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  • History

    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 designers, citizens, city leaders, and future-thinking business innovators. SDF is the largest design-related event in the Pacific Northwest, gathering 120+ partners and over 30,000 attendees to 80+ citywide events for the past 11 years. Past Festival themes have included: EMERGE (SDF 2021) About Time (SDF 2020) BALANCE (SDF 2019), TRUST (SDF 2018), POWER (SDF 2017), Design for Equity (SDF 2015), Design in Motion (SDF 2014), and Beneath the Surface (SDF 2011). To learn more about past Festivals, visit our Festival Archive page. 

  • SDF 2022: CONNECTION

    August 20-26, 2022

    When thinking about design, there is something very tangible and physical in how things ‘connect’ – but there is also something very emotional that ‘CONNECTION’ taps into as well. CONNECTION is a core human need. Our brains are wired to connect. We look and long for social connections. We strive to understand how parts connect to form a larger whole. In a world that is increasingly experiencing disconnection, how can design affirm and strengthen critical connections within our community?

    How can design connect people to exchange ideas, strengthen community, and design a better world?
    Does the design process offer tools and strategies allowing us to engage our neighbors to build lasting CONNECTION?
    How can design play a role in connecting people across difference and disagreement?
    How can the design of our places, objects, and experiences encourage CONNECTION across communities?
    How can design respond to the idea that CONNECTION continues to evolve and adapt?

  • FAQ

     

    HOW DO I SUBMIT A PROPOSAL?

    The Festival planning committee has developed our 2022 Call for Proposals as prompt for our community to demonstrate the relevance of design thinking, empower communities to leverage design, and promote a culture of collaboration. The link to our application website, and other submission requirement details, can be found in this year’s call for proposals. This document also outlines the 2022 theme, connection, and the three Festival elements you can engage with at SDF 2022. Proposals due May 23, 5 pm Pacific Time

    HOW ARE PROPOSALS SELECTED?

    It’s simple! We are looking 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.

    WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE TO POTENTIAL SDF PARTNERS WHO HAVE QUESTIONS?

    The Festival planning team will be hosting 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.

    Find Your Inspiration

    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.

    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 Festival acceptance, from a total pool of $8,000.
    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 info@seadesignfest.org with any additional questions.