Google and Guggenheim museum want your vote for best shelter design

New York, NY – September 8, 2009 – Beginning September 7, 2009, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Google invite the public to vote for its favorite design among the top ten People’s Prize finalists for the Design It: Shelter Competition. The competition—an interactive, online challenge—received submissions from 68 countries, for a total of nearly 600 entries that met the competition requirements. Participants used Google SketchUp to create and submit designs for virtual 3–D shelters for a location of their choice anywhere on Earth. Votes may be cast at guggenheim.org/vote through October 10, 2009.

Online voters can select a design by one of the top ten finalists for the People’s Prize. Finalists were preselected by students from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. In addition, a jury of architecture and design experts is reviewing all of the shelter submissions to choose a winner of the Juried Prize. The winners of both the People’s Prize and the Juried Prize will be announced on October 21, 2009, the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Guggenheim Museum.

The jury consists of Timothy Bade, 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.

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.

Each final entry for a 100–square–foot structure in which to live and work consists of a shelter’s name, its geolocation in Google Earth, and a brief description of the shelter and its relationship to the natural and built environment, along with the designer’s name and place of origin. In addition to viewing the ten finalists, visitors may browse through nearly 600 original designs that met competition requirements at guggenheim.org/shelter.

Design It: Shelter Competition was inspired by Learning By Doing, an exhibition on view this summer at the Guggenheim Museum along with Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, that featured plans, photographs, and models of shelters built by students at Taliesin and Taliesin West, the Frank Lloyd Wright Schools of Architecture in Wisconsin and Arizona, over the past seven decades. The competition provided the opportunity for anyone in the world to create their own virtual shelter with Google Earth and Google’s 3–D modeling software SketchUp, while adhering to similar design parameters as Wright’s Taliesin architecture students.

The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum
Design It: Shelter Competition comprises part of a year–long celebration of art, architecture, and innovation, which kicked off in May 2009 and marks the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim’s landmark building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Planned throughout the year are major exhibitions and programming, including a new annual arts awards, a live contemporary music series, a documentary film on the Guggenheim past and present, and a free day on October 21, the date on which the museum opened its doors exactly 50 years ago. The anniversary festivities extend across New York City with public events including a light tribute on the Empire State Building in October and an ongoing presence on digital billboards in Times Square. Beyond New York, the Guggenheim partners in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Bilbao, and Venice continue an international celebration with programs in honor of the museum’s golden year. Complete and up–to–date information on all of the Guggenheim Museum’s 50th Anniversary programs and activities is available at guggenheim.org/50.

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