The PDX Carpet Night Thread (8/18)

A few months ago, some commenters were a little baffled by my excitement at stepping on an patch of the Portland International Airport carpet. Why be excited about airport carpet after all?

Therein lies the appeal. No one in the world cares about airport carpet. Can you describe the pattern in your nearest city? PDX’s carpet is teal, which is a huge no-no these days considering that teal gets easily dirty and airports are high traffic areas. It’s paired with dark blue and purple lines. (Teal, blue and purple being one of the most underrated an appealing color combinations, in my book. Those are Decepticon colors!) The lines are paired with square dots in a pattern that aligns the elements at 45 and 90 degree angles.

No one knows what the meaning behind the pattern is. Some think that it resembles the screen seen by air traffic controllers.

The net result: a unique pattern that has come to symbolize Portland.

Or at least it used to. Most of the carpet was ripped out in 2015 and replaced with a less interesting design. It comes in a darker shade of green with a pattern that was clearly inspired by the original PDX carpet but in swoopy shapes that resemble a sailboat.

I guess it’s fine, but so far no one has printed it on merch. No one has put it on hats or purses. No one has tattooed it on their human flesh.

And it hasn’t shown up on shoes.

My favorite piece of PDX Carpet merch: limited edition shoes from Portland Trailblazers star NBA player Damian Lillard. Lillard is a sneaker aficionado. He released multiple shoe designs featuring the signature pattern of the PDX carpet.


And the carpet… STILL LIVES! A patch of it still lines the halls for regional destinations. Take a flight from Seattle to Portland, for example, and the original PDX carpet will be there, waiting for you.

More on the PDX Carpet can be found at the 99% Invisible podcast.