Making Their Mark

Imagine a future where wind turbines generate electricity by capturing energy from passing highway traffic; where rivers glow red or green as signals of water quality; and where, instead of piling up in landfills, ordinary drinking straws are transformed into a flexible honeycomb material for lighting and furniture. This is just a glimpse of the smarter, safer, more sustainable world envisioned by runners-up in Metropolis’s 2006 Next Generation® Design Competition, which invited proposals from young designers on how to improve our designed environment through bold thinking and inventive new ideas. This year’s jury included market and cultural theorist Meg Armstrong, industrial designer Yves Béhar, game designer Katie Salen, architect and urban theorist Jeffrey Inaba, and Metropolis editor in chief Susan S. Szenasy. Here’s hoping that these inspiring ideas become part of the not-too-distant future of design.

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