DFR SEA 2017 is a Return to Our Promise: Rediscovery, Rejuvenation, and Reconnection. Less Distraction.  More Amore.

Thursday, September 28th – Sunday, October 1, 2017

 Seattle’s Hidden Gems.

This year’s theme is Seattle’s Hidden Gems. It is a reminder that what we value most is often hiding in plain sight. Stuff like: Wonder, Friendship, and Kindness. With Seattle as our setting, we share some of the city’s best secrets. Each night we set a bountiful table of fine food, wine, and conversation. Your role is to populate this table with your unique gifts.

It’s you we came to see.

The Un-Conference: This is a professionally curated and managed event but it is not a professional business conference. There are no workshops or lectures. No bad coffee or lousy food. No Instagram shares or Twitter feeds. There are no sponsors. Not hat-passing. There is no Art Auction. We will only do and see what we can afford to pay for ourselves. If there are funds left over after Reunion, we will donate them to a local Seattle youth education charity. If you’ve been before, you know we respectfully discourage divas, whiners, and Klingons. This gathering is about down time with up friends, fresh experiences and fresh-caught salmon, bright pinot noir and dark craft beer, and Dudes in Kilts (who oughtn’t be) and Gals in Tats (who oughta be).


Grand Equity.

$675 Reunion Fee.

Reunion fee covers everything except tour costs. Tours run from 9am ’till… 4pm. Ish. Go solo or bring a spouse. Reunion fee covers the cost of three lavish dinner events, including venue rental, plus reunion administrative costs. For Hidden Gems Tours, we’ll share LYFT rides. Lunch & entry fees covered by your DFR dollar. Ain’t that grand?


Hidden Gem Itineraries:

Time Out. Tune In. Listen & Learn.

There will be daily Hidden Gem tours. All tours begin at 10 am and conclude, roughly, at 4 pm. Itineraries will focus on a variety of subjects:  music, flora, fauna, food, public art, architecture, science, engineering, history, myth, internationalism, ghosts, weirdness, and strange smells. Lean in. Take a whiff. Be inspired.

Highlights: The Windows of Chapel of Saint Ignatius, FRYE Museum, Saint James Cathedral Interior

9 am  |  Meet at Macrina Bakery for Coffee and Pastry to Go

Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University
“Architect Steven Holl chose ‘A Gathering of Different Lights’ as the guiding concept for the design of the Chapel of St. Ignatius. This metaphor describes Seattle University’s mission and it also refers to St. Ignatius vision of the spiritual life as comprising many interior light and darkness, which he called consolations and desolations.”


Frye Museum of Art
Permanent collection and special exhibitions in this pocket size museum of extraordinary architecture.


Saint James Cathedral on “Pill Hill”
A quiet pause in Seattle’s foremost cathedral

  • 804 9th Ave Seattle, WA 98104
  • Check In with DFR SEA 17 Condo HQ (Registration, Payments, Gift Bags, Name Tags)
  • Belltown Court Condo: 2414 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121, Condo 625
  • To enter building lobby, see Seattle Oasis attendant or call: (206) 456-5251
  • Google Map Link: HERE
  • WIFI Access at HQ Condo:
  • Network ID: SeattleOasis625
  • Password: SeattleGuest625
  • Text Matt 404 784 3317
  • Text Todd 404 964 8249
  • Secure access requires agent assistance. Seattle Oasis Properties agent often in condo building lobby; if you do not see a real person, please call (206) 456-5251

Thursday Night Opening Dinner at Lechoso
Big Time Opening Dinner

  • The Harbor Steps, 89 University St., Seattle, 98101
  • Matt Janke, Owner (Long-time friend of Terry Marks)
  • Dress Up!

10:30 pm until Whenever: On Your Own!

Highlights: University of Washington Burke Museum, Kubota Gardens, Olympic Sculpture Park

8:30 am

Meet at Biscuit Bitch for Breakfast

  • 2303 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
  • Walk from Belltown Court condo: from First Avenue, walk up Battery Street, turn right on Third Ave, Biscuit Bitch on right just before Bell Street.


9:30 am

Call for Lyft

  • Travel to University of Washington in north Seattle


University of Washington Burke Museum

  • 17th Ave ne and ne 45th St., Seattle
  • “The Burke Museum of Natural History and culture was founded in 1885. It is the oldest public museum in Washington State and was designated the state museum in 1899. Its administration resides with the University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences. The Burke recognizes that the museum sits on traditional indigenous lands. The Burke holds deep respect for indigenous knowledge, and is dedicated to collaborating with diverse native populations, sharing collections and learning together.”


11:45 am

Call for Lyft

  • Travel to Kubota gardens in south Seattle

12:30 pm until 2:30 pm

Kubota Gardens

  • Box lunch at the Kubota garden from Macrina Bakery
  • Hidden in south Seattle, Kubota garden is a stunning 20-acre landscape that blends Japanese garden concepts with native northwest plants. The city acquired the property, which is an historic landmark, in 1987 from the estate of master landscaper Fujitaro Kubota.

2:30 pm

Call for Lyft

  • Travel to Olympic sculpture park near Belltown Court Condominiums
  • pm until 4 pm

Olympic Sculpture Park

    • Http://
    • One of the most staggering large scale public art collections anywhere, built into hillside park overlooking Elliot bay. There is a coffee shop in the Pavillion.
    • 2901 Western Avenue​ Seattle, WA 98121

4 pm – 5 pm


    • There are many pubs and bars in Belltown close the condo building; discover one on your own or take this local favorite dive as a suggestion:
      • Cyclops Bar and Restaurant
      • Corner of 1st Avenue and Wall Street, across from Belltown Court Condos
      • 2421 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, (206) 441-1677
      • “Any party animal who lives in Seattle has gotten drunk at least once at Cyclops.” — Terry Marks

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

FEE: $100

Letterpress with Jenny Wilkson!

Jenny is the director of SVC’s letterpress program, which she established in 2001. Her love of the printed word was formed during her apprenticeship at Peter Koch Printers while earning an MA in Design from U.C. Berkeley.

Class will be held at School of Visual Concepts, 2300 7th Avenue Suite B, Seattle, 98121

REGSITER by emailing:

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Friday Night Cocktail Good Thinking Event

  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
  • Visit the Bruce Lee exhibit off lobby
  • Take Lyft to: 19 South King Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues South in Chinatown-International District, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Dress Casual!


  • Meet the YES! Foundation
    • Pat Thompson, Executive Director
    • “The YES! Foundation of White Center serves children, youth and young adults through relationship based programs that foster self and social awareness, promote education and repurpose power in an under resourced community.”
  • Meet Street Bean Coffee Roasters
  • Mary Steel, Executive Director
  • “We are a nonprofit coffee company providing opportunity for street-involved young people to reclaim their lives, one cup at a time.”

Friday Dinner at Green Leaf (Vietnamese)

10:30 pm until Whenever

On Your Own!

8:15 am until 4 pm

Hidden Gems Tour Saturday

Vistas, Brunch and Options

Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes


Highlights: Volunteer Park Conservatory, “Poor Man’s Space Needle”, Capitol Hill Brunch


8:15 am

Meet at Macrina Bakery for Coffee and Pastry to Go


9:00 am

Call Lyft


9:30 am until 11:30 am

Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill

  • Volunteer Park
    1400 East Prospect Street Seattle, A98112
  • Visit Conservatory
  • Climb “Poor Man’s Space Needle” for the view
  • Visit Bruce Lee’s Gravesite



11:15 am until 1:15 pm

Brunch on Capitol Hill



1:30 pm until 4 pm

On Your Own!


  • Pedal Happy? Rent a Bike!


  • Sea Worthy? Take Bainbridge Ferry to Winslow and Explore!
  • Approximate ferry float time: 30 minutes each way
  • Ferry Schedule
  • Ferry Fare: $8.20 but FREE on the way back!
  • Bike Surcharge: $1
  • Approximately 10-minute Lyft ride to waterfront from Capitol Hill
  • Approximately 35-minute walk downhill to waterfront from Capitol Hill


  • Weather Rainy? Learn Seattle History!
    • MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) and Lake Union District
    • Entry fee: $20 (reimbursed by DFR)
    • MOHAI situated inside the lakeside former Naval Armory is a fabulous, new addition to Seattle’s cultural treasure chest; look for mechanical (moving) model of the engineering and removal of Denny Hill and landfill used to create Lake Union
    • About 20 minute LYFT ride from Volunteer Park


  • Any Weather? Enjoy a Visual Feast!
  • Japanese Garden at the Arboretum
  • Entry fee: $6 (reimbursed by DFR)
  • If you love Asian gardens, this is one of the finest in the country; total visual splendor
  • Close to Volunteer Park
  • Travel by LYFTor take LONG, hilly walk


  • Weather Sunny? Amble by the Locks!
  • Try Chittenden Locks & Salmon Ladder
  • Salmon not running in late September but fascinating place to wander and marvel outdoors.
  • Numerous boat tours can be booked here.
  • Nearby is the Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Garden
  • Trip Advisor Information on Chittenden Locks & Salmon Ladder
  • Most of this is free; optional cost of any boat tour is not covered by Tour Fee
  • About 20 minute LYFT ride from Volunteer Park

10am -1pm

FEE: $50

This will be held at Seattle Pacific University’s Art Center, 3 West Cremona

Steffanie Lorig is the founder and former director of Art With Heart. In this workshop, you will learn the art of letting go and embracing creative experimentation. Through the deliberate practice of “mistake-making,” you will learn how to turn artistic bloopers into material for even better beginnings and remove the fear of making “bad art.”

During our time together you will paint using exploratory techniques and found objects (what other people call “junk”). We will begin the process of unlearning the rules, letting go of preconceived notions, and embracing the courage to freely explore the beginner’s mind. This workshop is not about talent or skill but about finding the intuitive artist within.

REGISTER by emailing:

Saturday Night Cocktail Good Thinking Event

  • Zinc Contemporary (Art Gallery)
  • 119 Prefontaine Place South, Seattle, WA 98104, Pioneer Square District
  • Walk to close to ARTEFACT Closing Night Dinner
  • Meet Daniel Smith’s SHT Poster Show
    • SHT Poster Show
    • “We jokingly call The Seattle-Havana-Tehran Poster Show (The Seattle-La Habana-تهران Poster Show)‏ a “SHT show” because when we get together it’s fun. There are no politics, no prejudices—just an appreciation of our common interests. When we see what the other is doing—and recognize ourselves—we arrive at the truth; we are more alike than different. The real “shit show” belongs to forces that wish to manipulate us through stereotyping and fear to keep us apart.”

Closing Night Dinner Party

  • At ARTEFACT (Design Studio), 629 Western Ave, Suite 500
  • Rooftop Garden Open Bar
  • Gourmet Mexican Cuisine
  • Special Surprise DFR TYB 2019 Cake
  • Copious Desserts
  • Music (+ Dancing for the brave & inebriated)
  • Dress Smart!
  • x

    While visiting the Emerald City, here’s a some others Hidden Gems you can visit on your own if you opt out of the itineraries we have created.

    The Frye Museum Small, local and so very well done; especially the salon style permanent collection in one room, floor to ceiling

    The Showbox at the Market Great, small venue for music that’s been around since the 1930s

    Monsoon Upscale Vietnamese on 19th on Capital Hill – so good for lunch

    Kubota Gardens A gift to the city in the form of Japanese inspired gardens and one of the most admired in the nation

    The Walrus and Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Bar Melusine Anything by Renee Erickson, really

    Westland Distillery Local, award-winning and you don’t even need a reservation to show up and sample their wares


    You are free to stay wherever you prefer. We have identified 20+ units at Belltown Court Condominiums. These units are available first come, first served.
    Reserve units through the Seattle Oasis Vacations.

    Use this code to receive our group discount: FashionForward17.


    Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendance is limited to 75 persons. DFR is  self-funding, so please make payment as soon as possible.

    • Reserve your place with a deposit of 50% by check by April 30, 2017.
    • Final payment due by June 30, 2017.
    • Make checks payable to DESIGN FAMILY REUNION and snail mail c/o M Porter, 1545 N Morningside DR, Atlanta, GA 30306.
    • Want to put it on your credit card? PayPal payments available upon request. 

    Questions? Email Matthew Porter:


    Face it, if you are reading this, you probably already have our contact but in case you
    don’t or are just plain lazy, we can be gotten here:

    Matthew Porter

    Terry Marks

    If y’all saw the tasty letterpressed invitation, we owe deep thanks and props to the remarkable Todd Thyberg of Angel Bomb.
    Most gracious thanks to Jamie Saunders and Neenah to toothy Design Collection (Wild) paper.

    This reunion is sponsor-free, profit-free, diva-free, and whinge-free. Our aim is to not go broke while setting a generous table of rare friends, great stories, immense gratitude, and memorable meals.  DFR is a labor of love offered (not sold) given by Matthew Porter, his husband George, Terry Marks, Cathy and Francis Pavy, Justin Ahrens, Kevin McConkey, Tom Biederbeck, Elliot Strunk, Tom Ingalls, Abbey Fowler, Joel Nakamura, Chris Sickels, Elliot Strunk, Fred Cisneros, Wendy Quesinberry, Todd Christensen, Felix Sockwell (who in pajamas is far more giggly and girlish than he appears in public), Ann Willoughby, Emily Potts, Rebecca Bedrossian,  Mr. and Mrs. Jacki McCarthy, Todd Thyberg, the Atlanta Grimmetts, and the Austin Lewis-Carnegies.