Mike Peterson

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. After four years at Art Center College of Design in California, I’m back in the Pacific Northwest. With a degree in Environmental Design, I observe, document and redesign the world around me.



16 thoughts on “Mike Peterson

  1. Hi. . . love what you’ve got going so far!

  2. Don Rocks says:

    Michael………..Now that’s a trip down recent memory lane. The photographs are excellent and the line drawings, which I assume must be computer assisted, are similarly terrific. Eye of the artist.

    I particularly enjoyed the Portlandia segment. At the time Kaskey was selected as the artist to build Portlandia, which was composed of metal sheets riveted/welded over a skeletal frame, I was the Director of Administrative Services for Multnomah County and sat on the selection committee. The Architect and friend who designed Las Brisas, was also on the selection committee. After he, John Thodos, left Skidmore Owings as a project manager to hang his own shingle, since building management was in my departmental portfolio, I had discretion with contracts under 10K and John did a lot of good work at county owned properties.

    But I stray. The Portlandia competition was wide open and we met often and looked at slides and models for at least one full month. Michael Graves, who was the building’s architect, also attended those meetings. Interesting guy. This had to be early 80’s or perhaps a year or two before. Graves subsequently was confined to a wheelchair and remains so to this day, at least I believe he is still alive. Kaskey had the inside track from early on and came and addressed the committee when we had winnowed the finalists down to a handfull. He was passionate about the project and while he had an impressive portfolio, had not had a good commission for some time.

    Subsequently, Janice and I were on the waterfront when Portlandia was barged up river to the site. (We were also on the waterfront when Howard Hughes Spruce Goose came up river in large pieces to be installed at the Evergreen Aviation air museum near McMinnville, Oregon.)

    The Multnomah County Courthouse is located the next block down from the Portland Building. During those days my office, which was formerly the Office of the County Sheriff on the first floor overlooking the park blocks, was huge and had it’s own bathroom and shower. I’m coming into focus now a bit and those were the 70’s, The era of five inch wide ties and I had a major collection. Those were also the days surrounding the fateful meeting of Don and Janice. Which continue to this day.

    Thanks for the memories…………………..Uncle Don

    • Uncle Don, what a surprise! Thanks for your compliments on my work. I’m proud to say that all my drawings are 100% by hand (pencil first, pen overlay). Trust me, there are mistakes if you look close enough. Drawing by hand is more fun than a computer anyway.

      I must say, everything you wrote was fun to read (of course) but I was especially excited to hear that you were on the selection committee for Portlandia. I’ve never heard this story before. Meeting Michael Graves must have been interesting. I’m a fan of the Portland Building, but still, I would have asked him why his windows are always so small. Raymond Kaskey is probably an interesting man as well. I read that he has a close guard on the intellectual property rights on Portlandia and that’s why its image is never used commercially. Whatever the case, kudos on the great selection- Portlandia is beautiful.

      Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and sharing the stories!

  3. Lucas Gray says:

    Great blog. I always appreciate finding people who are discussing design and architecture in an interesting way. Also, you sketches are fantastic!

    I am also a local blogger but tend to focus on the international world of architecture and design. Feel free to check out Talkitect.com and let me know what you think. I’d also love to do some cross promoting or if you want to do a guest post on my blog it could help drive some traffic over here.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. I love your blog! You ahve a great eye for images.

  5. ashley trace says:

    Mike, we were sitting in the control of the Portland Aerial Tram and stumbled across your sketches of our work place. How wonderful they are. I wanted to ask if we could get single copies of the two upper station sketches and the lower station looking up the hill. We would love to frame these with attribution and display them in the control room.

    Many thanks,


  6. Kory says:

    Hi Mike! I came across your photo of the St. Johns Bridge and wanted to use it as my cover photo on my Facebook business page. If you would like me to take it down, please just email me and I will. Great photo regardless!

  7. Amanda Rammer says:

    Mike, I too came across your amazing photos and would like to use them on my website / Facebook business page! I’m a St John’s resident but could never take photos like this myself! Wow. Let me know if that’s ok. Thank you!

  8. Nicole says:

    Hi Mike, I’d like to use your St Johns Bridge sketch for a recovery convention announcement. Our theme is “Bridges to Recovery”. Would that be okay?

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