designBridge and The Small Farmers Project


Carrying on a six-year tradition of student-initiated design/build projects for grassroots, community-based groups, a team of UO architecture students from the organization designBridge is preparing for the ribbon-cutting celebration of dB’s first structure oriented towards sustainable agriculture. The most recently completed project is an effort of fifteen students who were commissioned by the Small Farmers’ Project to design and build a structure to house a tractor, berry cooler and vending space.

The Small Farmers’ Project formed in 2008 as a project of the local non-profit Huerto de la Familia (the Family Garden). The organization provides low-income Latino families the opportunity and instruction to grow their own food in community gardens, and to create micro-businesses related to agricultural products. The Small Farmers’ Project now functions as an independent organic berry farm that is cooperatively owned and run by low-income seven families from Mexico and Peru. They produce several varieties of strawberries and blackcap raspberries, a Northwest heritage crop. This year’s purchase of a tractor has significantly augmented the farm’s level of production, and in turn, each family’s income.

Since the farmers lease their land, they anticipate that they may have to move once their lease expires. The student team therefore designed the structure to be fully disassembled, transported, and reassembled in its new location. “Design for disassembly,” an important and growing approach to sustainable architecture, played an influential role in the students’ design process. “Part of sustainability is flexibility, being able to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining utility and relevance,” one student explains. “The Small Farmers’ Project tractor shed will continue to serve their evolving needs even if the farm moves to a new location.”

designBridge is a multi-disciplinary student organization linking the University of Oregon with the surrounding community by offering design and design-build services to clients. The focus is to bring the resources and energy of students to communities and organizations that don’t have access or resources to acquire professional design services.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at the berry farm,located at 511 E. Beacon Drive on Saturday, October 8th from 2pm – 5pm. The event is open to the public.


Heather Ferrell
designBridge PR Manager
M.Arch Student, University of Oregon

August 15 – Morning Headlines



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Tim Chuey Weather:

We’re starting off this week with clouds and just a slight chance of getting wet. It won’t take long to bring back the sunshine and warmer temperatures as a preliminary to the beginning of the Lane County Fair at midweek.

An upper level trough of low pressure (“U” shape on orange line) is setting up over the Pacific Ocean bringing more clouds and some cooling today. A frontal system will move in today bringing the small chance of showers mainly today and tonight. The weather will be good for the beginning of the Lane County Fair that starts next Wednesday when another warming trend will begin. A frontal system will approach Oregon next weekend bringing back more clouds, but so far, it doesn’t look like there will be any chance of precipitation.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of rain this AM, partly cloudy with a slight (20%) chance of showers in the afternoon, mostly cloudy tonight, partly cloudy and warmer Tuesday, partly cloudy Tuesday night, a mix of clouds and sun Wednesday AM, mostly sunny Wednesday afternoon, then mostly clear Wednesday night highs 74-86 lows 50-48. Mostly sunny Thursday and Friday with mostly clear nights, mostly sunny Saturday AM, then partly cloudy and a bit cooler Saturday afternoon through Sunday highs 85-82 lows near 53. (seasonal averages high 83 low 51)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather:

Lane County Fair starts this week