Portland Business Journal: Pickathon stage will become tiny homes for transitional housing village
Author: Jon Bell, Portland Business Journal
Posted: August 7, 2017

Read the original story in the Portland Business Journal.

Country singer Kelsey Waldon made it feel like a honky-tonk in the Deep South, while indie rocker Ty Segall and his band rocked out on it as if it were an arena stage.

But now that Pickathon 2017 has come to a close, the Treeline Stage — one of six at the annual music festival in Happy Valley — will become part of a transitional housing village in Clackamas County.

Indie rocker Ty Segall tore it up on the Treeline Stage at Pickathon last night. The stage, designed and built by PSU architecture students, will be dismantled and used to create sleeping pods for a new transitional housing village in Portland.

Designed and built by architecture students from Portland State University, the intricate stage included 690 wooden trusses that created three structures ranging in height from 12 to 32 feet tall. Once the stage is dismantled, the trusses will be used to construct sleeping pods for homeless people in the new transitional housing village.

“We are aiming to make the biggest impact we can through the dual use of these materials, first as part of a powerful stage design that speaks of our shared human need for sanctuary and connectedness," said Travis Bell, an assistant professor at PSU, in a release. "Next, after the festival, the materials will be transformed into a series of tiny homes that offer actual sanctuary and safety for the individuals who will live in them, and the sense of connectedness and community that comes from being part of a village.”

According to the release, the design of the new pods comes from architecture firm SRG Partnership, which last year was one of several local firms that came up with designs for pods that could provide shelter for some of the city's homeless population. A version of SRG's pod is currently in use in the Kenton Women's Village, a tiny-home village that provides shelter to 14 women in North Portland.

This is the fourth year that students from PSU have worked on the Treeline Stage at Pickathon. Materials have always been re-used in other construction projects, but their use in housing pods is something entirely new.

“In many ways, this is the ideal of sustainability — not just to keep one’s use of materials to a minimum, but to find ways to make our use of materials mean more, create more, and actually have a positive social and environmental impact on the world, through innovative design combined with compassion for those in need,” said Bell.

“We are diverting energetic surplus in addition to material surplus — we are diverting good will, human effort and design.”