Friday Five with Tsilli Pines

We venture out west to Portland, Oregon to check in with Tsilli Pines, a Creative Director at FINE, a digital design and branding agency that spans the wine, hospitality, tech, architecture, and financial sectors. They were founded in San Francisco in 1994 before expanding to Portland in 2007. Pines landed at the agency in 2002 and since then she’s been at the helm of many digital experiences, launching award-winning projects of varying sizes. Along the way she co-founded Design Week Portland, a yearly festival that celebrates design and the design community through hundreds of well-curated events. In this Friday Five, Pines shares five things she loves, including music, dance, and her native language.

Image by Oded Ezer

1. Hebrew
My mother tongue. The letter forms above are a comparison between HaZvi, a classic sans-serif font designed by Zvi Hausman, and OE Beit-Hilel (one of my favorite modern Hebrew typefaces), a half-serif designed by Oded Ezer, an incredible Israeli designer and artist. On the left is the letter tzadik, which makes the “ts” sound in my name. Hebrew is written from right to left, and being able to read two languages that run in opposite directions provides a good foundation for seeing multiple perspectives.

Photo by Ian J. Whitmore for Outlet

2. Collaborators
I’m inspired daily by the creative people of Portland, Oregon. It’s nourishing to be surrounded by the incredible talent here, and I feel lucky to be able to call many of them collaborators. Pictured above is Kate Bingaman-Burt, an illustrator, educator, and co-conspirator, shown in her studio. She is incredibly generous with her time and resources, and she opened Outlet as a community space for workshops, pop-up events, printing, and exploration. The zine library and visual treats are super inspiring — there’s always something new to notice and pick up, and it’s incredibly activated with folks coming and going. It’s a great place to cross paths with friends old and new.

Photo courtesy of ArcLight Cinemas

3. Movies
My most seminal experience in a movie theater was a midnight showing of Apocalypse Now at the Cinerama Dome in LA in the 90s. I’ve always been a voracious consumer of films, and this was more or less a religious experience for me. In every city where I’ve lived, I’ve developed an attachment to certain theaters, especially the grand landmarks and arthouse venues. In Portland, the theater that has my heart is the Hollywood Theatre. Not only do they bring the best movies in (they’re one of the few 70mm venues on the West Coast), but they’re also a nonprofit that runs educational programs and hosts community events and film festivals. They recently brought Movie Madness, an important video store in town, under their wing when it was in danger from going under. They also opened a small theater at the PDX airport that plays a rotating selection of shorts, so you can get a dose of inspiration before your flight.

Solange on the cover of her album, A Seat At The Table

4. Music
I’m deeply inspired by glimpses at how artists go about making their work, so Song Exploder is my podcast of choice. I’ve listened to the episode about Solange’s Cranes in the Sky countless times, and I always take something away from the stories musicians share on this show. Other favorite episodes: Ludwig Göransson, Ibeyi, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Tune-Yards.

5. Dance
I grew up dancing, and I go to see as many shows as possible. In Portland, White Bird brings in world-class companies like Alvin Ailey, Batsheva, and Urban Bush Women. But my yearly highlight is the SF International Hip Hop Dance Festival, where you can see crews from around the world perform. I grew up in Berkeley, California, and I make a pilgrimage back to the Bay Area to see this festival every year. It’s a mix of local youth and the best of the best. They all give me life.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.