Trust is a foundational principle of a thriving society. Relationships and systems built on trust enable the exchange of commerce and innovation, provide safety and dignity to all, and encourage vigorous civic participation. We trust our systems and institutions to be consistent, transparent, and strong. We trust that the news we hear is accurate and unbiased; that the schools, bridges, and buildings we use every day are sound; and that our leaders make decisions based on the best interests of our entire community. We need to trust each other.

In a world that appears increasingly defined by mistrust, how can design affirm and strengthen critical connections of trust in our community? Does the design of our places, objects, information, and experiences cultivate or discourage trust between people?

Design in Public presented the eighth annual Seattle Design Festival, that had 80+ events and installations, citywide, September 6th – 21st, exploring how we design for TRUST. As a part of the Festival, Seattle Architectural Foundation opened 21st Annual Model Exhibit, Transparency, exploring TRUST and encouraging entrants to explore the rich interplay between architectural design and civic life.