Uplift was honored to be invited as guest speakers at Design Week Kyoto this year

Our relationship started with Mr. Isao Kitabayashi, the founder of Design Week Kyoto and the owner of COS KYOTO, who visited Portland for the first time in 2012.

Since then, we have done various creative workshops and inspirational tours with groups of Kyoto business owners and city council members.


Our team member Jason Sturgill has been in the design field in Portland for last 2 decades and teaches design and illustration at Portland State University. Jason-san is also one of the founding members of Design Week Portland which influenced Mr Kitabayashi to start Design Week Kyoto. For the opening reception, Mr. Sturgill gave a presentation on his experience and his collaborations with Portland craftspeople, Katsu Tanaka from Uplift assisted in translation.

We stayed for the entire festival, experiencing the city of Kyoto and visiting a variety of factories and craft studios, talking with designers and artists and exploring potential relationships between the city of Portland and Kyoto.

The most productive workshop that has ever been done by Evolve Collab

On the final day of the workshop, we rented the rooftop of the Society Hotel and had a celebration party. We all had an incredible and memorable time.

Although all the kotobuki participants were non-English speakers, we had our team members Midori Karasawa and Mina LaFountain help our workshop run smoothly. They are both professionally trained translators who have been in the design industry for a long time.

The end result of this workshop was amazing and Founder of Evolve Collab, Christian … told us that this workshop was the most productive workshop that has ever been done by Evolve Collab.

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