We first noticed Quartertwenty when we saw knucklehead bottle openers in action and then did some research and were pleased to find out that they were Portland based. We visited their Northwest Portland Industrial studio a while back and had a blast learning about their design and fabrication processes. Their products range from versatile shelf brackets, key racks, the perfect bar stool, beautifully minimal benches and much more. Founder Matthew Bietz has also delved into the world of skateboard design and production with some very impressive designs. Matthew does some great custom work as well including installations, building and furniture design-build. A truly talented metal and woodworker who manages to combine design and concept with precise and skilled execution. Enjoy our visit at the Quartertwenty studio with Matthew and his great team!
1. Why Portland? What was it that drew you to Portland or has kept you here?
I was born in Seattle, and my parents moved here in the late 70's…I've thought of moving lots of times,
but every time I arrive back in Portland and see all the green, it just feels like 'home'
2. What are your favorite things happening in Portland (design or otherwise)?
So many things!…A great design community, friendly resources, food, coffee, beer, music…..
When I was in Grad school in Seattle, Portland used to be their red-headed stepchild...
now we are their much cooler younger sibling, with better weather and less traffic!
3. How did your brand start?
It took quite awhile, but the genesis was a design/build trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico with Steve Badanes of the Jersey Devil Studio.
We were drinking tequila, and he asked me "What are you gonna do when you finally get your architecture degree?"
I replied, "You know, get an office job, do my internship, become an architect….."
He looked me straight in the eye and said, "Screw that!….move back to Portland and open a design/build firm instead!"
fast forward 10+ years and we've morphed into a company that has our own product line and fabricates custom
fixtures and commercial interiors for a broad range of clientele.
4. What has been your biggest obstacle?
Too many good ideas…and not enough time to execute them all!
5. What or who inspires your design?
Sverre Fehn, Gerrit Reitveld, Jean Prouve….and scrapyards
6. What are your favorite things about Portland?
The new bridge, forest park, beer, coffee
7. What is your favorite part of your studio?
My wannabe 'James Turrell' skylight...
8. Your favorite thing about your workspace?
A south facing garage door and the loading dock
9. Tell us two truths and a lie!
I once rescued 2 drunk fishermen that capsized their boat when I was surfing in Santa Cruz.
I took a year off of school to be a 'bomb sherpa' on Mt. Hood.
designing stuff is really easy and takes no time at all...
10. 5 things you can’t live without.
Coffee, Beer, The Ocean, EDM, and direct sunlight.