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  • History

    Design in Public’s flagship program, the Seattle Design Festival (SDF) 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 9 years. Past Festival themes include: BALANCE (SDF2019), 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 2020: About Time

    2020 is a big year. The Seattle Design Festival is turning 10! And our anniversary comes at a pivotal moment in time, for our city and our world. This year’s festival theme, About Time, ponders our past, present and future, and seeks opportunities to act – and to celebrate – at this unique moment in time.

    In the 10 years since the festival began, our city and our world have experienced dramatic change. What can design be proud of over the last decade, and what should we celebrate? What opportunities have we missed, what paths did we not take, and how is that impacting us now?

    2020 now marks a turning point that we had not imagined. We are presently confronted with the reality of a global public health crisis and its profound impact on our daily lives.

    We are aware the impact this crisis has had on everyone’s daily lives, and realize that many of us are living and working day by day. The way that we collaborate has changed, and priorities are shifting. We are rethinking our proposal process to better respond to the immediate needs of our Festival community.

    While the traditional physical experiences – including the Block Party and Neighborhood Spotlights – have been canceled, the festival will now feature digital programming, virtual installations and exhibitions, as well as remote experiences.

    We look to you for help and creativity, and to catalyze your communities to aid in restoring balance About Time apart, About Time together – and about so much more.

  • Key Dates

    March 24, April 25, May 7 Design Jams

    June 15 Proposals Due (new date!)

    June 29 Notification of Festival acceptance

    July 5 Final experience descriptions due

    August 15-23 2020 Seattle Design Festival

  • FAQ

    WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP IF I HAVE AN IDEA FOR AN EXPERIENCE OR PROGRAM?

    Review the Call for Proposals! Proposals are due June 15, 2020 5pm PST.  Anyone can propose an experience or program. You do not need to be a professional designer or design firm to participate.

    Our Call for Proposals has been revised to reflect changes related to the decision that the festival will be virtual. 

    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? Do you have specific speakers or key participants confirmed? Is it design-focused and accessible to all? Is the proposed format engaging and participatory? The Festival committee reviews all proposals and provides feedback when sending out acceptance letters.

    HOW CAN I VOLUNTEER?

    To be added to our volunteer list for shorter-term opportunities during the festival, sign up on our volunteer page.

    HOW ELSE CAN I HELP?

    The Festival is only possible through generous support from local partners.
    Sponsorship Opportunities can be found online.

    I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS.

    Contact info@designinpublic.org with any questions.