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.
2020 is a big year in many ways– the Seattle Design Festival turned 10! Our anniversary came at a pivotal moment in time. 2020’s SDF theme, About Time, sought to ponder past, present and future at a unique moment of transition for the city, the region and the world. Instead, it confronted the present reality of a global public health crisis and the need to address and dismantle racist systems. Priorities are shifting, and the way that we collaborate has changed.
It is About Time for real, meaningful change.
We worked to re-imagine this year’s Festival, shifting to a virtual format that kept our partners and festival-goers safe. The Seattle Design Festival still took place August 15-23, 2020 with:
- – live-streamed webinars and discussions
- – ongoing virtual programming, available throughout the Festival
- – physical displays throughout the city that honored physical distancing guidelines
- – a weekly Thinkercyze, a virtual design challenge developed by the Festival planning team
Our Festival partners submitted amazing programming that sought to address the challenges of our communities, inspiring action through design.
WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP IF I HAVE AN IDEA FOR AN EXPERIENCE OR PROGRAM?
Proposals were due June 15, 2020 5pm PST. Our Call for Proposals was revised to reflect changes related to the decision that the festival will be virtual. Anyone could propose an experience or program. You do not need to be a professional designer or design firm to participate.
Stay tuned for SDF 2021 Call for Proposals announcements in late winter/early spring!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.