Picture yourself strolling down the beautiful tree-lined streets of Portland when suddenly you are struck by the sight of a large mural painted right in the middle of a 4-way stop. As you stand there, thinking to yourself “how did this get here? Who made this place?”, you notice a bench made out of clay, open and inviting, placed on the sidewalk and right next to a tiny neighborhood library. You sit and take in this odd, idyllic scene—spending a moment to connect with your surroundings.
Very often these murals and sculptures are the work of collaborative, community projects facilitated by City Repair, a group of permaculturists, anthropologists, environmentalists, and citizens devoted to bringing neighbors together through neighborhood projects.
In this episode, Collin Gabriel and Frankie Ku sit down with RIdhi D’Cruz, Adrian Haley, and Jasmine Co from City Repair to discuss placemaking, houselessness, chocolate cake, a tea “horse”, and the upcoming 17th Annual Village Building Convergence, a 10-day spread of permaculture, natural-building, and intersection painting events open to all!
Collin Gabriel, Channelsmith
Frankie Ku, Brand and Marketing Manager
Ridhi D’Cruz, Co-Director of City Repair
Ridhi D’Cruz is a Co-Director with City Repair. This is her sixth year working with City Repair and the Village Building Convergence. As an intercontinental cross-pollinator, sociocultural anthropologist and permaculture educator who has been living in Portland since 2010, Ridhi participates, facilitates and supports Placemaking capacity building, houseless advocacy, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Cultural Sustainability, Social Permaculture and transformational leadership development. She is also a passionate herbalist, urban wild-crafter, natural building enthusiast, participatory technology activist, animal lover and permaculture urban homesteader.
Adrian Thalasinos Haley, Volunteer at City Repair
Adrian Thalasinos Haley, a BFA alumni in sculpture from UW Madison, joined the larger movement of Portland’s creative, justice driven, and growth motivated communities over 13 years ago. His unique blend of skills and experience in metal fabrication, construction, and marine engineering has empowered his gadgeteer and mad-scientist spirit.
He served as welder for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an ocean going environmental organization, from 2003-2005, and occupied his time inventing and implementing various ocean defence projects around the world. In 2006, he co-formed the Gadgetron, a community shop in the Portsmouth neighborhood of North Portland that explored appropriate technology(1). Its intention was to liberate technology from industry and empower individuals to be makers, fixers, and creators. Adrian also served as the tool coordinator at the North Portland Tool Library in 2007.
Crows Foot Creatives is a project that Adrian started up to crystallize his maker skills and make them available to the larger Portland community. He has since served small business and co-ops, organizations, and individuals in their desire to implement their visions.
Jasmine Co, Intern at City Repair
Jasmine Co is a PSU student, artist, and massage therapist. She has a passion for ecological change and collective growth. This year she is excited to be interning with City Repair and the Village Building Convergence. Jasmine has been focusing on their newest mobile placemaking project, the T-crab.
In this episode you’ll learn
- The inspiring history of City Repair and how it was founded.
- All about the Village Building Convergence and how you can get involved.
- Shared experiences that deepen community by connecting neighbors and neighborhoods
- How to work with local government to develop codes and laws that meet the needs of community members
- How the team at City Repair utilizes a largely volunteer staff.
- Decision-making strategies for building community
- Why process development is the primary goal of the VBC
- Where and when you can find yourself under the T-Horse and the rest of the T-Fleet.