Last month, the Guggenheim Museum and Google teamed up for a very innovative online design contest. That fact in and of itself is interesting as it is a very interesting and unexpected team-up. However, what is even more interesting is the fact that the contest, entitled the “Design It: Shelter Competition” involves designing the best tiny shelter. Participants are encouraged to design a virtual 3d 100 square foot living/working space using Google’s new Google Sketch Up software, and then place the house on a map with Google Earth. Both Google Earth and Google Sketch Up are free to download and use.
The contest asks participants the questions: where would you build your shelter? And how would you respond to the environment around your shelter? Obviously, Frank Lloyd Wright was inspired by the connection of a house to its environment. The Design It: Shelter Competition seeks to reflect and incorporate Wright’s fascination with the natural elements surrounding a house.
This contest is running in conjunction with the Guggenheim’s new exhibit, running until August 23rd, entitled “Learning By Doing.” The art exhibit features shelters that were designed by students of Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Through the design process, the students learn various important issues involved in design.
The Design it: Shelter Competition is open to amateur as well as professional designers. You can read more about the contest and even enter the contest at the Guggenheim’s website. Entries are being taken until August 23rd which coincides with the last day of the Learning by Doing exhibit. (If you happen to be in New York City between now and the end of August, definitely check out this exhibit as it sounds pretty intriguing.)
The Design It: Shelter Competition rules include the following:
You can build your shelter anywhere on Earth: from city to desert, hill to valley. You cannot remove any existing buildings, but you can add on to existing structures.”
Keep your shelter small—the interior/sheltered space can be no larger than 100 square feet (9.3 square meters), and entire shelter no taller than 12 feet (3.6 meters).
Your shelter must offer protection from the elements and provide a space for one person to study and sleep. Keep it simple—no water, gas or electricity allowed.
The students at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture will choose the finalists and public voting will take place from September to October 2009.