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Contested Spaces: What is a city for all?

AIA Seattle + Design Swarms invite you to participate in this year’s thought leadership summit on the topic of cities for all.

Join us on Monday, December 10 for Contested Spaces: What is a city for all? featuring a series of community-led lightning talks and collaborative Design Swarms (facilitated by Surya Vanka, Founder & Principal of Authentic Design). Transforming design thinking into accessible game-board exercises, Design Swarms help groups to foster empathy, visualize shared challenges, and ideate around solutions to a specific problem. This summit will convene design professionals, citizen advocates, community partners, and government representatives around the challenges and opportunities of co-creating a city for all.[1]

As our region grows and our cities densify, we face a complex set of challenges when seeking to include and serve the many voices that make up our communities, and we often find ourselves in highly contested urban spaces. Who gets to participate in decisions about housing, public space, land, and community identity? Do our cities accurately reflect who we want to be? If not, what needs to change, and how can design be deployed as an agent of change?

[1] The New Urban Agenda, a robust document adopted at the United Nations HABITAT III Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Quito, 2016), envisions “cities for all,” defined as “referring to the equal use and enjoyment of cities and human settlements, seeking to promote inclusivity and ensure that all inhabitants, of present and future generations, without discrimination of any kind, are able to inhabit and produce just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements, to foster prosperity and quality of life for all.”


This program is FREE to attend – in order to reserve your spot at the summit, a $150 fully refundable deposit will be requested at the time of registration (invited community partners and government representatives exempt).

Because space is limited and table teams will be assigned in advance, we request at least 5 days notice if registrants find they are unable to attend. Refunds will not be provided for cancellations after December 5. 


We seek to convene a diverse group of critical voices including: design and development professionals, community partners, government representatives, and citizen advocates.

Due to the nature of the program format, space is limited for this free summit. A maximum of ten (10) table teams will be assigned in advance of the summit, in order to ensure a meaningful collaborative experience and ample time for group discussion.

Registration has been filled for this program. 


Monday, December 10, 2018 | 1:00pm – 7:00pm 
Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room

1:00  Arrivals + Light refreshments
1:30  Welcome + Introductions
1:45  Lightning Talk Presentations
2:45  Short break
3:00 Design Swarms begin
6:55  Conclusion


Design Swarms Facilitator:

  • Surya Vanka | Founder & Principal of Authentic Design

Lightning Talk Presenters:

  • Lizzy Chong Baskerville | Danny Woo Community Garden Manager, InterIm Community Development Association
  • Anton Dekom | Architect, The Miller Hull Partnership
  • Kimberly Deriana | Project Designer, 7 Directions Architects/Planners
  • Kathleen Hosfeld | Executive Director, Homestead Community Land Trust
  • Donald King FAIA | Principal Architect, Mimar Studio Planning & Design
  • Brice Maryman | Senior Landscape Architect, MIG|SvR
  • Owen Oliver | Equitable Development Intern, City of Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development

Click here for speaker bios

All speakers and schedule subject to change.


  • Describe the concept of ‘cities for all’ as outlined in the New Urban Agenda
  • Analyze attributes of accessible, affordable, resilient, and sustainable cities through case studies
  • Strategize how designers, community partners, government representatives, and citizen advocates can co-create equitable, sustainable neighborhoods
  • Identify and discuss the key urban planning challenges and specific opportunities for which design and design thinking can be deployed
  • Explore the laws, codes and zoning regulations that impact housing affordability and public safety



Registration or Credit Questions?
Contact Brigette Ruhland, Program & Project Coordinator at AIA Seattle

Program Questions?
Contact Cassie Blair, Professional Programs Manager at AIA Seattle

Sponsorship Questions?
Contact Kimber Leblicq, Managing Director at AIA Seattle


December 10, 2018
1:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Class Credit
5 LU , HSW


AIA Seattle
(206) 448-4938


Seattle City Hall – Bertha Knight Landes Room
600 Fourth Ave
Seattle, WA 98104 United States
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