On September 3rd, 2018, 27 teams of four gathered at the Eastbank Esplanade to compete in Lovett Deconstruction‘s Dropbox Derby, a building competition in the style of Iron Chef. Just 24 hours prior to the event, teams were given the theme, “A Seat at the Table,” and an inventory of salvaged materials was delivered. Actual building-time was limited to 4 hours – afterward, these finished products would be judged and then auctioned off, with the proceeds going to support Oregon Tradeswomen.
The morning kicked off with a spirited pep talk by Lovett Deconstruction’s Der Lovett, and at 10:00 a.m. sharp, the teams hurried over to the piles of materials and gathered their share of supplies. The next 4 hours was a flurry of sanding, sawing, staining, drilling, and hammering, as teams were feeling the pressure of 4 hours that felt more like 30 minutes!
Oregon Tradeswomen competed this year, too. The team of 4 was comprised of two board members, Moe Gauthier, and Meghan Moyer, and two staff members, Abby Bandurraga, and Trytten Tehrani. The team’s concept for “A Seat at the Table” was a hexagonal children’s picnic bench where everyone is the head of the table. The table top had a geometric inlay of wood of different colors representing the unity between all the different people who share the planet.
The level of artistry and craftsmanship at the Dropbox Derby was impressive. Many spectators wove through the Eastbank Esplanade observing the teams diligently working together to assemble their unique projects piece by salvaged piece. Once the building portion was complete, judges filed through to talk to each team about their finished products. The judging criteria included Aesthetics, Creative Use of Materials, Craft, and Theme.
There were many different ways in which teams interpreted “A Seat at the Table.”
With an honorable mention, Team OG crafted a tabletop with the image of a woman with outstretched arms which intended to symbolize welcoming everyone to the table.
In 3rd place, Team Feathered Caulk decided to challenge themselves and build the most complex type of table they could imagine: a fully functioning Foosball table!
In 2nd place, Team Neil Kelly, built a beautifully designed bench made up of two seats facing opposite directions, with their arm rests joined together to make a table.
In 1st place, Team Engaging Environments built a table with a seat within it. The seat represents the patriarchal oligarchy in which we live. Half of the table is not seen on the surface, but it functions by holding the rest of it up. This represents workers of all genders and ethnicities who are an essential part of our social systems, but are often unheard. This project was also honored with the People’s Choice Award.
The Dropbox Derby is an experience like no other. Vast imaginations, great skill, and fierce teamwork all came together to create stunning structures with a message. We are so grateful to Lovett Deconstruction for organizing this stupendous event and for honoring Oregon Tradeswomen by naming our nonprofit organization as the beneficiaries of the auction proceeds.
Oregon Tradeswomen is grateful to all 27 teams for their creativity and talent, as well as all those who came out, cheered on, and bid on these handmade masterpieces. We are so lucky to have this community and we cannot wait to see what is in store for next year!