Seattle Design Festival 2016: Design Change

Seattle Design Festival 2016 was September 10 - 23

This year’s Seattle Design Festival theme, Design Change, proposed that design can maximize the public benefits of change, while empowering those communities most impacted by that change.  In Seattle, a place experiencing tremendous change, this year’s Festival investigated and celebrated the role of design in an evolving place.  What does design offer us at this critical time? What new and provocative solutions might exist as a result of design thinking?

Design Change is many things at once.  It is an imperative, a directive, a call to arms – to design change itself, where design is action. It is the change of design processes and outcomes. It is a rallying cry, a specific type of change, a quality. And it is a continuum, a beginning and end, an action-reaction.

Programs addressed Design Change from every possible perspective, and engaged all design disciplines.

Design Change asks:

  • Can, or should, change be designed?
  • How can design aid in the rapid and ever present change in our community?
  • Is a changing Seattle an example for communities everywhere?
  • How can design challenge, inspire, empower change?
  • Who designs change? Who does not? Why?
  • How can design address tradition and cultural continuity?
  • How can Design change itself to match contemporary problems in need of solutions?

SDF2016 was a great success!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the conversation about Design Change at this year’s festival. View photos from the festival over at the SDF Flickr!

Get Involved

Learn more about SDF2016 on the Design in Public website & be sure to connect with Design in Public on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


The Seattle Design Festival celebrates the ways design makes life better. Community members, city officials, citizen-experts, and designers all come together at workshops, performances, tours, exhibitions, talks, films, gatherings and more to exchange ideas. SDF is presented by AIA Seattle and Design in Public in partnership with dozens of partner organizations.



Design in Public

Seattle Design Festival Block Party 2016

Seattle Design Festival 2016: Design Change

The 2016 Seattle Design Festival was September 10-23. Read more


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