Kimball Design Hack: A Smart Furniture Design Competition

Congratulations to O2U on winning the Kimball Design Hack!

Earlier this year, Kimball and Metropolis magazine hosted the Kimball Design Hack, a Smart Furniture Design Competition. The competition was opened up worldwide and received more than 120 submissions during the 4-month competition timeframe with concepts that aimed to improve workplace satisfaction, comfort, engagement, health, wellness, and wellbeing.

In addition to the online Kimball Design Hack, Kimball and Metropolis hosted the Office of the Future Hackathon at Globant Seattle. The Hackathon invited engineers, developers and designers to transform the capability of the work place by integrating smart, cutting-edge materials and technologies, showing how the use of technology in furniture and its surroundings can help us be more productive, improve our work lives, make work more convenient, and help us solve other workplace challenges.

A panel of industry experts spanning design, workplace strategy, and consulting reviewed the submissions and after much discussion, one entry rose to the top. “There were many interesting and applicable concepts proposed and it was a tough decision, but ultimately we had to select the entry that would pave the way for a sustainable, healthy future for the workplace,” said Avinash Rajagopal, Editor in Chief of Metropolis.

The winning submission, O2U, brings nature into the workplace through a modular, smart gardening system. Powered by machine learning for image recognition and IoT sensor technologies, O2U can monitor the growth of small crops or plants, providing a maintenance-free way of integrating biophilic elements into the office while also improving air quality and providing healthy food options.

The winning design from concept to rendering of the application.


O2U was conceptualized by the Seattle-based team of Eric Hong, Tyler John, Aaron Lim, Aldo Torres, and Dustin Wang at a tech hack event organized by Metropolis and Kimball.

From left to right: Aldo Torres, Dustin Wang, Eric Hong, Aaron Lim and Tyler Jong.

James Cava
Head of Global Workplace Solutions
IBM
Armonk, NY

James Cava is Global Head of Workplace Solutions at IBM. He is responsible for all strategic design and construction activities across IBM’s office portfolio encompassing 80 million square feet in 102 countries. He is also responsible for IBM’s Workplace Experience standards.

Previously, James worked at Citigroup where he headed up Global Planning & Design as well as North American project management. James graduated from The Cooper Union where he received his Professional Engineering license in Mechanical Engineering.


Jennifer Fordham
Senior Project Manager
Design & Construction, Group Real Estate
WPP Group USA, Inc.
New York, NY

Jennifer Fordham is a Senior Project Manager for Design and Construction with Group Real Estate at WPP Group USA, Inc. With over 20 years of experience spanning residential architecture, commercial interiors, furniture procurement, facilities management and project management, she continuously seeks to improve upon the design and functionality of the spaces she builds and the products she uses in them.

Jennifer holds a BFA in Interior Design from Syracuse University and was recently awarded the 2017 IFMA Award for Excellence in Facilities Project Planning and Management.


Christopher Hood
Director of Consulting
Advanced Workplace Associates
London, United Kingdom

Christopher Hood is a Director at Advanced Workplace Associates in London, a boutique advisory group specializing in helping organizations though the process of workplace change. Previously, Chris served as Managing Director at CBRE and as Manager of Hewlett Packard’s Design Center.

Trained, and qualified as an Architect, Christopher has often moved outside his formal training to seek bold, innovative solutions in the field of corporate real estate. He has written articles, presented papers at major events, holds a US patent for furniture design, is a past winner of the Corenet Global Innovation Award, and is very active in a number of leading industry thought-leadership and advisory groups.


Katherine Lytle
Senior Designer
IA Interior Architects
New York, NY

Katherine Lytle is a Senior Interior Designer and an Associate in the New York office of IA Interior Architects, an exclusively interiors focused design firm with 19 locations worldwide.

Katherine has 14 years’ experience leading a diverse portfolio of local, national and global projects including Corporate Workplace, Higher Education, Civic, Institutional and Healthcare Design.  Katherine’s innovative projects have been featured in multiple industry publications.


Avinash Rajagopal
Editor in Chief
Metropolis Magazine
New York, NY

Avinash Rajagopal is the editor-in-chief of Metropolis magazine. He is an expert on product and interior design in the digital age, as a historian of contemporary design as well as a frequent speaker at key industry events. He is the author of Hacking Design (Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2013) and has contributed to numerous volumes on architecture and design, including Adhocracy (Istanbul Design Biennial, 2012), Making Africa (Vitra Design Museum, 2015) and Atlas of Furniture Design (Vitra Design Museum, forthcoming).

Avinash has lectured on design history and writing at the School of Visual Arts, New York; the University of Texas at Austin; and the National Institute of Design, India.


Kay Sargent
Director of WorkPlace
HOK
Washington, DC

Kay Sargent is a Senior Principal and Director of WorkPlace for Strategic Accounts at HOK, the world’s largest global architectural firm and serves on the Board of Directors. In that role Kay oversees the marketing, delivery and execution of over 65 International Master Service Accounts where the firm provides services for organizations with multiple projects in multiple locations both nationally and internationally.

Kay is considered one of the foremost thought leaders on workplace. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies on their global real estate strategies and designed workplaces of the future. She has authored multiple white papers and articles on a variety of design related topics including wellbeing; next gen workforce; go-bility; technologies impact on the workplace; space fusion and the rise of the human factor.


Mike Wagner
President
Kimball
Jasper, IN

Mike Wagner is President of Kimball.  Mike joined Kimball in 2013, when he was asked to lead an extensive turnaround for one of the largest and most diversified furniture manufacturers in the world.  Over the past few years, the company has emerged as a design leader, winning major awards, including the prestigious 2015 Interior Design “Best of Year” award for the industry’s largest product category.

Mike has authored articles and spoken at industry events on topics related to market innovation, workplace of the future, and platform thinking. His career spans over 20 years in the furniture industry, including past ownership of a Chicago based Independent Rep firm, as well as several key leadership positions in sales management, marketing, operations and strategic planning.


Russ Whitman
Managing Director
Globant US

Russ Whitman is a Managing Director for Globant US (NYSE: GLOB) an international consulting and technology services firm that powers digital transformation for leading brands though delivering design, technology and innovation at scale. Whitman is responsible for leading Digital Strategy and Innovation for key markets and industries, leveraging his over 20 years in creating digital products at the intersection of art and technology.

  1. ELIGIBILITY

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING. THIS COMPETITION IS VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Kimball Design Hack, A Smart Furniture Design Competition (“Competition”) is open to everyone. No professional training is required, but we encourage students and professionals in the architecture, interior design and industrial design disciplines to participate. All entrants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Employees of KIMBALL INTERNATIONAL, INC. or Bellerophon Publications, Inc., dba METROPOLIS MAGAZINE (the “Sponsors”), their affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion, fulfillment or other coordinating agencies, individuals providing services to Sponsors through an outsourcer or temporary employment agency during the Competition Period, and their respective immediate family and persons living in their same household are not eligible to win.

  1. HOW TO ENTER

All entries must be submitted electronically via the Competition Submission Form available on www.metropolismag.com/kimballhack/. Entries will not be accepted in any other format, including any paper submissions submitted either in person or by mail or courier service. Metropolis will be responsible for managing all entries.

The online Competition Submission Form requires a brief description (not to exceed 500 words) of the functionality of the submitted design. Images must be submitted in the following format: .jpg or .png at 640px X 480px/72 dpi. Video is allowed only to supplement the submission; however, any such video must be submitted via a link to your video server (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo etc.). No other linked or embedded objects will be considered. If the Sponsors have reason to believe that an attached file may be corrupt, Sponsors will have the option, but no obligation, to contact the applicant for a replacement file. All submissions, including any replacement files, must be received no later than May 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET to be considered.

All entries must contain the name, address, email address and telephone numbers (day and evening) of the entrant. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of an individual who submitted an online entry, the Sponsors shall have the option either to disqualify the submission, removing it from consideration, or to make its own reasonable efforts to determine the rightful person making the submission, and that determination by the Sponsors shall be final and binding.

Entries may be made by one or more individuals. If multiple individuals are identified in the entry, the entry will be viewed as a “Team” entry. Any Team entry must be supported by an agreement among the Team members that is reasonably satisfactory to the Sponsors that allocates the interests of the Team members and confirms that the Team members all will abide by these Terms. In the event of any dispute among Team members, the Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify the Team’s entry.

The number of entries per person or per team is not limited, however there is no benefit for multiple entries of the same design. If multiple entries of the same design or of a substantially similar design are received, then only the first entry will be considered. If the same design is entered by multiple parties, the Sponsors reserve the option to disqualify any or all the entries. Individuals or teams may enter multiple proposals provided each proposal is a separate and unique design concept.

  1. CRITERIA

The smart furniture design concepts should take into consideration applications that would provide satisfaction, comfort, engagement, health, wellness and/or wellbeing utilized in a professional environment. The designs should integrate materials and functionality that can be controlled using the latest, and most advanced technology (whether known or unknown, either by the designer or the tech community) thereby, transforming the capability of the furniture. Examples include, but are not limited to, lighting, smart films, heat, vibration, motion, voice activation, sound, beacons, app controls etc.

The product should improve the overall work-life of employees by adding convenience, wellness and/or solving other typical workplace challenges.

There is no expectation that the participating designers will provide a working technical solution, however the feasibility of software being developed that can match up the technology to the concept will be a significant factor in choosing a winner. The winning design must be able to be mass produced, scalable and saleable. In other words, the Sponsors must make the determination that the winning design concept offers a commercially viable product based on market demand and effective pricing.

  1. COMPETITION PERIOD

The Competition begins on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 12am Eastern Time (ET) and ends on Monday, May 31, 2018, 11:59 PM ET (“Competition Period”).  All entries (submissions) must be received during the Competition Period, to be eligible to win.

  1. PRIZES/ODDS OF WINNING

The Sponsors expect to select a single winner and to award a prize of Five Thousand Dollars U.S. ($5,000.00 US), together with a royalty agreement paying the winner a 3% royalty up to an additional $25,000, for a total award package of $30,000. The winner may also be featured in an article in Metropolis magazine and metropolismag.com. Odds of winning cannot be determined since the number of eligible entries received is uncertain and the selection is not random but rather, it is a skills based selection. The prize awarded is non-transferable. No substitution of prizes is permitted.

  1. WINNER SELECTION

Judging will begin June 1, 2018 and a panel of judges knowledgeable of the criteria will evaluate all eligible entries for this Competition. The winner will be notified by telephone or email by June 11, 2018. Judges’ decisions are final.

PLEASE NOTE – THERE IS NO GUARANTY THAT THERE WILL BE A WINNER AND THE SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE NO WINNER IF THERE IS NO ENTRY RECEIVED THAT THE JUDGES DETERMINE MEETS THE CRITERIA PROVIDED ABOVE.

  1. ANNOUNCING THE WINNER

The winner will be announced prior to or in conjunction with the 2018 NeoCon event in Chicago, IL (June 11-13, 2018.). The winning entry may be noted in Metropolis, metropolismag.com, kimball.com, social media channels and/or events/exhibitions as well as any other mode or medium desired by Sponsors in perpetuity.

  1. PUBLICITY

By participating, each entrant grants Sponsors permission to use submissions as well as the entrant’s name, likeness or comments for publicity purposes without payment of additional consideration, except where prohibited by law.

  1. WINNER’S OBLIGATIONS

The winner must sign a copy of the entrant’s Competition Submission Form, together with any written agreement reasonably requested by the Sponsors assigning to the Sponsors all rights to commercialize the winning design, including the right to produce, market and sell the design, the right to use the design in print, online, in events/exhibits, and in advertisements/publicity and the right to allow the Sponsors the right to license others to do the same.

Within ten (10) days of being notified of the winner’s selection, the winner must provide publication-quality images of the winning project, defined as 300 DPI at 10” x 12”, a publication-quality individual photo (or group photo if a Team submission) appropriate image credits as necessary.

The winner must be available for interviews and events held by Sponsors which may or may not be videotaped and used in whatever media is deemed appropriate by the Sponsors. This will include the winner being available to travel to Chicago, IL June 11-13, 2018.  The winner’s reasonable travel expense will be paid by Kimball.  The winner is responsible for all taxes or other fees connected with any prize awarded or any travel expenses or other fees paid for by the Sponsors.

  1. OWNERSHIP

Information provided on or as part of the Competition Submission may appear in Metropolis, metropolismag.com, kimball.com, social media channels and events/exhibitions. The Sponsors may modify such information as needed to condense or edit for space purposes. Sponsors are not responsible for incorrect information provided on Competition Submission Form.

By entering this Competition, each entrant warrants and represents that (i) your entry is your original work, (ii) you have sufficient rights to the material you are submitting, (iii) these rights have been legally obtained or created and (iv) publication of the material via various media will not infringe on any third-party rights, including without limitation contractual rights, intellectual property rights, publicity and privacy rights, and rights against libel, defamation and slander. Sponsors are not liable for violations of any third-party rights, including, but not limited to, claims of copyright, trademark, patent infringement, defamation, trade secrets or trade dress on the part of any entrant and each entrant shall indemnify and hold the Sponsors harmless against any such third-party claim relating to that particular entrant’s submission.

Sponsors shall retain publication rights of all proposals entered in the Competition (“Work Product”) and may transfer such rights at its sole discretion to any third party. By submitting proposals, entrants grant a worldwide, perpetual, transferable, exclusive license to Sponsors (or successive owners of the Work Product) to publish proposals, in whole or in part, in promotional materials, public information materials and/or exhibits without compensation to the entrants or any other person or entity. Sponsors (including successive owners of the Work Product) shall not be subject to any obligation(s) of confidentiality with respect to any entries, nor are Sponsors (including successive owners of the Work Product) liable for any use or disclosure of any entries.

The Sponsors (including successive owners of the Work Product) shall not be responsible for loss or damage to entries, and, they will have no obligation to return entries. The Sponsors shall have the right to use the participants’ names without compensation to the participants.

  1. GENERAL RULES

The selection of a winner by the Sponsors is subject to verification of all matters related to the entry by Sponsors or representatives of Sponsors, to the sole satisfaction of Sponsors. All Competition entries obtained through unauthorized sources or which are incomplete, illegible, mutilated, altered, reproduced, forged, irregular or fraudulent in any way or otherwise not in compliance with these rules are automatically void. Sponsors will be the sole and final reference source in validating a prize claim. The design must not contain or reference any names, products or services of any company or entity or any third-party trademarks, logos, or promotion of any brand, product or service. Submissions that in the view of the Sponsors are lewd, obscene, sexually explicit, pornographic, disparaging, defamatory, libelous, or submissions that otherwise contain inappropriate content or objectionable material may not be submitted and will be deemed ineligible by Sponsors’ in their sole and unfettered discretion. Sponsors will not be responsible for incomplete, lost, late, misdirected or illegible submissions or for failure to receive submissions. All submissions become the property of Sponsors with exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable and comprehensive rights in the submission. Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify, in their sole discretion, any submissions by persons determined to be frustrating Sponsors’ purpose for holding the Competition or tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Competition. By participating, each participant and selected winner agrees: (a) to be bound by these rules and the decisions of Sponsors, (b) to release and hold harmless Sponsors, and their respective directors, officers, and employees, from any and all liability for claims/damages including, but not limited to, claims/damages for personal injury, for property damage with respect to acceptance, possession or use or misuse of the Prize or participation in the Competition; (c) to permit Sponsors to use his/her name, address, city, province/state of residence, photograph, video, or any likeness for advertising or publicity purposes without any additional compensation and (d) the winner agrees to sign a Declaration and Release Form to this effect. A winner may waive his or her right to receive prizes. Prizes are nonassignable and nontransferable by winner. Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on the prize and will be required to provide any documentation and/or certifications that, in Sponsors’ reasonable judgment, are necessary for reporting to relevant taxing authority before the prize is delivered.  The decisions of Sponsors in relation to this Competition will be final and binding on all entrants. Sponsors shall not be responsible for incorrect or inaccurate transcription or registration of Competition entry information, technical malfunctions, omission, interruption, deletion, incomprehensible, or erased computer or network transmissions, failure of computer equipment, software, inability to access any online service or website, inability to submit the online entry form, or any other error or malfunction, or any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation, or for late, illegible or misdirected entries. By entering the Competition, entrant further agrees: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the Competition, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action, and entrant waives his or her right to a jury trial for such disputes, claims, and causes of action; (2) any claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Competition, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of any contestant and Sponsors, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Indiana. Any claims shall be heard exclusively in the Indiana state court residing in Dubois County, Indiana or, if appropriate, federal court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville, Indiana. The parties hereby consent to the personal jurisdiction of said courts. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. If any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the valid or enforceable provision was not contained therein.

  1. GENERAL RELEASE

By entering this  Competition,  each entrant releases the Sponsors, and each of their respective affiliated companies, directors, officers, employees, representatives, partners and agents from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Competition or with the acceptance, possession or use of any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light). The Sponsors reserve the right to cancel, terminate, or suspend this Competition, at their sole discretion, in the event of a technical failure, computer virus or bug, unauthorized human intervention, fraud or any other occurrence or cause beyond its control that corrupts or adversely affects the administration, security, fairness or normal operation of the Competition. Under no circumstances will the Sponsors, and their respective directors, officers, and employees be required to award more prize(s) than what is indicated in these rules or award the prize(s) other than in accordance with these rules. The personal information provided to enter the Competition will be used only to administer the Competition, and for no other reason.

  1. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

By entering this Competition, each entrant agrees that (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action, and each entrant waives his or her right to a jury trial for such disputes, claims, and causes of action; (b) any claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Contest, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses.

  1. CONSTRUCTION

All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of any contestant and either of the Sponsors, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Indiana, and the laws of the United States, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Indiana or the United States. Any claims shall be heard exclusively in the Indiana state court residing in Dubois County, Indiana or, if appropriate, the federal court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville, Indiana. Each entrant hereby consents to the personal jurisdiction of said courts. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. If any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the valid or enforceable provision was not contained therein.

  1. SPONSORS’ CONTACT

If you have any questions regarding this Contest, please contact by email at KIMBALLHACK@kimball.com.