Seattle Design Festival / Park(ing) Day 2015: "Smaller Smarter Pavilion"

Seattle, Washington


LMN Culture


Team Organizer / Lead: Clay Anderson

Design Team: Clay Anderson, Cody Gabaldon, Kevin Winner, Rob Deane, Katie Sheehy, Garrett Reynolds, Gabee Cho, JJ Powell, John Gilson


Walsh Construction

Swenson Say Faget

Surface Theory


Smaller Smarter Seattle, a living pavilion, allows community members to express what an equitable Seattle might look like and how they could live with less.

The project was a collaborative design-build for the 2015 Seattle Design Festival (SDF): Design for Equity. Smaller Smarter was located in Occidental Park in the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood during the SDF Block Party Sept 12-13, and relocated to the Ballard neighborhood for the international PARK(ing) Day on Sept 18. Smaller Smarter Seattle was inspired by city goals and policies related to equity, housing affordability, and environmental sustainability in addition to the Design for Equity theme.

The pavilion’s framework construction consists of 2×4 lumber, plywood, reclaimed Douglas Fir slats, and carriage bolt fasteners. This provided a design that could be easily scaled, replicated and approached for extended availability and development. The design aimed to allow for transportation and reduce assembly time as it moved around the city.

Thanks to the opportunities of the Seattle Design Festival, Park(ing) Day and online social media, the pavilion succeeded in promoting the opinion of individuals living in Seattle. The pavilion provides an opportunity for people to share thoughts, creatively engaging with each other and the built environment in ways that are increasingly hard to create as the city grows and becomes more anonymous. At Park(ing) Day in particular, a wide range of community members – from families with children to unsheltered people – were able to contribute to the conversation about how Seattle should grow.

The Smaller Smarter pavilion also moved to Ballard, a neighborhood in Seattle, to participate in Park(ing) Day. We utilized the pavilion as a tool to gather information in a single family dominated neighborhood.