Our work and interests extend beyond the client service model typical of most design practices. PORT+ broadly encapsulates the writing, research, exhibitions and speculation we pursue outside our for fee client-based work.

As a 2019-2020 Landscape Architecture Foundation Fellow, Nick will build on his thesis work to explore the environmental and economic performance of working landscapes in the cities of Middle America. Guided by past research, the project will question the future of work in a region defined by manufacturing industries, propose a new approach to manufacturing as a design problem to be known as ‘working landscapes,’ and develop a network of designers and non-designers who can unite their efforts to create alternative futures for the working landscapes of Middle America.

PORT participated in the grand opening exhibit for the Chicago Architecture Center. The exhibition, entitled "From Me to We: Imagining the City of 2050" speculated on the future of Chicago in 2050 through acute aspects of the city. PORT's contribution explored the topic of livability and how Chicago's historic park and boulevard system can be reimagined as a critical liveability infrastructure.

Each month during the summer of 2017, The Chicago Loop Alliance ACTIVATE program transforms iconic Loop alleys into pop-up urban experiences, featuring art, music, and more in unique urban settings. PORT created a different 16’x16’ gateway structure for each event, consisting of a perspectival photo montage merging contemporary and historic images of alley activities related to each event theme: play, waste, energy and illicit activities.

PORT saw RIBA’s desire to redesign the electricity pylon as an occasion to fundamentally re-conceive the broader urbanistic role of the electricity grid within the UK landscape, bundling ecological connectivity with the necessary control and management of an elemental urban infrastructure system. Deployed as a continuous hedge complex in the right-of-ways and easements of the electricity grid corridors, National HEDGE represents an integrated, progressive reinterpretation of a culturally significant system of land management.

Carbon T.A.P. envisions a new type of ‘green’ infrastructure deployed at urban locations comprising concentrated sources of CO2 and GHG production. Rather than considering urban infrastructures as a necessary evil only to be hidden or mitigated, PORT views the renovation and re-imagination of these systems as opportunities to create new forms of civic and social domain that have the capacity to positively transform the American urban landscape.