Design Charrette : Creative Placemaking to Activate the Downtown Urban Plaza

October 27 | 9:00
5 hours | City of Bend Council Chambers, 710 NW Wall St, Bend, OR 97701

The second Bend Design for Good Workshop features a design charrette led by Seattle-based visual artist, urban planner, and cultural organizer, Sarah Kavage.

The Challenge

The City of Bend has been discussing the ‘Heritage Square’ concept for over a decade to preserve and improve open space in Downtown Bend. This concept would provide opportunities for special events, a community gathering place (a “Bend Living Room”) and could be a potential catalyst for a performing arts facility and additional cultural opportunities for visitors and residents.

The Process

This special daylong visioning workshop creatively explores the potential to activate the ‘Heritage Square’ space. Kavage will lead participants through a three-part urban design workshop designed to jumpstart dialogue and ideas. Sessions will be mutually informative, participatory, and fun – be prepared to offer your own opinions and perspectives and to listen to others’. Although each session will build upon the previous ones, participants do not need to attend all three sessions.

9:00 – 10:00


Group activity to think about how to invite others into this process and create welcoming space. We will think together about how to listen to others’ perspectives, how to overcome barriers to participation, and how to include hidden or marginalized people and histories in the design process.

10:30 – 12:30

Session 2: SITE VISIT

Group walk to the Downtown Urban Plaza site. This will be an active, engaging lesson in observation. We will also think together about the history of the site, how it has been used in the past and how it could be used in the future, and what the opportunities and challenges are around potential uses.

12:30 – 2:00


2:00 – 3:00


Art is an excellent way to break through entrenched thinking, synthesize complex (and even conflicting) ideas, and build a dialogue, and we will practice this thinking together in the final session. Bring your whole self and be ready to participate, have fun, and be surprised!

3:00 – 4:00


At the conclusion of the workshop, results of the sessions will be displayed for future discussion and presentation to the CIty of Bend.

The Creative Placemaking to Activate the Downtown Urban Plaza is available to all Bend Design attendees and included in the Pass and is open to those who cannot attend Bend Design for a fee of $25.00. Sign up here.

If you have special needs in order to participate, please let us know so that we can do our best to meet them! Please reach out to [email protected].


Workshop Leader

Sarah Kavage (www.kavage.com) is a Seattle-based visual artist, urban planner, and cultural organizer whose work explores place, ecology, and landscape. Her work in the public realm uses large scale gestures to create a platform for dialogue and interaction. In 2015, she co-created and produced Duwamish Revealed (www.duwamishrevealed.com), a summerlong site specific exhibition along Seattle’s Duwamish River. She is currently working as an artist in residence for the Sound Transit public art program. Kavage has a Masters’ Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington and was selected in 2015 by Seattle Magazine as one of Seattle’s Most Influential People.

Presented by Brooks Resources and the City of Bend.