2020 Seattle Design Festival

2020 Seattle Design Festival


Collaborative Companies is excited this year to continue participating in the Seattle Design Festival and explore our response to the theme “About Time” through a thoughtfully crafted photomosaic experience we’re titling “We Are One.”

“We Are One” aims to use creative and thoughtful design to demonstrate the many faces and voices that make up our greater Seattle community. It integrates multiple levels of interaction to help visitors understand the important role of each individual, a crucial part of the whole. The more you interact with our display, the more you will see what each individual adds to our community. The display will guide you through a continually focused perspective on the power of one in relation to the many. While there are many parts that make up the whole, each part has a meaningful capability to build and promote connection.

From afar, visitors will see our display at its most simple and obvious: a banner displaying the statement “We Are One.” Humans are innately social; we look for every opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Especially with the many crises we’re experiencing today, it’s more critical than ever to strive for connection and unity. The statement “We Are One” exemplifies that mission.

On closer inspection, or further interaction, visitors will see all the faces that make up our statement. More importantly you will see that without those faces, our statement would not exist at all. There cannot be a “One” if there isn’t a “We” to build it, and the more that make up the “We,” the stronger the “One” can be. This level of interaction teaches the impossibility of creating connection and community without the individual.

Finally, visitors will use the attached QR code to visit a web version of our display. Here you can review each photo more closely and see a statement from that person on how they aspire to build connections and community. This last step will emphasize and celebrate the differences of each participant. With hundreds of photos, you will be exposed to a vast variety of responses. This solidifies the importance of diversity; of the unique backgrounds and capabilities we all bring to the table and would often be lost without. Our final level of interaction seeks to reinforce that these differences, when cherished and respected, bring us together and make our “One” stronger, rather than breaking it apart.

As an additional interactive component, attendees will be encouraged to respond to a Citizen Design Instagram poll asking one way they will work to foster unity, no matter how small, whose responses we’ll share on our Instagram story. Visitors will then be able to review these responses, learn more about others who attended, and see the many ways they can make a positive impact on their community.

In short, “We Are One” will utilize depth of visitor engagement to tell a story of the unique people that live in and work to better our community, the absolute necessity of their roles, and the unity and connection we all create.

“We Are One” Participants

Response word cloud to our question “What can we, as individuals, do to create ‘togetherness’ in our community?”

Below you’ll find photos of “We Are One” participants and their response the the question “What can we, as individuals, do to create ‘togetherness’ in our community?”.

To first accept, respect, and treat each other as equal human beings

SHARE share share, knowledge, empathy, feelings, music, love, experiences

Be kind to one another. Go out of our way to ask others how they’re doing.

I think people are intimidated by trying to make huge gestures (which don’t get me wrong those are amazing). Even the smallest bit of help or kindness, compounded across a city and work can make incredible differences. Get groceries for another, pick up something that another person had dropped, work to understand your privilege and help others do the same, smile more. It all helps/

Community garden

More hugs.

Take the time to understand those you think you won’t agree with.

Talk more.

Start movements or create festivals for common good or shared values. Readathons, community beach cleanups, food/community festivals for local business.

We can help each other in our daily tasks and be kind.

I think we can intentionally listen more than we talk and invite people to share their own perspectives so we understand each other on a personal level.

Take care of your friends!

More free events in public spaces such as parks and amphitheaters, and more pedestrian friendly spaces. Walking or cycling through a community is a better way to experience it than driving, and it helps to support local businesses.

Care for one another. Show compassion.

Volunteer for community service.

Listen well. Be very slow to condemn. Check our pride at the door. Love always remembers and humanizes the person across from us.

Be kind to everyone. Look for ways to bless others. Ask deep questions that allow people to feel seen and heard. Stop talking about Covid doom and gloom. Start talking about what you want to look back on in one year and have learned, developed, etc. during this unprecedented time. Look for the flowers not the thorns.

Be kind

Recognize each other’s differences and be more accepting

By being present in the conversations that surround us, and being willing to give whatever it may be that is asked of us.

Support local businesses and be kind to your neighbors.

Help those needing our help to pay rent or buy groceries.

Step closer. The closer you are the more you can feel.

Act as leaders in taking action by creating safe and welcoming community spaces. Organizing things like community gardens or resource trading.

I think we should listen more, and be more open to other people’s opinions and point of view, in a way where even if we don’t think alike, we can get along.

Smile (or wave) at people on the street. Wear masks to protect the community. Help our community grow by picking up trash in parks. Stay at a safe social distance outdoors when seeing friends. Hold doors open for folks who might need more help. Donate or make masks!

We need to recognize the fact that we need each other and that everyone has something to offer. We need to embrace our differences and understand that through them we are better as a community.

Treat others as you would want to be treated.

We can be inclusive to new members of our community, create groups around our interests to build strong bonds with new people, and create safe spaces such as community gardens and well-kept parks for people to congregate in [at a safe distance].

Respect others space.

Include the folks around you.

We need to realize we are all in this together and that the virus doesn’t discriminate so why should we! The world is a better place when we all love each other!

Treat others with kindness and smile (although hard with masks). Never judge someone on the worst day, or best day.

Make eye contact and acknowledge everyone you pass. Children, the elderly, our unhoused neighbors, your neighbor who you never speak to. Acknowledge other’s humanity and value.

We can create a feeling of ‘togetherness’ by actively working together to create a more inclusive community by prioritizing love, empathy, and respect.

Listen to each other, not just to reply but to find out what they think.

Help each other reach our small personal goals. Help someone build their house. Make a sick neighbor dinner. Smile at each other on the street. Help someone push their car when it breaks down. Joke around with strangers on buses and trains.


Uplift each other during everyday actions rather than tear at insecurities.

We can go out of our way (and out of our daily routine) to help others in our community. We can give each other the benefit of the doubt and try to approach strangers with empathy.

Constantly act out of selflessness.

Praise differences and awkwardness! Often times people feel ashamed or embarrassed to be “awkward” or “fail’ in social situations with strangers so they don’t even try. But this is justified. People aren’t often friendly or willing to get to know others. Everyone needs to pause their judgement and welcome new people.

Share, share, share, trust. We don’t need to own everything.

Treat others with compassion and let them know they are beautiful.

Be nice.

Stop looking into our own needs and interests and become more conscious of our surroundings. Sometimes we are so focused in ourselves and what we need to do that we don’t pay attention to anything else.

Stop judging each other so harshly.

Always keep an open mind and heart.

Listen to each others’ stories.

By just engaging and investing in neighborhoods. Putting ourselves out there requires very little risk.

Unconditional kindness.

Be aware of the limitations of our own understanding and resist the delusion that we as individuals have all of the answers.

I will continue to support local business and encourage common social respect.