Lane Arts Council’s First Friday ArtTalk seeks to present the work and ideas of significant artists and art professionals in a welcoming, accessible format several times each year.

First Friday ArtTalk: Design Think, On Your Feet

Friday, February 2nd | 6:00pm
942 Olive St. 

“If you have a mind, you are a designer.”  Everyone in our culture engages in the choices afforded by today’s design options.  They often define the richness of an opportunity, or the frustrations of why something has failed.  In this ArtTalk, Wilson W. Smith III, a 34-year Senior Designer from Nike, and the recipient of 2018 Ellis F. Lawrence Medal from the University of Oregon College of Design, will explore the role of Design Thinking from the feet up, to enhance creative expression, with the goal of a rich quality of life for all.
This ArtTalk is sponsored by Lane Arts Council and The Department of Product Design at the University of Oregon.

Artist biography:

Wilson W. Smith III is a Senior Designer and Nike DNA Design Specialist.  During his 34-year tenure at Nike, Smith worked on projects that run the gamut of the design profession—retail, graphics, architecture, footwear, experience and apparel—and designed and developed product for some of the greatest athletes in Nike’s history, including Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Andre’ Agassi, Roger Federer.

In addition, Wilson is a Professor in Product Design at U of O, where his studio focus is Adaptive Design Enabling Para Athletic Performance. He also co-teaches Intro to Product Design in the UO Sports Product Management graduate program.  Wilson is the recipient of 2018 Ellis F. Lawrence Medal from the College of Design for distinguished alumnus.

Graduating in 1980 with an architectural degree from U of O, Wilson initially worked for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill out of Portland.  He began his Nike career in 1983, assisting in Corporate Architecture.  Transitioning into footwear design his focus became athlete inspired products in Tennis, Basketball, Cross Training, and Brand Jordan, where he designed Air Jordan XVI & XVII.  Black Enterprise Magazine named Wilson one of America’s Top Black Designers.

What truly defines Wilson is his incredible passion around coaching, teaching and giving back.  Wilson’s commitment to the next generation of designers and the power of design to positively impact the world has created a presence and legacy that expands beyond his designs at Nike.

He is also a worship leader at SouthLake Church, Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Previous First Friday ArtTalks:
June 6, 2014 – Jud Turner
October 3, 2014 – Irene Hardwicke Olivieri
April 3, 2015 – Rick Bartow and his Portland gallerist, Charles Froelick
June 5, 2015 –  Christopher Acebo “Guiding Space: An Exploration of Set Design in the Theater”
November 6, 2015 – Henk Pander
October 7, 2016 – Trygve Faste