Clever Together opened this weekend in OMSI’s Earth Science Hall! When I first saw it, I thought “I need to bring every visiting friend to come see this!” The exhibit highlights so many sustainable practices and opportunities that are supported here in Portland. I realized when walking through the exhibit that these are all things that make me proud to live in this city.
One piece of the exhibit looks at a few of the sustainable, community based resources available here in Portland. Like libraries where you can borrow more than just books. What about a weed-wacker or a drill? At a lending library you can borrow tools to help with all kinds of building, painting, and gardening projects. The exhibit also spotlights reuse stores, community gardens, farmers markets, and public transportation.
From the beginning of the process, Clever Together was designed to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. The exhibit is bilingual with audio and text in Spanish and English. The materials were intentionally chosen. There is not a lot of plastic, and most of the text and pictures are printed right on the wood. Our exhibits team worked with the ReBuilding Center to give new life to used items. We wanted this exhibit to not just talk about sustainability, but to be an example of it. Reducing the amount of new resources needed to make the exhibit components was one way to do that, so was the decision to use water-based paints and non-toxic materials.
What I love the most about Clever Together is the empowering spirit behind it. Every chord I pulled, knob I turned, or story I heard examined the choices I make every day. It reminded me that we live in a supportive community with countless sustainable resources. That’s something to be proud of!