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Saturday, September 12 - Sunday September 13, 10am - 6pm
Occidental Park, 300 Occidental Ave S. 98104

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Seattle Central Public Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

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Friday, September 25
Surface Theory, 536 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104 

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Tuesday, September 15 • 9:00am - 12:00pm
WORKSHOP - Design Swarm II

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Today we are frequently faced with finding creative solutions for extremely complex social problems. We must often do this in a very short time, with woefully little information and resources, while often working with people who we have never met before. 

How is this even possible? 

Come to this session and practice "Design Swarming," a technique that brings together design thinking and agile problem-solving to help teams find creative answers to real 21st Century challenges. You will learn how to collaborate intensively with strangers to harness the collective genius of a team, and to use incomplete information and a frenetic sense of urgency as a creative springboard. 

Join moderator Surya Vanka and Artefact's Daniel Gomez-Seidel to explore place-making for refugees. This swarm will focus on how existing, untapped community assets, such as social sciences, architecture, design and technology can promote agency and deliver tangible benefits to the children who live in refugee camps.

This technique has successfully been used around the world to solve difficult social problem and business problems. At SDF2015, the design challenge that you will be assigned with be related to a pressing and urgent problem of equity; the problem itself will be revealed at the start of the session. During the Design Swarm, you will be led through a rapid series of fun and moderated activities that will eventually result in a solution prototype.  Each of the three scheduled Design Swarms at SDF2015 will address a different, unique design challenge.

No previous design training or specific knowledge is required, but an open and curious mind is mandatory.

The swarm will take place in the fabulous Cloud Room. The stunning, light-filled space creates an environment of opportunity for both independence and connection with other engaged people in a range of fields. It is located at1424 11th Avenue, on 4th floor of Chophouse Row.


Surya Vanka is a designer, educator and author who has been at the leading edge of designing physical and digital experiences for over 25 years. Surya has worked as a corporate design leader for more than 15 years, most recently at Microsoft as director of user experience. Prior to this, he was a tenured professor of design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a fellow at the prestigious Center for Advanced Study. He has authored two books on design and several publications, has lectured on design in more than 20 countries, and has been awarded several industry awards. Surya is the creator of the Design Swarm technique.


Daniel Gomez-Seidel is a strategist at Artefact, where he helps clients uncover new business opportunities and competitive advantages by crafting experience-centered strategies. Prior to joining Artefact, Daniel was an entrepreneur in the arts industry, a mentor for the World Resource Institute and a design strategy consultant in Colombia and California for clients such as Aetna, Intel and Microsoft. All the while he also traveled, making his way to more than 35 countries. Daniel holds two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of los Andes in Colombia in Business Administration and in Design, as well as an MBA in Design Strategy from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Tuesday September 15, 2015 9:00am - 12:00pm
Cloud Room 1424 11th Avenue, on 4th floor of Chophouse Row