IMG_5103_crop Jen Au
Photo: Jen Au

Public Programs 2019

The Seattle Architecture Foundation produces a number of public programs each year including talks, workshops and special tours that connect the public to the built environment. Some of our programs are tied to a series, like Design in Depth and some are stand-alone events. SAF program content is often coordinated with exhibits on display at the Center for Architecture and Design.

Design in Depth
The Design in Depth series was created to stimulate design conversations and engage the community. This program is volunteer driven and volunteers are responsible for developing and implementing all presentations. For examples of past events please see our Design in Depth Archives. If you are interested in joining the Design in Depth Committee please contact our Program Director, Kim Owens.

*Program pricing and locations vary

Who’s Watching You? Virtual tour with David B. Williams

July 15, 5:30 – 6:30 PM
This event will be hosted on Zoom

Do you ever have the feeling that you are being watched when you walk in downtown Seattle? You are probably right. Hundreds of eyes peer out from buildings in the city observing your every step. Neither human nor electronic, these ever-present watchers belong to dozens of carved and molded animals gazing out from Seattle buildings. Join local author and naturalist David B. Williams on this 1.5 mile virtual walk through Seattle’s central business district see a menagerie of beasts fabled, fantastic, and fierce, including lions, eagles, ducks, and walruses. No binoculars needed!

Buy Tickets

Photo credit: David Williams

DID | Proactive Practice: Growth for Communities, Not as Commodities (Past Event)

June 16, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
This webinar will be hosted on Zoom

What if we could build a new Seattle neighborhood from scratch? Students at the University of Washington College of Built Environments addressed this question in their group Studio as they imagined innovative concepts for the future of the Interbay neighborhood north of the Magnolia Bridge. Come join the Seattle Architecture Foundation for a discussion with Rick Mohler, UW Associate Professor, and the students who participated in the studio to discuss their vision of what a new Seattle neighborhood might look like.

This discussion is inspired by an exhibit produced though AIA Seattle’s Emerging Professionals Travel Scholarship, Proactive Practice. Designed and curated by Jaclyn Hensy and Tristan Walker, their research analyzes the various methods architects can utilize to understand potentialities in a project and asks how can architects and planners practice design as caretakers of our communities and reclaim an active role in the production of space? On exhibit now through July 25th at the Center for Architecture and Design.

David Blum, AICP, Affiliate Instructor of Urban Design and Planning, UW College of Built Environments
Alicia Kellogg, UW Master of Landscape Architecture candidate, 2021
Eddie Kim, UW Master of Architecture candidate, 2020
Grace Kim, AIA, Founding Principal of Schemata Workshop
Maura Witzel, UW Master of Architecture candidate, 2020

Rick Mohler, AIA, NCARB, Associate Professor of Architecture, UW College of Built Environments

Photo credit: Maura Witzel, Ashley Shook, Jason Yan, and Kasia Cassidy

DID | Balancing Act: Data, Technology, and the Re-Imagined City (Past Event)

February 18
Reception 5:00 – 5:30 PM
Program 5:30 – 7:00 PM
At the Center for Architecture & Design

How do we focus emerging technologies to create livable, equitable and sustainable cities? How are designers, technologists, and urban planners re-imagining cities of the future to be more personalized, automated and data-driven? Come join the Seattle Architecture Foundation for a discussion around the future of cities and Seattle’s position at the forefront of balancing technology, data, and social values in the public realm.

This discussion is part of AIA Seattle’s exhibition, Balancing Act: Urbanism & Emerging Technologies. Designed and curated by Boston-based design firm CBT for AIA Boston, the exhibition explores how technology influences our urban experience and the possibilities to focus emerging technologies towards the human experience can develop best urban practices.

Lyle Bicknell, City of Seattle Office of Planning and Development
Joel Fariss, Gensler
Anastasia Krasnoslobodtseva, Microsoft Center of Innovation

Moderator: Sheryl Cababa, VP of Strategy at Substantial

Video: Chris Schanz

DID | Symbiosis: Re-imagining the City’s Future (Past Event)

September 17, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Reception 5:00 – 5:30 PM
Program 5:30 – 7:00 PM
At the Center for Architecture & Design

Symbiosis presents the work of many architects, each of whom express the notion of a symbiotic relationship through the long-standing tradition of model making. The exhibition examines architecture’s reciprocal relationship with community, and investigates a city’s discourse with nature.

Join us for this illuminating discussion. We’ve invited three architects featured in Seattle Architecture Foundation’s 22nd Annual Model Exhibit: Symbiosis to discuss their models and humans’ symbiotic relationship with technology, sustainability, and how it will that shape our future.

Sarah Haase, Schemata Workshop
Matthias Olt, DLR Group
Mona Zellars, Johnson Architects

Noelle Galicia, Weber Thompson

Video: Chris Schanz

DID | Urban Transformations: The Power of Public Art (Past Event)

July 16, 5:30 – 7:30 PM
At the Center for Architecture and Design

Seattle is the fastest growing American city of the decade. This is reflected by our continuously evolving skyline, as old buildings are demolished and new ones erected. As our built environment rapidly changes it is crucial that we maintain the identity of our city. Embedding public art within a city has transformative effects that shape, empower and culturally enrich urban spaces.

The exhibit, “Discover and Disrupt,” produced by Electric Coffin for AIA examines what it would look like if cities were shaped with whimsy and humanity, and if art was able to thrive beyond commercial spaces. Public Art is critical to the cultural vitality of a city, and yet the actors that shape our cities are under the constant strain to minimize budgets and maximize efficiency. The goal of this conversation is to identify obstacles and highlight opportunities of how we can strategically and organically integrate art into Seattle’s evolving urban fabric.

Jesslyn Howard, Board and Vellum

Greg Bell, Chief Curator at Vulcan, Inc.
Duffy De Armas, Founder and Co-Owner at Electric Coffin
Matthew McMurray, Founder and Director at Treason Gallery
Ruri Yampolsky, Public Art Director at Seattle Office of Arts and Culture

This program is held in conjunction with the AIA Seattle Exhibit Discover & Disrupt, which runs through August 31 at the Center for Architecture and Design.

Photo: Trevor Dykstra
Video:Chris Schanz

DID | Because it Rains: How Rain Shapes Seattle (Past Event)

April 16, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Reception at 5:30
At the Center for Architecture and Design

The words “Rain” and “Seattle” are nearly synonymous with each other. For those that live in this city, each individual has experienced the beauty, chaos, and monotony that is Seattle’s rain. The characteristics of rain, whether it be smell, sound, touch, or the emotional feelings triggered, have shaped the built environment and ethos of Seattle.

The AIA Exhibit “Because it Rains” examines the individuality of rain events across the United States and internationally to discover design responses to varying characteristics of rain. The goal of this panel is share stories and experiences of how Rain and its unique characteristics have shaped the built environment in Seattle today, and looking toward the future, how the today’s built environment can respond differently.

Peregrine Church, Founder Rainworks
Mónica Guzmán, Co-Founder & Director, The Evergrey
John Sundstrom, Chef-Owner, Lark, Slab Sandwiches + Pie, Southpaw
Jordan Zlotoff, Project Manager, Landscape Architect, Berger Partnership

Laura Bartunek Assoc. AIA & Curator, Because it Rains

Video:Chris Schanz
Thank you to our Design in Depth series sponsors



Hargis Engineers Inc.
MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions


Center for Architecture and Design
1010 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206.667.9184


Sign-up Here!


1 week ago
Timeline Photos

We can't wait to be back in full swing with our in person programs and other fun events!

What have you been doing to stay busy these last couple months?

1 week ago
Timeline Photos

Seattle is a beautiful place and has reflected and influenced numerous architectural styles over time.

Next time you're walking around the city, pay close attention to the buildings around and ... See more

1 week ago
Timeline Photos

This is a picture from 1909 of the Diller Hotel. The building is still standing and located at the SE corner of First Avenue and University Street, but is now several retail stores and functions as a ... See more

1 week ago

In need of a laugh? Fun Fridays with Pickle are back! Your favorite gherkin will get you smirkin.

1 week ago

Look at this article by Zosha Millman about the 'Seattle style' in architecture.

1 week ago
AIA Seattle

Signal boosting this post.

Curbed asked architects who have been working at the intersection of cities and race to suggest required reading for anyone interested in defining the future of anti-racist cities. Here are their ... See more

1 week ago
Timeline Photos

At SAF, we want to give a shout out to our current sponsors and say thank you.

Along with great marketing exposure that aligns with your business interests, sponsoring the Seattle Architecture ... See more

2 weeks ago
The Curtis-inspired Native Chief Sculptures Watching Over Seattle

Learn about the terra cotta Indian chief sculptures that adorn the Cobb building.

High above the intersection of 4th Avenue and University Street in Seattle are eight pairs of watchful eyes, peering down on a city they have overseen for more than 100 years. Most people don't know ... See more

2 weeks ago
America’s Cities Were Designed to Oppress

"For nearly every injustice in the world, there is an architecture that has been planned and designed to perpetuate it."

Architects and planners have an obligation to protect health, safety and welfare through the spaces we design. As the George Floyd protests reveal, we’ve failed.

2 weeks ago
Timeline Photos

Join local author and naturalist David B. Williams on this virtual walk through Seattle’s central business district to see a menagerie of beasts fabled, fantastic, and fierce, including lions, ... See more

« 2 of 6 »