Due to its dynamic nature, fabric can be a daunting material to utilize, whether in the landscape, on a building façade, or in an interior. Yet its qualities – lightweight, flexibility, durability, and color availability – give it the potential to solve myriad problems in the built environment. Sunbrella and Architizer are encouraging designers to ask how fabric can solve these problems in the fourth annual The Future of Shade competition.
The competition calls for design solutions to three specific problems, each delineated in a separate entry category:
Humanitarian Challenge: Entrants are tasked to create a portable temporary shelter that can be quickly distributed and assembled in warm weather climates.
Wellness Garden Challenge: Entrants are tasked to develop an outdoor space that fosters a healing environment at a cancer treatment center.
Building Shade Challenge: Entrants are tasked to develop a solution to the issues caused by peak daytime sun at Paradise Plaza and Paseo Ponti in the Miami Design District.
A first place winner will be selected in each of the categories. To reward these highly innovative responses, the Future of Shade competition will grant each winner a $10,000 prize along with the potential for honorable mentions to receive $1,000 awards. In addition, the Miami Design District will review the entries from the Building Shade Challenge to select a submission to be built as a part of Paradise Plaza and Paseo Ponti. The team submitting the chosen entry will receive a $25,000 commission to see the project to completion.
The competition will consider both the theoretical and practical applications of fabric; projects that are conceptual, in-progress, or built are all accepted. The final format of the submissions is open-ended. Whatever supporting drawings and details a team feels are needed to communicate the design in full may be included. However, each design submission must rely on a fabric from Sunbrella’s wide product line. Registration is open now until February 19, 2016. Prospective entrants can register at The Future of Shade competition brief on Architizer’s website here. Teams have until March 20 to submit their design entries. After the jury has made its selections, the winners will be announced in mid-April.
The Future of Shade is important to landscape architecture and its related fields because it helps move landscape architecture and environmental design toward the future. Whether or not the designs submitted are realized, the countless technologies and design strategies generated through this competition will produce new concepts for dealing with disaster response, therapeutic environments, and cooling strategies for the built environment. By sponsoring the competition, Sunbrella and Architizer are driving forward the innovative use of materials in the fields of architecture and design.