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Think Out Loud

Building Space

Pete Springer/OPB

a href=”” target=”_blank”>ADX is a new creative space in Southeast Portland, and it’s based on a relatively new model for how a space works. So Kelley Roy, one of its founders, turns to a familiar business to describe it:

It’s like a gym for designers. Instead of a weight room and a cardio room and trainers, we have a wood shop and a metal shop and a team of experts.

Members will pay monthly fees for access to the workbenches, workshops, and classes. And just like at a gym, if they have lots of experience they can use the big machines on their own. If they’re newbies, they can pay for help from the “trainers.”

ADX may be new to Portland, but it’s loosely modeled on similar cooperatives in Brooklyn and Rhode Island.

The folks behind ADX say they want to build a community where workers from diverse disciplines — everyone from industrial designers and architects to woodworkers, metalworkers, and graphic designers — can easily collaborate on projects. And they say that they want to turn ADX into a brand — not something specific, like Wieden+Kennedy or Nike, but something that communicates this was made in Portland.

Kelley will join us in the studio, and we’ll talk to one of the women who’s part of a boat-buildling team at ADX.

Are you a member of ADX? What are you making? What are you getting out of the experience?

Do you make stuff in your basement or your garage? Would you join a membership-based workshop as a way to find a community of other builders and doers?

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