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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 10 years. Past Festival themes have included: 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 2021: EMERGE
    This year’s festival theme, EMERGE, seeks to inspire action, addressing the consequences of the pandemic to nurture new possibilities. Emerging is a process of adaptation, of transforming the way we interact, collaborate, and create. How can community-driven design strategies carry us forward? How will we emerge better?

     

    This year’s festival will happen exclusively outside through our Block Party, a two-day street fair, August 21-22 at Lake Union Park. The Seattle Design Festival (SDF) Block Party will feature installations, activities, demonstrations, and performances from our community partners.
    This year’s Festival celebrates the potential to re-establish our human connection safely, focusing on the role of community in design, while making it accessible and fun.

    Here’s what you need to know about programming, timing, and how to attend:

  • FAQ

    HOW CAN I ATTEND THE 2021 SDF BLOCK PARTY?

    No ticket or registration is required to attend. All of the 2021 SDF events and programs will take place in Lake Union Park on the weekend of August 21st and 22nd from 10 am-7 pm. Visit the Festival calendar to learn more!

     

    HOW MIGHT COVID-19 IMPACT THE 2021 SDF?

    We are optimistic about our plans for an outdoor festival in August and are moving forward with our 2021 partners to develop built installations and pop-up programming. We are also closely monitoring the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to align with what is allowed under the Washington State Safe Start Phases and by the City of Seattle.

     

    HOW CAN I VOLUNTEER?

    To be added to our volunteer list for short-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 our donors and sponsors. Learn more about our sponsorship opportunities and other ways to give.

     

    WHY ISN’T SDF OFFERING VIRTUAL ENGAGEMENTS IN 2021?

    While SDF is so proud of the pivot our partners made for the 2020 Festival, we have made the decision to develop the 2021 Festival as an in-person experience. Festival organizers recognize the strong need to come together and gather. In order to allocate the resources required to deliver a safe in-person Festival, a decision was made not to move forward with virtual programming. However, we are exploring ways to document and capture Festival programs in an online format.

     

    HOW DO I SUBMIT A PROPOSAL FOR THE SEATTLE DESIGN FESTIVAL?

    The call for proposals for the 2021 SDF is now closed. The Festival planning team has identified over 50 partners who will explore what it means to EMERGE into 2021, demonstrate the relevance of design thinking, empower communities to leverage design, and promote a culture of collaboration.

     

    I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS.

    Contact info@designinpublic.org with any questions.