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Design Road Show

Started on February 1st this year, a design nonprofit Project H Design launched a project called Design Revolution Road Show run by Emily Pilloton. The project's mission?

Simple but ambitious....35-schools, 75-day, 7000-mile tour and exhibition showcasing design for social impact that takes place in an Airstream.

'The programming will bring the evidence of and tools for design for social impact to the doorsteps of students, with the ultimate goal of enabling and empowering the next generation of creative problem-solvers to apply their skills to the world’s most pressing problems and improve life on a global scale.'

But as I looked at their itinerary, I noticed that they purposely avoided the Northwest! Portland gets to be part more things these days than Seattle, so screw them. But Hello?! What about us!?

What's up San Francisco? I thought us west coast people are tight, that's the one thing we do have in common is the fact that we're physically on the same side, right? We gotta stick together! You guys are like the people who knows how to put on awesome parties, while Portland is like the laid back cousin who have all the great "hooks ups." I know...we're like the dorky brother who never gets invited to any cool events... and yeah, maybe sometimes we seem like we have a stick up our a** but that's only because we're a little socially inapt, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to party!

I know you think its ridiculous that we mix fleece vests with business outfits...but really, it's Seattle who started the whole woodsman-hunter-look of black & red plaid button shirt with Redwing shoes....not Portland! They just know how to wear it well! Just look at this 1966 Edie Bauer catalog!

They even got C.C. Filson's products!....Although I've yet seen anyone in Seattle carry a Filson bag...and no, it's not because we're too cheap to sport one, damn it!

See! Seattle was sporting this whole look more than 30 years ago! Perhaps that's our problem...we're just way too ahead of the game for anyone to understand us. We're like the awkward prodigy guy who's too shy to get a girl's number...or the sexy librarian lady who's too intimidating for most guys....or something like that.

Just you wait and see, soon enough, y'all will be sporting the fleece-Patagonia-vest-with-sports-sandals-look.....and of course with white socks!

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Take a Closer Look at What's Around....Even If It's Costco

When was the last time you stopped to appreciate the most mundane parts of where you live?
Have you ever hike along the woods off the highway?
Can fences be used to connect instead of divide?
These are a few of the questions brought up in a lecture Jean and I attended tonight by urban planner Thomas Sieverts and put on by Portland-based
Thomas's theory is that we need to come to terms with the already established sprawl of our urban environments and recognize the inherent charm and potential in the in-between state of being it creates. His suggestion is that we begin to shape our culture in a way that appreciates and enhances interactions of people with their location.

-How can we make the best out of the situation and be better aware of and enjoy the places we live?
-Can spaces between buildings become spots for gardens or for people to mingle?
-Can big commercial businesses use the parking lots to house community events like flea markets, fairs, or skateboard competitions?
Thomas posed these questions and more through a narrative photo tour through a Tigard, OR, an apparent suburban wasteland (similar to Burien, WA) of big box stores, fast food, and lower-middle class residences. The photos highlighted the hidden beauty of forests situated between strip malls, spaces between buildings, unofficial walkways, and well-intentioned. Some were beautiful examples spontaneous human resourcefulness others audacious attempts to insert "beauty" in an altogether bland location (think trimmed hedges in parking lots...what's the point?). All were scenes you could witness if you'd just notice it or take a thoughtful walk around a neighborhood near you....or keep it simple and get your ass out of the car. :DBillboard on I-5 between Seattle and Portland. It's always changing with some ridiculous messages on it. I love reading it every time we go by.
Playful signs on a roundabout by Hiawatha neighborhood off of S Rainer Ave in Seattle.
The point behind it all is that there's a natural desire to express human needs no matter the location and that we all need to recognize them and demand them, but it's also what we choose to see and appreciate what's around us.
Will there come a time where living in an abandoned strip mall or Costco building is just as desirable as livinging in industrial warehouses?
This whole lecture has opened up so many design potentials on this subject, and our heads are spinning with ideas for Brite!!...... oh boy!

Today July 2nd: Continuing event with Thomas Sieverts : there will be an organized walking tour in Burien neighborhood to practice this exact philosophy we described and explore what's around there. When's the last time you decided to stop and walk around Burien?? We can't say that we have....But we will tomorrow!

4:00 pm Burien through Community Eyes: Walk the city of Burien with Thomas Sieverts and artist, Boris Sieverts. (Gather at B/IAS 5th Ave SW & SW 150th St., Burien.) Free and open to the public.

6:00 pm Conversation and Nosh with Thomas Sieverts and Boris Sieverts, Burien political and civic leaders, neighbors, friends, and an interested public (at B/IAS, 5th Ave SW & SW 150th St., Burien; food and drink from Mark & Sal’s Deli). Free and open to the public.

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Events: Urban Planning with Sieverts

There's a series of really interesting events happening in Seattle this week from July 1st-3rd concerning the idea of urban planning specifically in Seattle and Burien (interesting combo). Occasioned by Thomas Sieverts, there will be discussions, film showings, and exhibits surrounding this topic.

Suddenly Presents: Sieverts in Seattle and Burien, July 1-3, 2009

Our cities surprise and confound us by scrambling the categories we
use to plan and understand them. At once dense and sprawling, crowded
and empty, urban but centerless, dynamic and stalled, the landscape
where we live defies planning and leaves us with little grasp of its
meanings or pleasures. Yet it is the product of our choices,
individually and as a public: we live here now. So, what can we make
of it? Suddenly will bring art and food and public conversation to
bear on the common cause of making meaning and life in the landscape
where we live now — as it is, as we are, as best we can.

We're thinking of checking these events below:

Wednesday July 1
7:30 pm “Urban Aesthetics,” lecture by Thomas Sieverts (at Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave., Seattle, $5 suggested donation)

Friday July 3: (if you can splurge...this dinner sounds really amazing)
Corridor Project closing dinner at 6pm hosted by Michael Hebb,with Matthew Stadler and Thomas Sieverts in conversation, including a celebration of “suddenly: where we live now, the visual chronicle;” (see for details). It's $40 for the dinner
The documentation of the Corridor Project IIII: Habitat: will be on display. The opening of the Exhibition is open to the public and begins at 9pm in Occidental Plaza in Pioneer Square.
Corridor Project IIII is an exploration of the wilderness and landscape of the Interstate 5. Michael Hebb, Hannes Wingate and Michael McManus discovers what it means to live, eat, and create a habitat for 3 days in one of the freeways generous median areas. (crazy!!)