1.  I missed the Seattle Design Festival, can I still use the app and do the experience?
  2.  What should I expect?
  3.  How good is your app?
  4.  Who is this for?
  5.  Is the experience ADA accessible?
  6.  Can I bring my kids?
  7.  What is augmented reality?
  8.  Do I have to know how to use augmented reality?
  9.  Does my mobile phone have to be AR capable?
10.  How do I know if my mobile phone is AR capable?
11.  What should I bring?
12.  What will you provide?
13.  What time should I arrive?
14.  How much does it cost?
15.  Do I need a ticket?
16.  What is the Seattle Design Festival?
17.  What is the theme of the 2019 Seattle Design Festival?
18.  How does your project relate to the 2019 Seattle Design Festival theme?
19.  Why are you doing this?
20.  What is placemaking?
1. I missed the Seattle Design Festival, can I still use the app and do the experience?

Absolutely!  In fact we'd love that.  Please contact us at makeitreal@novaby.com to arrange an individual or group demo-tour experience.  We have the full size AR triggers so you can experience the 2D and 3D content in all their AR glory.  We will also ensure you have the best devices for the experience.  


Don't live nearby?  Can't make it to Seattle?  Just want to check it out? No problem.  You can also try out the app on your own, on-site or remotely.  Just contact us for the triggers. 

2. What should I expect?

A fun, outdoor, educational, interactive art and augmented reality (AR) experience rooted in the rich culture and history of Seattle’s 3rd/Pine/2nd/Pike block.  You will use your own mobile phone and earphones to navigate a self-paced tour of the block.  

3. How good is your app?

The app debuted at the 2019 Seattle Design Festival.  In keeping with the ethos of the festival, we were and are testing out new ideas as well as pushing design and technological boundaries with this experience.  We have prepared what is referred to as an MVP app, i.e. a minimum viable product app. We have done in six weeks what would normally take six months to a year. So we hope you will be understanding with the inevitable bugs and glitches that come with experience design and app development.  We look forward to your kind feedback and comments on both the content and app interface that will help us improve the app as well as our theory of change moving forward.

4. Who is this for?

It’s for everyone.  Individuals interested in urban development, history, social justice, augmented reality and/or art will likely find the experience particularly enjoyable.

5. Is the experience ADA accessible?

The experience takes place on the sidewalks of the 3rd/Pine/2nd/Pike block in downtown Seattle.  If you are able to navigate standard downtown sidewalk, you should not have any issues. 


The experience has audio narration and visuals.  Unfortunately, schedule and budget kept us from being able to include closed captions in this version of the app.  We hope to include those along with other accommodations in the future.  


We would appreciate feedback on how we can improve the app and make it more accessible to people of all abilities.      

6. Can I bring my kids?

Absolutely!  Please do. This is a family friendly event.  


The content is intended to be fun and informative while also giving participants the opportunity to engage on serious questions and topics facing our city and that impact their lives.  If you have any concerns about the potential suitability of the content for your child, we would be happy to provide additional information in advance so that you can make an informed decision about their engagement.  You may contact us at makeitreal@novaby.com.

7. What is augmented reality?

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one asking this question.  First of all, it’s not Virtual Reality (at least not with a big “V” and a big “R”).  Many people mix up the terms. Virtual Reality is an immersive technology that produces a fully simulated environment using a headset.  That’s great stuff - but this is not that.  


You actually probably already know what AR is, you just don’t know you know.  Think PokemonGo, Snapchat filters, and the first-down line you see on TV football games.  That’s it! Here, the internet says it better than we can: augmented reality is computer-generated content overlaid on a real world environment. Increasingly that content is 3D and interactive.  O.K., that definition might not sound that exciting - but this is cool stuff. It’s going to rock our world. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google all think so too!

8. Do I have to know how to use augmented reality?

No.  The app contains instructions on how to use it.  But we are also happy to help you in-person, on-site or remotely as the case may be.  Just reach out for support.  We will also have AR helpers and volunteers available to help you whenever we reprise the AR block party portion of the experience.  Please contact us at makeitreal@novaby.com to be notified about our next AR block party.  

9. What should I bring?
  • An iOS or Android cell phone with data service (iPhone 8 and above and comparable Android phones recommended)

  • ear phones

  • Preferably a fully charged cell phone (AR eats up lots of battery)

  • comfortable shoes 

  • weather appropriate clothing 

  • a sense of curiosity and serendipity

  • (Recommended) download the app in advance

10. Does my mobile phone have to be AR capable?

​That is preferred but not required. The 3D AR objects will only be viewable if your phone is AR capable.  However, we have prepared an interactive manual 2D version of the experience for those that do not have AR capable phones.  So you will still have a good time and be able to enjoy the experience.  Our AR helpers will also have AR capable phones and be able to show you what your phone can not.

11.  How do I know if my mobile phone is AR capable?

For iPhones, you can check the list of AR capable models here.

For Android phones, you can check the list of AR capable models here. 

12. What will you provide?  

During AR block parties, we will provide

  • a fun afternoon 

  • a cool augmented reality experience

  • AR helpers and guides

  • art activities

  • things for you to reflect on and contemplate 

  • additional activities at the parklette and possibly food and music

13. What time should I arrive? 

The app can be used any time at your convenience.  If you arrange an in-person tour with us, please arrive approximately 10 minutes before your scheduled tour.

14.  How much does it cost?

TNada.  Nothing.  It's free.  Come.  Enjoy.

15.  Do I need a ticket?

No.  When we hold AR Block Parties, we appreciate you registering on Eventbrite to ensure we have enough fun festivities and supplies for everyone.  

The Seattle Design Festival (SDF) is the flagship program of Design Design In Public, a strategic initiative of Architects Institute of America (AIA) Seattle.  The Festival was founded in 2011 to celebrate all the ways that design makes life better for Seattle, and to nurture relationships among designers, citizens, city leaders, and future-thinking business innovators. SDF is the largest design-related event in the Pacific Northwest, gathering 120+ partners and over 30,000 attendees to 80+ citywide events.

You can find more information about Design in Public and the Seattle Design Festival here.  

17.  What was the theme of the 2019 Seattle Design Festival?

Each year the Seattle Design Festival picks a theme to guide participants in their projects.  This year’s theme  was "balance”.  You can find out more about the theme here. 

18. How does your project relate to the 2019 Seattle Design Festival's "Balance" theme?

A city’s identity is rooted in the history of its people, i.e. their shared experiences and the common perceptions and worldviews that come out of those.  That history is manifest in a city’s built environment. Thus when a city undergoes rapid change, it can lead to a collective identity crisis: especially when that environment embodies an uncomfortable past or present.     


Preserving and caring for important historical features can help a city, and thus its people, stay moored to its foundations.  But how do we balance that with the present and future needs that rapid growth brings? In other words, how do we get grammar of our past, present and future environment correct?   


Our interactive installation asks Seattle’s citizen’s these questions by providing people with an up-close and personal encounter on an important, but often overlooked, historic block in the city’s downtown retail core:  3rd and 2nd Avenues between Pike and Pine.  This block is on the verge of massive changes while also struggling with many of Seattle’s most difficult and intractable problems.

19. Why are you doing this?

That’s actually a fairly complex question.   There are a number of reasons.  


First, we are a group of digital artists, designers and engineers who are passionate about mobile augmented reality and love to innovate.  We believe strongly in AR’s potential for doing good and improving public engagement. The Seattle Design Festival offers a unique and fun opportunity to explore, experiment and showcase the technology’s potential.


Second, we love Seattle.  The downtown core and surrounding neighborhoods are undergoing massive change while also struggling with intractable problems.  We saw an opportunity to use AR and the Seattle Design Festival to help ourselves and our neighbors have a more productive, public and positive conversation about these challenges.  


Third, we wanted to help our neighborhood.  We saw an opportunity to hopefully make a difference and be part of the solution by applying evidence-based, placemaking techniques to our own community.

20. What is Placemaking?  

Placemaking is an evidence-based technique that can be used to transform spaces into places, i.e. spaces that have positive meaning and significance to people.  Placemaking has the potential to improve the safety, health and wellbeing of residents and businesses in the surrounding areas and even increase commerce. Placemaking has been shown to be successful even in the most challenging of neighborhoods around the world.  Locally it has been most visibly and successfully applied in Occidental and Westlake Parks.  

You can find more information on Placemaking at the American Planning Association: www.planning.org