The Seattle Design Festival (SDF), formerly known as Design in Public, was founded in 2011 to celebrate all the ways that design makes life better for Seattle, and to nurture relationships among multidisciplinary designers, civic leaders, business innovators, community organizers, educators, artists, and activists.
Through a broad range of events developed by our community partners, we are able to engage a diverse cross-section of the people that live, work, and play in our city. SDF believes that design is for everyone, and its benefits should be accessible, intersectional, and informed by a diverse public.
To learn more about past Festivals, visit our Festival Archive page.
JOIN US AGAIN, THIS AUGUST, FOR OUR ANNUAL FESTIVAL!
What does the future of Seattle look like? How can design help our communities thrive? What if we see the city from different perspectives? How do the questions we ask shape the answers we get? What questions burn inside you?
Curiosity fuels passion and sparks innovation. By asking what if, we are free to step into the unknown. Free to challenge the status quo, expand knowledge, develop new relationships, and make new discoveries. Design thinking has the power to create change, to seek understanding, and to envision an equitable future.
The Seattle Design Festival invites you to explore: What if? What’s possible? What happens next?
WAYS TO ENGAGE
Join the Festival as Program Partner! The Call for Proposals for SDF 2023: CURIOSITY is now open.
Volunteer your time in the summer to bring SDF 2023 to life!
Sponsor the Festival to demonstrate your commitment to the Seattle design community, and help us unleash the design thinker in everyone to illuminate Seattle’s challenges and ignite action.
Check out the 2023 SDF timeline for a high-level overview of what to expect, and when!
WHERE WILL THE 2023 SEATTLE DESIGN FESTIVAL BE HELD?
This year the Block Party will be held at Lake Union Park on August 19 & 20 from 10am-7pm. If you are unable to join us in person at the Park you can join us remotely for the Virtual Mainstage, August 21-23.
WHAT CAN I PROPOSE?
Each year, we release a call for proposals, and our community responds with experiences, events, exhibits, and installations that address it. Our 2023 Call for Proposals outlines each Festival element and guides your submission process. Our community has shared that us they are eager to attend in-person events! However, to remain accessible to our national and international audience who might not be able to join us in person, we will be offering a limited number of virtual events.
SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE MAY 25.
WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO START MY PROPOSAL?
Your proposal should include a detailed description of what you are proposing, how you plan to engage the community and demonstrate a connection to the Festival goals and our annual theme. We will be collecting marketing materials from accepted Festival partners after the Call closes. If accepted, you will have 2 weeks to finalize your marketing graphic and copy for your event page, which is due June 16.
HELP! I CAN’T FIND THE LINK TO YOUR SUBMISSION FORM!
The link to our Submittable page is on the first page of the Call for Proposals. We want to make sure you open and read the call before you start preparing your proposal. Once you’ve accessed the SDF Submittable page, we recommend you bookmark it so that you can easily navigate back! We’ll be using this platform as our primary method of communications.
HOW ARE PROPOSALS SELECTED?
It’s simple! We look for proposals that directly relate to the theme and demonstrate the relevance of design thinking, empower communities to leverage design, and promote a culture of collaboration. We evaluate the quality and feasibility of each proposal: is it thorough or vague? How will you communicate your design process? Is it design-focused and accessible to all? Is the proposed format engaging and participatory? The Festival planning team reviews all proposals and provides feedback when sending out acceptance letters.
On average, we have over 100 program partners a year, including not only designers and their firms, but also community groups, nonprofit organizations, government partners, and students. The most successful proposals come out of partnerships between designers and community groups, creating lasting relationships that live on past the festival and spark change in our city moving forward.
WHAT IF I STILL HAVE DETAILS TO WORK OUT BY THE CLOSE OF THE CALL?
Your submission should include all of the high-level information required for the Planning Team to evaluate your proposal. However, you will have an additional 2-weeks to refine the following marketing materials:
Event Image/Graphic (1152px x 432px)
Updated list of team members
A short 1-2 sentence description of your proposal, targeted toward Festival-goers
2-3 paragraphs to describe your design process, how you are connecting to Curiosity, and how your proposal advances the mission of SDF
WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO POTENTIAL SDF PARTNERS WHO HAVE QUESTIONS?
The Festival planning team hosted virtual and in-person Q&A sessions prior to the close of our call for proposals. Be sure to sign up for the SDF Enews and follow the Festival on your preferred social platform(s)!
The Festival Planning team has also put together resources to inspire and guide your proposal to be engaging, inclusive, and accessible.
• Designing an Accessible and Inclusive Seattle Design Festival
ARE THERE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH PARTICIPATING AS A FESTIVAL PARTNER?
For-profit businesses are required to pay an entry fee to propose an installation or event. One of the most amazing things about the Seattle Design Festival is that we are able to produce our region’s largest design event, on a mostly free or sliding-scale basis for over 21,000+ attendees and counting, while still being truly community-driven and crowd-sourced. In addition, all partners are responsible for their own expenses.
WHAT KIND OF FUNDING IS AVAILABLE TO PARTNERS?
Funding support is available for Non-Profit/Individual/Student submitters only. Applications will be reviewed by the Festival planning committee. Support of up to $500 will be awarded to selected partners, shortly after acceptance to enhance the inclusivity and access of the Festival.
Special consideration given to:
• Co-designed proposals that connect to community
• Accessible experiences
• First time applicants
• Participatory experiences
• Use of repurposed materials
• Thought-provoking and innovative design
• Cross-disciplinary collaboration
HOW CAN I VOLUNTEER?
To be added to our volunteer list for short-and long-term opportunities for next year’s festival, sign up on our volunteer page.
HOW ELSE CAN I HELP?
The Festival is only possible through generous support from our donors and sponsors. Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities and other ways to give.
I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS.
Contact email@example.com with any additional questions.