Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Let Frank Lloyd Wright Inspire Your Design

The Guggenheim Museum and Google announced the launch of Design It: Shelter Competition, an online competition that invites the public to use Google Earth and Google SketchUp to create and submit designs for virtual 3-D shelters for a location of their choice anywhere on Earth. The competition opened on June 8, 2009, Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday; closes to submissions on August 23; and ends on October 21, the 50th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum’s opening, when two prizes, a Juried Prize and a People’s Prize, will be awarded.

Between June 8 and August 23, 2009, everyone from students to amateur designers to design and architecture professionals can visit the Design It: Shelter Competition Web site (click on heading above) for information on how to enter the competition and download Google Earth and Google SketchUp (a free download). After choosing a location on Google Earth, participants can use SketchUp 3-D modeling software to create original designs for 100-square-foot structures in which to live and work. Completed designs are then uploaded to the Google 3D Warehouse and submitted via the Design It: Shelter Competition Web site where site visitors will be able to browse through all of the entries.

The competition takes its inspiration from Learning By Doing, an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum’s Sackler Center for Arts Education curated by David van der Leer, the museum’s Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, which features plans, photographs, and models of shelters built by students at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. For the past seven decades, students at the school have taken on the challenge of designing, building, and living in small shelters nestled in the landscape of the school’s Arizona Taliesin West campus (right) and recently on the Taliesin campus in Wisconsin as well. In addition to providing hands-on management and construction experience, the shelter program encourages students to consider human needs for safety and comfort as well as the relationship between architecture and place.

Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture students will select ten entries as finalists. The public will be invited to vote on the finalists online from September 7 through October 10 to determine the winner of the People’s Prize. At the same time, a jury of experts in the fields of architecture and design will review all shelter submissions to choose the winner of the Juried Prize. Jury members include Martin Cox, Principal, Bade Stageberg Cox; Neil M. Denari, Principal, Neil M. Denari Architects; Cathleen McGuigan, Architecture Critic, Newsweek; Victor Sidy, Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; Lisa Strausfeld, Partner, Pentagram; Aidan Chopra, Product Evangelist, Google SketchUp; and David van der Leer, Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design at the Guggenheim. The two competition winners will be announced on October 21, 2009. Prizes will include airfare and two nights' accommodation for two in New York City, behind-the-scenes tours of the Guggenheim Museum and Google offices, and Google SketchUp Pro licenses. The Juried Prize will also include a $1,000 cash award.

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