December 27th 2017
THE PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL BENCH PROJECT IS ABOUT RESTORATION, FRIENDS AND COMMUNITY
by Ryan Alexander Widell, Steve Mika & Ben Vickers
Check out the recent photo journal below
We’re a group of friends who share a love for Portland, Oregon, and a deep-seated fascination for all the historical and cultural iconography that makes this amazing city unique. When the (now replaced) Portland International Airport Benches went up for auction, we recognized these artifacts as integral pieces of PDX history. Everyone has a story about these seats. Memories of a night spent on standby, eagerly waiting to hear your name, finding yourself splayed across four of these surprisingly comfortable vinyl seats for hours after missing your flight, or even entertaining countless numbers of impatient child travelers as a makeshift jungle-gym. Iconic and landmark objects illicit feelings--from fondness to frustration--these seats, that carpet, this city, they all speak to us.
As the untapped potential of this limited collection of history became clear to us, we looked for a way to retain the cultural relevance of these benches for as many Portlanders as possible, and PDX Originals was born. Our goal is to breathe new life into these relics, by creating functional and sustainable pieces of art that last a lifetime.
Whenever I mention this project to friends in Portland, people immediately reminisce. Sleepless days lamenting delays and missed flights, hours of waiting out long layovers on the surprisingly comfortable seats, and the most common: I remember sleeping on these while waiting to depart for my next destination.
Memories. This was one of the major reasons we all gravitated to this project. These seats are living memories, mixed with emotion, frustration, and most of all, comfort. We wanted to bring new life into these living memories so every time you look at your beautiful PDX Original, you're reminded of that moment.