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PSU Transforms Pickathon Music Stage Into 'Sleeping Pods'

Pickathon Music Festival's Treeline Stage, designed by Portland State University architecture students, will be reconstructed into sleeping pods for homeless veterans in Clackamas.

Photo: Kaylee Domzalski/OPB

Architecture student Pete Heibel deconstructs the Treeline Stage.

Architecture student Pete Heibel deconstructs the Treeline Stage.

Kaylee Domzalski/OPB

The design of the stage encouraged the architecture students to experiment with geometry.

The design of the stage encouraged the architecture students to experiment with geometry.

Kaylee Domzalski/OPB

The Treeline Stage will be deconstructed entirely by Friday, Aug. 11.

The Treeline Stage will be deconstructed entirely by Friday, Aug. 11.

Kaylee Domzalski/OPB

The Pickathon Music Festival might have ended Aug. 6, but that was just the beginning for its Treeline Stage. 

Architecture students from Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design (CPID) will transform the stage from a venue for 18 musical artists into sleeping pods for homeless veterans in Clackamas County.

Related: See photos and reviews from Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Pickathon.

The students, led by assistant professor Travis Bell and the director of the School of Architecture, Clive Knights, began designing the stage in early March with the goal of maximizing its social impact after the festival.

The result was an intricate piece composed of 690 trusses — giant reinforced wooden triangles.

“It really plays into the ethos of sustainability with the festival,” Bell said. Pickathon uses a re-usable dish and utensil system as well as solar-powered generators. “This gives the stage a full life cycle.”

PSU students load all 690 trusses onto a semi-truck.

PSU students load all 690 trusses onto a semi-truck.

Kaylee Domzalski/OPB

The morning after the Pickathon Music Festival, PSU students began deconstructing the Treeline Stage.

The morning after the Pickathon Music Festival, PSU students began deconstructing the Treeline Stage.

Kaylee Domzalski/OPB

And this isn’t the first time the CPID has taken on such a project.

Last fall, the center collaborated with homeless advocacy groups and architecture firms like the Catholic Charities, Communitecture and the Village Coalition to address Portland’s homelessness crisis. That initiative produced 14 sleeping pods that became the Kenton Women’s Village in North Portland.

Working with the same organizations, the pods made from the Treeline Stage will follow a similar path.

A diagram of how the trusses will be built into the pods.

A diagram of how the trusses will be built into the pods.

PSU School of Architecture/Portland State University

“While Travis Bell and Clive Knights and their students worked on the design of the trusses and the Treeline Stage, I worked with partners like … Clackamas County on the development of the village those trusses would eventually build,” said Todd Ferry, a senior research faculty member at the CPID who worked on the Kenton Women’s Village.

Clackamas County officials hope to determine a location and finish the project by winter of 2017. Vahid Brown, the housing policy coordinator for Clackamas County, said he is confident the project will secure the necessary paperwork.

“It’s a process to get permits,” Brown said. “The county is committed to see this village come together and see people sleeping in the pods.”

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