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Seattle Loves Rain

Seattle is full of dreary, drizzly days. Because we can't change that, I want to give people a reason to look forward to our rainy days!

Here's what it looks like:

Imagine—Each day you walk to work, along the same gray sidewalks, past the same ordinary walls. (Maybe you don't need to imagine.) One day you wake up and it's raining out. On your walk to work, you notice a heart-shaped spot on one of those ordinary walls is dry, Cute. You take a picture. A little further on, you stop and stare at a dry section of sidewalk that literally spells out "I <3 RAIN". What! You take a picture and post it for all of your friends on facebook. The next day is dry, and you see nothing in those spots. But every day it rains after that, the mysterious rain-proof messages show up again! You hear that other dry messages are showing up elsewhere in Seattle when it rains! Awesome.

Here's how it works: NeverWet is a superhydrophobic coating sold as a 2-can package. When you spray those two cans on a surface (like a sidewalk), over the course of two hours, you can make any surface superhydrophobic—meaning that water will ball up and roll right off it. It will not get wet AT ALL.

So by creating various stencils of positive messages and spraying over them with NeverWet, we can make any surface have a secret message that only shows up when it rains. Because most surfaces get darker when they get wet, anything coated in NeverWet is lighter, visibly standing out. If it's on a rough horizontal surface like a sidewalk, lots of tiny water droplets actually ball up on it, making it sparkle.

What's the plan? I have a lot of friends willing to help. Over the course of a few weeks, we will design and cut out a variety of stencils (some small, some HUGE) then travel all over Seattle and make the magic happen!

How long will it last? I made my first Neverwet test 5 months ago on a sidewalk near my house and it's still visible any rainy day of the week! (See attached pictures)

Funded by Seattle, WA (March 2014)