Calling all Sim City fans — this is your lucky week. The Seattle Design Festival kicks off on Sat. Aug. 20 with a series of exhibits, workshops, panels + pop-ups that envision what a more innovative urban future could look like. Hint: It goes beyond fancy traffic lights. 🚦
The theme for the festival’s 12th edition is “Connection,” so the focus will be on ways Seattle design can bring people together — whether through public art, thriving community centers, or other citizen-centric efforts. 🏙️
With a ton of events until the festival ends on Fri., Aug 26, we picked some highlights you’ll want to pencil in. Perhaps the most well-designed part? All events, except the closing party, are free.
🎈 Fun for the fam
- Block Party | Sat., Aug. 20-Sun., Aug. 21 | 10 a.m.-7 p.m. | Lake Union Park | This two-day street fair has more than 30 installations + experiences that should delight all ages. Keep an eye out for Whirley Pong — a ping-pong table with a motorized net for up to seven players.
- Toy Boat Challenge | Sat., Aug. 20 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | Lake Union Park | Float your boat literally by constructing a small, buoyant vessel out of everyday materials.
🏘️ Walks + talks
- Columbia City Connections | Wed., Aug. 24 | 4-8 p.m. | Gateway Plaza Park | Enjoy live music, a neighborhood flag design contest + interactive project presentations.
- Walking and Rolling Neighborhood Tours | Thurs., Aug. 25 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Center for Architecture & Design | Guides take attendees around several city blocks with blindfolds, walking canes + wheelchairs so they can get a greater understanding about those who face accessibility issues. Similar tours will go through Fremont + Beacon Hill.
- Wake Up to Low-Waste | Thurs., Aug. 25 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Fulcrum Cafe, 590 Bell St. | Grab coffee + chat about how to reduce waste in manufacturing.
- Re-establishing Housing Diversity | Thurs., Aug. 25 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Center for Architecture & Design | Check out reimagined housing types designed by UW students with a focus on affordability + addressing climate change challenges.
Pro tip: There are also some virtual, lunchtime events next week in case you can’t make it in person. Bring your own perfectly designed sandwich.