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For our participatory event, we intent to interview Seattle’s citizens at our location in Chophouse Row, Capitol Hill, during the Capitol Hill Design Crawl on their opinion about Seattle’s city-life balance.
As interview foundation, we have developed four topics about which we want to collect some data. The event idea is based on the annual Mercer Quality of Living Index. According to this ranking Seattle is only on place No. 46 of the most livable cities in the world. The top ten is dominated by cities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Although more than the four designated topics factor into the ranking, we want to find out how livable Seattleites find Seattle.
Our four topics are balance in nature, balance in society, balance in housing and balance in transportation/traffic.
As this project is a collaboration of German expats living in Seattle, we intent to create an intercultural discussion with our participants about how we learn from each other to create greater city-life balance. We plan to compare the three German top ten cities, Munich (No. 3), Duesseldorf (No. 6) and Frankfurt (No. 7) with Seattle in our 4 designated categories.
Balance in nature was chosen due to Seattle’s unique location close to mountains and the ocean and with that the broad variety of opportunities to explore the outdoors. We also want to find out what our fellow citizens think about balance in society as Seattle has become a diverse place over the years, bringing together people from many countries. How does this multi-cultural melting pot go together? The housing market seems to have reached its peak and slowly starts to cool, yet we still have many people living on the streets although there is also housing vacancy. How do Seattleites feel about that? And the last theme balance in transportation/traffic was chosen because of the unsolved traffic issues on I5 and I90 that the city’s commuters face every day.
To make this more interesting, we will ask participants to physically express their opinion, e.g., in form of a handstand, or some other yoga or non-yoga poses. In a very basic version this could be making a scale with the arms on the side of the body (Vitruvian man style). We intent to take polaroid pictures of every participant and collect them in our photo booth. The participatory event will slowly turn into an installation/exhibition that pictures a citizen-based opinion barometer about the quality of living in Seattle.
The program runs under the slogan of “Germany and USA – Wunderbar together” to celebrate the year of German-American Friendship 2019 and is co-presented by the Goethe Pop Up Seattle, a temporary branch of the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach.