Follow a trail of location markers and experience the design culture of Seattle landmarks through your smart phone.

As part of this fall’s inaugural Seattle Design Festival, AIGA Seattle invited 25 of our city’s design firms to participate in Design Marks—a trail of 8-foot tall location markers where viewers can experience how the design of Seattle’s urban landmarks has influenced the city’s culture, and how that culture has, in turn, influenced design.

Over time, city buildings, parks, or intersections can take on significance that is far greater than their simple functions. They can become landmarks that stand for wider meanings and influence those who interact with them, adding to the culture and experience that shape people’s perceptions of places within the city. With Design Marks, AIGA is using design to explore and reflect on the meaning of some of Seattle’s most noteworthy urban landmarks. The aim is to use design to give each landmark a “voice,” and in doing so, share individual experiences with the broader community.

The firms have chosen landmarks between Pioneer Square and Seattle Center are crafting a story of that landmark and its cultural significance in a unique video. Each firm is also designing an 8-foot column that marks the location of their chosen landmark. The column will display a QR code that leads to a video, taking the participant "beneath the surface" of the landmark. Each video will connect people more deeply to their community through design—enhancing their personal experience of that location.

See the videos

(Note: These location markers will be on display only during the ten days of the festival.)




  • Aftertheimage and WEATHERHEAD Experience Design Group – Belltown
  • Blankslate Creative – Post Alley
  • Dept of Energy – Stadiums
  • Fancy Lads Design Club – Smith Tower
  • Frog – Fountain, Seattle Center
  • Garrigan Lyman Group – Westlake Center
  • Graphiti Associates – Seattle Center Monorail
  • Hornall Anderson – 619 Western Building
  • Modern Dog – Pike Place Market
  • Phinney/Bischoff Design House – Benaroya Hall
  • PopCap – Belltown P-Patch
  • Push Design – Colman Dock
  • Quesinberry and Associates – Lusty Lady
  • Riverbed Design – Waterfront
  • RMB Vivid – Moore Theatre
  • Design Commission – Seattle Central Library
  • Aaron Shurts Graphic Design and Tony Dattilo, Visual Artist – Bell to Broad Waterfront
  • Studio SC – King Street Station
  • Tether – Occidental Square
  • tmarks – Harbor Steps
  • Touch Worldwide – Crocodile Cafe
  • Vivitiv – SAM
  • ZAAZ – Olympic Sculpture Park


Event made possible by sponsorship from:

image mill

NOTE: This event has already passed. Please check the events page for upcoming local events

Fri / 09.16.11

12:00AM - 12:00AM
Downtown Seattle

Get Directions

Seattle Design Festival
“Beneath the Surface”
September 16-25, 2011

Map of locations

See the videos