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DESIGN IS EVERYWHERE… But especially at the Seattle Design Festival. Up above’s a snapshot from 2017’s celebration. Find out how to get hands-on with design this year, below. (📸: Trevor Dykstra)

Who is the Seattle Design Festival for?

Everyone. There are all kinds of installations and events popping up around Seattle this month. The coolest part: A bunch of ‘em want you (and your little ones!) to get hands-on to play and explore.

What’s design got to do with me if I’m not, you know, a designer?

“We think about the graphics that you experience walking through the city, whether it’s street signs or ads or signage directing you to something important or icons that get you to emergency [exits] or beautiful graphics that are part of a sidewalk scape,” said Debra Webb, director of Design In Public, which puts on the festival.

Debra said designers are civic-minded and try to help us tackle our toughest challenges and make our cities more inviting and inclusive.

“My hope is that people can see that they can have an effect and they can have a voice in what our city looks like and how their lives can be better through design,” she said.

This year’s festival theme is TRUST. Why’s that?

Over the last year, conversations about national politics have been heated and often painful. And Seattle has its own polarizing issues, like rapid growth, a widening wealth gap, and increasing homelessness.

“I think that the festival’s intent is to be relevant and provocative and reflective and responsive to what’s going on in our society,” Debra told us. “We felt it was important to welcome conversations that are hard, but in a platform that hopefully we can listen to each other and find commonalities as well.”

There are a ton of events happening this month. What are the can’t-miss parts of the festival?

Here’s what Debra recommends…

  • Seattle Design Festival’s Block Party (Sept. 8-9): Check out dozens of big outdoor installations, see performances, and more. “To me, [this] is one of the easiest ways to get engaged with the festival… Families come and young children can have a hands-on experience and understand, ‘Oh, this is what design is. Wow, maybe I could be a designer!’”
  • “We the Future” (Sept. 6-21): A poster collection spotlighting young activists of color and encouraging young people to vote. “The art is exquisite, it’s beautiful,” Debra says. “It invites you to action.”
  • Georgetown studio tour (Sept. 11): “Forty different artists and craftsman and designers are opening up their studios and their creativity and their practice and inviting the public in.”
  • Microsoft’s “AI and Creativity” talk (Sept. 20): “Their design discussion’s bringing global leaders working in the field of [artificial intelligence] to dialogue with the public and share what they’re doing, to have conversations about the ethics of AI, interactive technology, and wearable fashion.”

Another thing that caught our eye…

This fascinating tour of hostile architecture, a.k.a. buildings, streets, and other urban features that, according to its organizers, don’t account for a community’s interests and culture. The tours, which will trek you through Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District, are led by the Seattle Architecture Lobby advocacy group. Get more info about the tours, which are happening this Saturday and Sunday, here.

The Seattle Design Festival is happening September 6-21. It’s an Evergrey partner event, and you can come say hi at our table at the block party Saturday morning. Planning to go? Be sure to tag #theevergrey in your Instagram pics.


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NOW HERE'S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON IN YOUR CITY

Hey bike, take a hike. If you want a intense, punishing local hike, you tread on over to Mailbox Peak near North Bend. You know what you don’t haul up the mountain with you? A bright yellow Ofo bike-share bike. But that’s exactly what some mysterious hiker just left on the 4,822-foot summit. If it’s a joke, plenty of people aren’t laughing. And no word yet on who’s gonna carry that damned, discontinued thing back down. 🚲 (KING 5)

‘Why are the police not enforcing the laws?’ A whopping 1,700 people cast their vote for The Seattle Times to answer this reader question about why police aren’t writing people up for camping in Seattle’s parks and streets. Our city is taking take a “soft” approach to those laws, the Times explains. But one popular idea — that police officers have been told not to enforce them — is a “pervasive myth,” according to Sgt. Sean Whitcomb. It’s Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes who decides whether or not to charge people for things, and his office charged seven people with camping in a park last year. Even that might be too many, though: A federal appeals court just ruled that prosecuting people for sleeping on the streets when they have nowhere else to go amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. (The Seattle Times)

Showbox shenanigans? A big to-do over the fate of a legendary Seattle music venue just took a new twist. The owners of the property the Showbox sits on are suing the city for, essentially, stealing it out from under them. To back up: News broke in June that a developer wanted to buy the building and replace it with a 44-story skyscraper. The city — particularly our arts community — was not having it. Public pressure led to political pressure, and in July, our City Council decided to expand the boundaries of a historically protected area so it would cover the Showbox, protecting it for 10 months. The owners are calling BS on that move, and want $40 million to make up for the money they’re not going to make if they can’t sell their own building. (Crosscut)

Listen up, book nerds. ‘Cause one of our city’s most prolific readers has some ideas for your fall reading list. Her name is Caitlin Luce Baker, she’s backlist buyer at University Book Store,  she read all the best new fall titles, like, months ago, and you’re going to want to check ‘em out. Want to pick her brain all year long? Fellow book nerd Paul Constant suggests you follow her on Twitter. (The Seattle Review of Books)

The mystery soda machine is back… and it looks like it’s hanging out at the Space Needle. What the heck are we talking about? A grungy soda machine stocked with random, hard-to-find soft drinks was one of the most deliciously random things about Capitol Hill … until it disappeared from its decades-old hangout this summer and left a note that it was “going for a walk” (true story). Now, someone’s posted a selfie on its Facebook page showing off new digs by the Needle. But is the photo legit? Curbed’s Sarah Anne Lloyd is checking it out. (Curbed Seattle)

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HERE'S WHAT'S COMING UP

PARTNER EVENTS

🎉  Saturday – Sunday: See large-scale art installations, peruse a street fair, and learn how design affects our lives at Seattle Design Fest (Pioneer Square)

📣 Tuesday Sept. 11: Turn your stories into epic anecdotes with help from a storytelling and podcasting pro (Pioneer Square)

🏡  Wednesday, Sept. 12: Learn how to buy a home with a little help from your friends at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

🍸  Thursday, Sept. 13: Be a mezcal master and sample the goods at this mixology event from the MEX AM Northwest Festival (Capitol Hill)

🚚  Saturday, Sept. 15: Make buddies while painting your very own trucker hat at this Foundation mixer (Fremont)

🤔  Wednesday, Sept. 19: Push or pull? Get tips on when to lead and when to manage at this Impact Lunch + Learn. (Pioneer Square)

AROUND TOWN

TODAY

🎶  Visit Game of Thrones’ Westeros with an orchestra (Queen Anne)
🎟  Check out a mash-up of magic, comedy, and acrobatics — through Sept. 8 (Fremont)
🗣  Hear what your neighbors “gleaned from teachers or the streets” (Fremont)


TOMORROW

👋  Mingle with the witchcraft community at this night market (Ballard)
🎶  Hear tributes to Erykah Badu and Sade (Capitol Hill)
🍴  Bring your stretchy pants to an Italian food festival — through Sept. 9 (Georgetown)
🎶  Honor Aretha Franklin with KEXP’s DJ Riz (Beacon Hill)
💪  “Make friends, then fight them” at Swordsquatch — through Sept. 9 (Georgetown)


SATURDAY

🎈  Peruse antiques, vintage clothes, and home decor at a flea market (SoDo)
🎨  Take the fam to one of Seattle’s biggest, most creative block parties at this Evergrey partner event — through Sept. 9 (Pioneer Square)
🎨  See ‘em pour molten bronze at this open house (Central District)
💡  Tour the city’s “hostile architecture” — through Sept. 9 (Pioneer Square)
🍴  Grab snacks and check out local crafts at a night market (International District)
🎟  Watch a drag tribute to anime director Hayao Miyazaki (Belltown)
🎈  Bring the fam to make glowy lanterns and see bendy acrobats (Burien)
🍷  Take your dog on a winery walk (Woodinville)


SUNDAY

🎈  Learn to hula and munch on shave ice (Queen Anne)
💪  Check out a yoga class to “center and celebrate fat bodies” (Capitol Hill)
🏞  Sip mimosas, eat brownies … then run a 5K or 10K (Green Lake)
🐶  Grab a beer and let your dog cool off at a puppy pool party (Greenwood)

 

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership. Is an event sold out? Hit reply to let us know and we’ll update the listing in tomorrow’s newsletter.

GET YOUR ART ON

It’s First Thursday, folks. That means free admission to a bunch of museums, and a fun, buzzy scene by the art galleries in Pioneer Square that always draws a crowd (😉).

Have a colorful one, all. – The Evergrey


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