Power up for the 2017 Seattle Design Festival

Design in Public will offer a free Sneak Peek of the 2017 Seattle Design Festival from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 15 at 1010 Western Ave. in Seattle.

Festival staff and organizers will provide an overview of this year’s festival, expanding on the key theme of power as explored by the 120 Design in Public partners, followed presentations from select program and installation teams. 

This year’s teams are exploring the theme of power.  Who has the power? Who must we empower? How do the powerful and powerless work together? What power does design have to drive positive change? How should the Seattle design community use its own power? 

This is the seventh year of the Seattle Design Festival. Events run Sept. 9-22 at the Center for Architecture & Design and in many other venues throughout the city. Check out the full events calendar here

It is presented by Design in Public, an initiative of AIA Seattle, in collaboration with community organizations

Every September, the Seattle Design Festival brings together designers, community members, experts, and city officials to celebrate and explore how design improves the quality of our lives and our community. Since 2011, the Seattle Design Festival has been presented by Design in Public and AIA Seattle in collaboration with dozens of partner organizations.

Posted in Architecture, Design and Art, DJC, Events, Neighborhoods, Parks and open space, Planning | Comments Off on Power up for the 2017 Seattle Design Festival

From Austria with love: James Bond returns to Spectre mountaintop

This winter, coming to the top of the Gaislachkogl Mountain, you will be able to experience a new James Bond cinematic installation. This iconic location, located next to the ICE Q Restaurant in Sölden, Austria was used in the 2015 James Bond movie, SPECTRE

Embedded into the top of the mountain, Cable Car Companies Sölden is creating a new building to house the 007 installation.  The concept for the installation was designed and developed by Creative Director and James Bond Art Director Neal Callow together with Optimist Inc. Head of Design Tino Schaedler and his team.

The building is designed and built by award-winning architect Johann Obermoser and inspired by the work of James Bond Production Designer Sir Ken Adam. 

The name of the cinematic installation and further details about the visitor experience will be released later this year.

Check out more information at 007.com.

Posted in Architecture, DJC, Projects in progress | Comments Off on From Austria with love: James Bond returns to Spectre mountaintop

Save your PARK(ing) spot for September

In past years, PARK(ing) Day parklet pop-ups have included streets lined with art studios, bowling alleys, mini golf courses, bubble gardens, urban farms, and places to lounge and relax. 

Seattle has participated in the international PARK(ing) Day event since 2007.  The City of Seattle says, “parklets and streateries…provide a way for businesses and community groups to convert on-street parking into open space on a longer-term basis.” You can check out the SDOT PARK(ing) Day website and the Parklet and Streatery Program website for more information.

Applications are due August 18th. What will you do with your parking space? 

Posted in Design and Art, DJC, Neighborhoods, Parks and open space, Seattle lifestyle, transportation | Comments Off on Save your PARK(ing) spot for September

What’s in store for the mall?

The Mall of the Future Will Have No Stores 

After decades of building, designing, and studying, CallisonRTKL has blueprints for the malls of the future. 

“What we know for sure is that the mall of the future is not a mall,” CallisonRTKL says in its interactive web presentation Mall of the Future. “It’s an entirely new retail experience—one that will change throughout the year and even throughout the day to keep people coming back for new, fresh experiences. These advancements will affect developers, consumers, retail brands and designers, from the smallest neighborhood strip mall to the most impressive Class-A regional shopping center. 

“Today’s consumer is after the experience and buying things that serve a purpose and make the world a better place, while also having the ability to compare options at the touch of a button.” 

Check out CallisonRTKL’s full interactive discussion of the Mall of the Future here


While chain store closings have declared the malls of America all but dead, online retailers like Amazon are snapping up retail outlets and redefining what it means to shop. 

Check out our recent article How Amazon deal could change stores Amazon deal could change stores

“Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is a massive bet that people will want the convenience of ordering online and delivery or in-store pickup.”

“All stores are not going away, it’s just a matter of finding the store/online equilibrium,” Credit Suisse analysts said.


Developer: don’t call huge Miami project a mall; it’s ‘retail-tainment’ – 

In our recent article on the huge American Dream Miami development, Don Ghermezian, president of developer Triple Five Worldwide Group of Edmonton, Canada said, “We are not mall developers. That’s not what we’re trying to build.  A lot of it is ‘retail-tainment.’ What we’re trying to create is an economic engine.” 

This massive project would have an indoor ski slope, water park, 2,000 hotel rooms, a performing arts center — and stores.


On a smaller scale, maybe the mall of the future will look like the AIA Award winning  Chophouse Row.  Filled with small businesses, boutiques, and restaurants. 

That wouldn’t be so bad. 

Posted in Architecture, Construction, Design and Art, DJC, Planning | Comments Off on What’s in store for the mall?

Appreciating brutalism, even if it isn’t beautiful

Some brutalist buildings are being saved. Some are being mourned.

Recently in the DJC: 

Brutalism being banished but not all think it’s ugly

  • For all the Brutalist buildings that go down without a fight, a few get a loving farewell. In downtown Providence, kazoo-playing mourners recently held a funeral procession and gave eulogies as demolition crews prepared to tear down the John E. Fogarty Building, built as a government welfare office in the 1960s.“It’s not an easy style to like,” said Marisa Angell Brown, an architectural historian at Brown University who attended the funeral and co-wrote a mock obituary for the 49-year-old building. “We tend to prefer boring to ugly.”

Modernist gem? Eyesore? Debate over the fate of N.Y. building may end soon

  • It was designed by the late architect Paul Rudolph, a celebrated figure of the mid-20th century style known as brutalism. A decision is due next month about renovating the facade. Critics compare the plan to desecrating a Michelangelo; supporters say the building is simply ugly and poorly designed.

Group says design help is needed to make Freeway Park more inviting

  • When Freeway Park opened above Interstate 5 in Seattle on July 4, 1976, it was a big hit as people flocked there to lie in the sun and enjoy the waterfalls.  These days the 5.2-acre city park mostly just gets visitors during special events and conventions at the Washington State Convention Center next door.

Metro Station in Washington, D.C. via  brutalistdc.com

The Sirius Building in Sydney’s The Rocks is slated for demolition following a proposed sale of the site by the NSW state government. Via ArchitectureAU.com (Allshots Imaging/Creative Commons)

IKEA’s Pirelli Building in New Haven, Connecticut. Ikea, which owns the property, is allowing artists to use the building as a pop-up exhibit this summer and is entertaining proposals from developers who want to creatively refurbish the building. 

Orange County Government Center
The Orange County Government Center in Goshen, N.Y. The long, heated debate over suburban Orange County’s government center ends with renovations that would trade in stack-of-asymmetric-concrete-boxes look for a sleeker, more anonymous facade. Critics compare the plan to desecrating a Michelangelo and note the building is on the World Monuments Fund’s global watch list. Others say the building is simply ugly and poorly designed. Via RecordOnline.com  (Mike Groll / AP Photo)

Construction of the $74 million Orange County Government Center in Goshen. Via RecordOnline.com   (Jim Sabastian / The Times Herald-Record

University of Washington Reactor Building. Via ArchPaper.com  (Jennifer Mortensen / Washington Trust for Historic Preservation)

When Seattle’s Freeway Park opened in 1976, it was crowded with people who went there to lie in the sun and dive into the water.


Or, maybe the best way to appreciate brutalism is through artistic renditions. 

Offering a delightful new ode to Brutalist masterpieces around the world is a series of illustrations created by Spanish designer Marta Colmenero for insurance company Go Compare. Done in a vintage style with vivid colors, the illustrations add some extra life to these concrete monoliths. See a sample of them below, then head to GoCompare for the full set. Via Curbed.com. 

Check out more great photos at the brutalistdc Instagram.