foundation of Oregon, the “Oregon, By Design” effort is one of only a handful in the U.S. promoting design as a stimulus for economic, environmental and social development.  It’s funded by an Oregon Community Foundation grant. Monies from the Van Evera and Janet Bailey Fund are underwriting the effort; Van Evera Bailey was an architect in the mid-20th century who believed the built and natural environments should work together as distinguishing features of Oregon.

Hastings developed the Oregon, By Design concept after studying other countries that have successfully created national policies to increase their global competitiveness by raising the standard of design while creating jobs and making communities more livable.

An architect for more than 30 years, Hastings  draws on his ten years of experience leading the Oregon Design Conference, a statewide gathering of architects, building industry, and innovators. He is a fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and past president of AIA/Oregon, and AIA/Portland chapters. He also has extensive knowledge and skills working with communities, businesses, and local government as TriMet’s Agency Architect.

In its first phase, the grant funded Hastings’ efforts to travel and meet with stakeholders around the state and abroad to learn about local challenges and opportunities and then develop a policy framework to address them. This is a part-time, volunteer endeavor for Hastings, who pursues the Oregon,By Design initiative in his off-hours, maintaining his full-time role with TriMet.

Oregon, By Design is one of many Architecture Foundation of Oregon’s civic engagement and educational programs; for more than 30 years the nonprofit’s Architects in Schools efforts have taught school children throughout the state about architectural design.

Thank you to the Architecture Foundation of Oregon for its support.