Posts tagged ‘competition’

Congrats to the winners of the 2012 SEED Competition!

via (January 27, 2012):

“The 6 winning projects along with 13 honorable mentions were selected from a field of 45 submissions from 14 countries. According to the press release, ‘The award winners and honorable mentions…offer tangible evidence of how design is effectively playing a role in addressing the most critical issues around the globe…Each project team carefully identified a community’s needs and priorities, then maximized the use of resources to strategically address these.'”

Announced last month by the SEED Network, the following six projects have been selected as winners of this year’s SEED Competition (images above begin at upper left and go clockwise):

Bancroft School Revitalization, Kansas City, Missouri. Team includes BNIM Architecture + Planning, Dalmark Development and Management Group, Make it Right, Green Impact Zone, Historic Manheim Park Association, JE Dunn Construction, and Truman Medical Group.

Owe’neh Bupingeh Preservation Plan and Rehabilitation, Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico. Team includes Atkins Olshin Schade Architects and The Ohkay Owingeh Housing Authority.

Grow Dat Farm, New Orleans, Louisiana. Team includes Tulane University City Center, Grow Dat Youth Farm, and New Orleans City Park.

Escuela Ecologica Saludable Initiative: Parque Primaria, Lima, Peru. Team includes University of Washington (Department of Landscape Architecture, Department of Global Health, School of Forest Resources, Global Health and Environment Fellows), Architects Without Borders- Seattle, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos/ Fundacion San Marcos, Escuela Pitagorus #8183, COPASED de Zapalla, and Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar Jorge Alarcon.

Nyanza Maternity Hospital, Nyanza, Rwanda. Team includes MASS Design Group, UNICEF, Rwandan Ministry of Health, Transsolar Kilma Engineering, Nyanza Hospital Administration

Maria Auxiliadora School, Los Calderones, Peru. Team includes Architecture for Humanity, Happy Hearts Fund, ING-INTEGRA Peru, Maria Auxiliadora School, Los Calderones Community, Tate Municipality.

The winning teams will present their projects in just over a month at this year’s Structures for Inclusion conference, being held at the University of Texas at Austin. See you there!

February 22’s daily design idea is celebrate your industry’s accomplishments, and eventually others will too.


February 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm Leave a comment

“A business model geared for innovation”

Already know that your sweet spot involves starting up a business? Then definitely check out Dean Crutchfield’s article “Method: The 6 Keys to Creating an Innovative Organization” which outlines “a six-step process that can guide organizations to conquer the challenge of building a business model geared for innovation and business transformation.


The article is full of inspirational messages and practical guidance, resulting in gems like these:

“Consequently, it is essential to become the ruthless enemy of ambiguity and ask entirely different sets of questions about the business: how will you innovate and evolve the brand? An excellent framework for analysis can be found in Michael Porter’s five forces: the degree of rivalry in the category, threat of new entrants, the chance of substitution, buyer power, and supplier power. In basic terms, the framework requires that an organization evaluate their strategic position relative to the forces. By understanding influences such as competitive threat and supplier bargaining power, a business can generate an edge in the category.


March 21’s daily design idea is another quote from Crutchfield: “The secret of business innovation is to think big, act small, fail fast and learn rapidly.” For more insight into this innovative, action-filled approach to business, be sure to look into effectual reasoning and action.

all illustrations via Fast Company’s Co. Design

March 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment

Levi’s cares (to air).

Way after the fact (but still way awesome), and via Levi Strauss & Co.’s August 17, 2010 press release:

“Levi Strauss & Co. launched the “Care to Air” Design Challenge on June 1st [2010] to find innovative, covetable and sustainable ways for people to air dry their clothes. After just two months, nearly 140 designs from around the world were submitted for the chance to win up to $10,000 in prizes – and change the way people think about line drying.

“Nothing Is What It Seems” and “The Evaporation Station,” winners in the “Care to Air” Design Challenge by Levi’s

The winning design, “Nothing Is What It Seems,” combines art and function to create an environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing way to dry clothes. Designer Caleb Hill from Winnipeg, Manitoba, created a unique design that uses a work of art to masquerade a drying rack, which unfolds easily to dry a full load of laundry. The proposed design will be made of salvaged wood and hemp rope. The runner-up in the “Care to Air” design challenge is “The Evaporation Station” by Jeff Munie and Marlow Baca of the United States, which uses a series of nested stainless steel racks. Meant for urban dwellers with limited space, “The Evaporation Station” can be easily mounted on any wall and attractively displayed when not in use.”

March 2’s daily design idea is improving the environmental impact of the other products that your product interacts with is helpful too! Glad to see that Levi’s is also a company that cares.

March 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

Congrats to the winners of the first annual SEED Competition!

Announced just two weeks ago by the SEED Network (Social Economic Environmental Design), the following six projects have been selected as winners of the first annual SEED Competition:

1. Cafe 524 by Carnegie Mellon University Urban Design Build Studio

image rendered by the 2010 Urban Design Build Studio

2. Congo Street Initiative by bcWORKSHOP

photo from the Congo Street Green Initiative blog

3. Studio H by Project H Design

photo from inside the Studio H facility

4. Growing Home by SHED Studio and Designs for Dignity

sketch by SHED Studio

5. Inspiration Kitchens by Wheeler Kearns Architects, Wolff Landscape Architecture, dbHMS, Terra Engineering, and Thornton Tomasetti

section and plan by Wheeler Kearns Architects

6. St. Joseph ReBuild Center by Dan Pitera of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, Wayne Troyer of Wayne Troyer Architects, Damien Serauskas (P.E.), and Bruce Creighton (E.E.)

photo from the Detroit Collaborative Design Center website

These projects were selected with the following exemplary characteristics in mind:

  • Advocate with those who have a limited voice in public life.
  • Build structures for inclusion that engage stakeholders and allow communities to make decisions.
  • Promote social equality through discourse that reflects a range of values and social identities.
  • Generate ideas that grow from place and build local capacity.
  • Design to help conserve resources and minimize waste.

All six winners have the opportunity to present at the Structures For Inclusion 10+1 Conference on March 25-27 in Chicago. So, you know where I’ll be that weekend!

February 10’s daily design idea is the greatest designs involve advocacy, community development, social awareness, local engagement, and the conservation of resources.

February 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm 1 comment

A super sized brief for a “tiny huge design contest”.

In an effort to personally demonstrate how to “save money, radically reduce our environmental impact, and have a freer, less complicated life,” Treehugger founder Graham Hill has opened up a design contest for renovating a 420sf New York apartment. Called “LifeEdited,” the contest has been set up with Mutopo and Jovoto as an open forum to “propose, discuss and evaluate designs” for super small residential spaces.

existing plan and photo of Southeastern bedroom at 150 Sullivan, both via Treehugger’s Flickr set

Here’s the challenging, but super exciting, Creative Brief for LifeEdited:


Design a jewel box of an ultra-low-footprint apartment in 420sf (~39 m2).


What if we could save money, radically reduce our environmental impact, and have a freer, less complicated life?

Treehugger founder Graham Hill has part of the answer: we need to have less stuff and live in smaller spaces, like the 420sf (~39 m2) apartment he will renovate in 2011. With some design and technology magic, we think 420 square feet can allow for working at home, space for 2 guests to stay over, a sit-down dinner for 12, lounge space for 8, and maybe even a steam room.

So we’re asking you to redesign a small space thinking about these core ideas:

  • transforming space – use one space for work, play, sleep, guests
  • digitize everything – photos, books, music
  • from ownership to access – think Netflix, Zipcar, Airbnb, etc.
  • only the essentials – cut down on extraneous stuff, leaving only what’s really necessary

The winning concept will be used in a renovation of a 420sf apartment in New York City in mid 2011. Ideas will remain online as reference, to inspire and encourage others to rethink how they buy, rent, renovate and furnish their future properties.

Task Definition

Create a design based on Graham Hill’s 420 sf apartment. The design needs to support the life of a real person in the apartment – someone who works, eats, lives, and entertains. We’re looking for apartment designs that allow for:

  • a sit-down dinner for 12
  • a comfortable lounging option for 8 people
  • space for 2 guests with some visual and ideally auditory privacy
  • a home office
  • a work area with space for a rolling tool chest
  • a hideable kitchen

As the room function is changed, it should not feel like you are sleeping in your office or eating in your bedroom. At the same time, it should be easy and quick enough to change the room function that one would actually do it.

We believe feedback and conversation can help you improve your ideas. You have the ability to post and update your entry at any time up until the submission deadline — and we highly encourage you to do so. In return, you’ll receive feedback from Graham, your peers, and our jurors.


Photos of the space we’ll be renovating are available in this Flickr set.

For those who have AutoCAD, DWG files are available here.

If you don’t have AutoCAD, there are still plenty of ways to get involved! Google Sketchup is a free 3D modeling tool with a huge library of pre-made components available. We’ve created the basic plan for the apartment that you can use as a starting point, available here.

Floorplans and concept sketches are also great submissions. Here are floor and elevation diagrams in PNG form, and more detailed ones in PDF are available here.

photo of fire escape at 150 Sullivan, both via Treehugger’s Flickr set

Ready to sign up? Check out these other examples of living small and thinking big if you want some further inspiration.

December 4’s daily design idea is applying your creativity to real world situations will help develop real world solutions.

December 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

thinking public (and public thinking) all over the world

Re-blogged from in public space we trust.
Originally posted October 16, 2010.

In Favour of Public Space, the European Prize for Urban Public Space catalogue, documents and celebrates the biennial competition organized by six European institutions recognising and encouraging regeneration projects and defense of public space in our cities.

This new catalogue includes essays written by architects, urban planners, writers, sociologists and politicians, including Ole Bouman, Philip Ursprung and Francis Rambert.”

>>October 16’s daily design idea is which lasts longer: books or memories?

October 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm Leave a comment

Replay: Sukkah City

So unless you’ve been living under a rock (or you don’t really follow architectural news), you probably have already heard about Sukkah City. From their website:

“Biblical in origin, the sukkah is an ephemeral, elemental shelter, erected for one week each fall, in which it is customary to share meals, entertain, sleep, and rejoice… ‘Sukkah City’ is an international design competition to re-imagine this ancient phenomenon, develop new methods of material practice and parametric design, and propose radical possibilities for traditional design constraints in a contemporary urban site.”

Maybe you read about the 12 finalists in NY Magazine. Or, you know, the New York Times, Dwell, Core77, Architizer, Architectural Record, or Metropolis. Or maybe you discovered the competition through its Wikipedia page, a bizarrely legit form of signifying cultural value.

photo of Union Square during the Sukkah City event / by Benjamin Norman for the New York Times

Months ago, I began dreaming up my own design-build concept for Sukkah City, which was to be built of discarded materials found throughout the New York City streets and would honor our city’s own nomadic population – the homeless. Unfortunately, I found myself without the extra time and the creative team to put the submission together. Fortunately, Rael San Frantello Architects created the incredibly Sukkah of Signs, part of the firm’s larger Homeless House Project. Signs were purchased from the homeless throughout the United States in order to create this inspiring structure.

Sukkah of the Signs by Rael San Frantello Architects / photo by Gisela Garrett

In the end, the people’s choice award went to the visually arresting (and spectacularly documented) Fractured Bubble. I should admit that after Sukkah of the Signs, this design by Babak Bryan & Henry Grosman was my favorite. It was also one of the few whose final version was extremely close to its initial design.

piece of final competition board and one of many in-process photos from; photo of final installation by Flickr user xpressbus

While the temporary structures have been removed from Union Square as of September 22, a free exhibit of the competition’s designs continues until October 30, 2010 at the Center for Architecture.

September 19’s idea is engage in what Sukkah City co-creator Joshua Foer calls “perhaps the world’s oldest architectural conversation.” How would you imagine the historic sukkah in contemporary context?

September 19, 2010 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

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