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Seattle Design Festival invites kids to create

Interactive stations encourage imagination at this free annual event Sept. 8-9 in Seattle.



Downtown Seattle transforms into a collaborative design hub for this festival.

PHOTO: TREVOR DYKSTRA

The Seattle Design Festival starts with a weekend-long downtown event in which designers, architects and other creative minds build things to represent the annual theme. This year's theme is trust. The resulting installations could be called sculptures, games, social experiments, or all three. Kids and adults can explore them free of charge. Here are some of more appealing activities for kids, from noon until late on Sept. 8 and 9 at Occidental Park.

1. Build. One thing this block party has is blocks. You can work with many in Building Trust with Building Blocks. In another installation called Blox, every visitor adds a single block somewhere. By the end of the exhibit, people will have built something, block by block.

2. Find your way. In Blind Trust, there are three walls made of ropes that all look alike, but when touched, some move aside and some don't. People have to use their sense of touch to find their way through. In the Trust Maze, participants can decide whether to give correct directions to the next person.

3. Put things in motion. SEA-SAW is a topographical model of Seattle, made of tippy wooden slats. Climb aboard and cooperate with other climbers to move the city in exciting directions.

4. Solve a problem. The materials in Artifact are a bunch of brightly colored, oddly shaped pieces. The challenge is to work with other passersby to figure out how to connect the pieces and build a structure that includes all of them.

5. Mess with your senses. Spacebox, housed in a trailer, starts off dark and lights up as things are touched. OPENhouse looks like a stereotypical house, but becomes more transparent as visitors walk away.

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