Clambake is a gathering for designers, creatives, and those who like design and want to know more. It’s a time to get together, network, and hear about some of the cool new design work that is happening in RI. Two presenters from two different design disciplines present each month. Presentations are generally 15 minutes followed by Q&A.
In 2018, DESIGNxRI is traveling around RI to find a new home for Clambake. Find them throughout the state this year!
Don Nguyen is a Providence-based industrial designer, machinist, and prototype fabricator. His broad portfolio includes new toothbrush designs and working electric prototypes for Gillette’s Braun division; the design of a durable carrying case for a portable 3-dimensional ultrasound developed by Providence-based CyberMdx Co.; the design and working prototype for a 3-dimensional signage system developed by Providence start-up C360 shown at the “e3 Electronic and Entertainment Expo” in Los Angeles; and the design and manufacturing for a complex mold used by Philips to manufacture ornaments and light bulbs using their existing assembly machinery. He has also worked on projects for the Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Providence Journal and Lockheed Martin. Recently, he has developed a manufacturing relationship with Windward Inc. a defense contractor in New Orleans. Under Providence Machine & Tools Works, the business has been producing components for companies such as Halliburton, General Dynamics, and Teledyne Defense Systems.
Don and two of his brothers own and operate Providence Machine & Tools Works, with a 16,000 sf shop in the Olneyville Neighborhood of Providence. They have been in business together for 15 years. A combination of high-precision CNC (computer-programmed) milling machines and hand tooling are used to produce one of a kind prototypes as well as short and long-run manufacturing. Providence Machine was named “Minority Business of the Year” by Providence Business News in 1996.
In the recent year, Don has setup an offshoot of Providence Machine & Tools Works under the name of WIT (short for what ever it takes). WIT is a design and prototyping company utilizing the latest technologies to generate designs and first rate prototyping.
Don attended the Rhode Island School of Design where he studied Industrial Design. He returned to teach design and manufacturing techniques at RISD in the Industrial Design Department from 2000 to 2004. Don attributes much of his resourcefulness to his unusual background as a Vietnamese refugee who entered this country with 11 brothers and sisters in 1975.
Steve Durkee is an architect, city builder, civic leader and mentor. As Senior Associate and Director of Development at Cornish Associates, he focuses on the revitalization of Downtown Providence – work he has been involved with since his early career. Prior to joining Cornish, Steve was the managing partner at Durkee Brown Architects for 16 years – a preeminent architecture firm he founded with his partner Doug Brown in 1994.
Steve is best known for his passion for working within dense urban environments, his involvement with various non-profit arts organizations, and his leadership role in the design, civic, and business communities. At Cornish, Steve’s current projects include re-positioning of a 160,000 sf single user iconic downtown office building into a multi-tenant mixed-use building, development of a new 143 unit residential mixed-use building in the center of downtown Providence, and renovation and adaptive re-use of 4 historic buildings on Westminster St. into a 60 unit mixed-use residential development.
Steve received a BARCH and a BFA in Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has been awarded many local and regional design awards as well as being selected to receive one of the first Design New England Distinguished Mentors awards. Steve was also one of the first four inductees into the RI Design Hall of Fame in 2014.
Throughout his career, Steve has been involved in public service and civic engagement including 17 years on the Providence City Plan Commission (11 years as Chair), board member of the RI Public Transit Authority, Capitol Center Commission, Grow Smart RI, Executive Committee of the Providence Foundation, and longtime board member and President of AS220 and the Providence Revolving Fund. He is currently a board member of the Downtown Improvement District and a board member of Downcity Design, a non-profit organization mentoring and educating young people through engagement with design.