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August 12, 2020

This year's virtual design festival will include 'Duwamish Crossings' proposal

Photo by Kirk Hostetter [enlarge]
The Duwamish River, looking toward the West Seattle Bridge from Terminal 108 Park. Wittman Estes wants to explore adding ecological connectors that would let people cross the river by car, bike and foot.

Seattle design firm Wittman Estes has created Duwamish Crossings, which it calls a vision to replace the West Seattle Bridge with a series of new ecological connectors at multiple points that would let people cross the Duwamish River by car, bike and foot.

The “speculative research project” will be on display as part of the 2020 Seattle Design Festival, which is being held virtually Aug. 15–23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival's traditional events, including the Block Party and Neighborhood Spotlights, have been canceled, but there will be live-streamed webinars and discussions, virtual programs, physical displays that honor physical distancing guidelines and a weekly virtual design challenge, called Thinkercyze.

The festival is part of Design in Public, a strategic initiative of AIA Seattle that promotes the role of design in improving the city. It is produced in collaboration with designers, architects, community members, civic partners, business innovators and the public to explore how design improves people's lives and communities. The calendar of events is at http://www.designinpublic.org/.

Events will include “Running Dry: How Water Will Design Our Future” by the Miller Hull 2020 Open Studio, and “Defense of Density after COVID-19” by Makers Architecture and Urban Design.

There's also Seattle Architecture Foundation's 23rd annual Architectural Model Exhibit, whose theme, “Iterations,” celebrates the germination of a design idea and how it's explored through writing, drawing, modeling and material studies. “Sharing Stories of Racism & Resistance in Seattle” is a website and exhibit at Seattle Municipal Tower by Seattle Office of Planning & Community Development and Department of Construction & Inspections Change Team.

Another offering, called “It's About Time We House Everyone,” by the AIA Seattle Housing Task Force asks people to take photos of accessory dwelling units and detached accessory dwelling units, courtyard apartments, cottage clusters, townhouses/row houses and other live/work spaces, and send them in so organizers can map them. Prizes will be awarded for the most finds, the most difficult to find and the most creative finds.

The city this year closed the cracking high span of the West Seattle Bridge, and is considering whether to repair or replace it.

The Duwamish Crossings website, at tinyurl.com/yyq4trur, is described as a platform to network and imagine design ideas about a feasible ecological alternative for the bridge. Participants can join the firm in exploring the possibilities through a virtual exhibition and a self-guided walking tour along the river that will be available digitally and for print.

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