During the design and construction of the waterfront, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture has developed a program of talks, conferences, temporary projects, and residencies, addressing the history, systems, design, and wider contexts of the Seattle Waterfront. These kicked off with a December 4, 2013 lecture by historian Coll Thrush, author of "Native Seattle," introduced by Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribal Council.
In March, 2014 a conference on Art, Design and Play brought together artists, designers, and historians to look at the role of play in place-making.
Vienna-based architectural historian Liane Lefaivre discussed play as a design tool for architects, city planners, and public artists. Lefaivre is Professor and Chair of Architectural History and Theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She has been a visiting Fellow at MIT and the National University of Singapore, and is an award-winning author of many books, including the forthcoming Ground-Up City: Play as a Design Tool.
Gabriela Burkhalter, Swiss playground historian and curator, gave a talk titled "The Play Sculpture as Public Space," and Tatiana Choulika, of Waterfront Seattle designer james corner field operations, spoke on the approach to landscape and play in jcfo designs for New York, Chicago, and Santa Monica. Watch it here.