The Same But Different: a tribute to Portland fire hydrants

A couple of months after Liz and I arrived in Portland in January of 2005, I did a photo series of NW Portland apartment building names. It was a way to say hello to the place, a byproduct of our apartment search, a study of typography, and an exercise in answering "how many different ways can you do the same thing?"

In about a month, Liz and I will move back to the Bay Area, so I did another small photo essay (inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher). This one is on the surprising variety of fire hydrants in NW Portland, something I've noticed in walking around the neighborhood in the last year and a half.


(the whole set is on Flickr)

Although we haven't left yet, I guess this is my goodbye letter to Portland. I've enjoyed my time here, and I've made great new friends and deepened some old ones. Thank you, PDX, and although I'm not yet gone, I certainly hope that when I am, it's not forever.

[Addendum: The Internet being what it is, here's an exhaustive history of Portland fire hydrants, including an explanation of the color scheme Portland uses to mark hydrant functionality.]

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


There's always firehydrants on mappr, although it doesn't appear to have gotten to your photos yet, flickr being what it is.

Liz is starting a PhD in the fall at UC Berkeley, so we're moving back to San Francisco.

Why on earth are you coming back?!




A device studio that lives at the intersections of ubiquitous computing, ambient intelligence, industrial design and materials science.

The Smart Furniture Manifesto

Giant poster, suitable for framing! (300K PDF)
Full text and explanation

Recent Photos (from Flickr)

Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design

By me!
ISBN: 0123748992
Published in September 2010
Available from Amazon

Observing the User Experience: a practitioner's guide to user research

By me!
ISBN: 1558609237
Published April 2003
Available from Amazon

Recent Comments

  • Eric Rodenbeck: There's always firehydrants on mappr, although it doesn't appear to read more
  • Mike: Liz is starting a PhD in the fall at UC read more
  • Gino Zahnd: Why on earth are you coming back?! read more

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on June 6, 2006 11:57 PM.

Partial Bibliography of Magic in User Experience Design was the previous entry in this blog.

More on Magic is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.