Culture Collide or Culture Coincide?: Background Interviews to Assess the Practicalities of a Hybrid Hostel/International House
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Because my final graduate design project is to design a cooperatively-organized grass-roots hybrid hostel / International House, geared toward internationally-oriented people in the city of Portland, I wanted to find out what draws tourists and international people to Portland, as well as what these people may be missing in their experience here. I wanted to know this so that my building can emphasize the positives of Portland, while also filling in gaps. I was also interested in the experience of residents living in a prototypical successful International House so that I could find out what makes it successful as well as learning what improvements are possible. I conducted two interviews: one with Jim Kennett, owner of the International Student House and HI-Portland Hostel Northwest, both buildings located in Portland, Oregon; and another interview with Suchitra Saxena, former resident of the first International House, in New York City.