Metropolis Adds Exhibits to Next Generation Competition

The second annual Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition offers young designers the chance to gain publicity and earn $10,000 to fund a Big Idea; this year the competition will also offer the possibility of being included in two high-profile exhibitions.

The first exhibit, a show of up to 20 Big Ideas, all to be selected from this year’s competition entries, will be on view at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), to be held May 14-17 in New York. Ideas selected for the special exhibition will also be featured in the Productsphere column in the June 2005 issue of Metropolis, as well as on the magazine’s sister Web site,

A second, traveling exhibition—which will include the work of the competition’s grand prize winner and up to 15 runners-up—will debut the following month at the NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, to be held June 13-15 in Chicago. Carpet fiber company Antron, the 2005 Next Generation Design Competition events sponsor, will support this exhibition.

Metropolis editor in chief Susan S. Szenasy hand-picked the competition’s energetic team of jurors. Aside from Szenasy, the panel will feature Shashi Caan, chair of the interior design department at New York’s Parsons School of Design; Timothy deFiebre, an industrial designer; Wendy Brawer, founder of the Green Map system and a sustainable design expert; and Adrienne McNicholas, co-founder of Klinik, a Toronto-based company specializing in marketing emerging designers. Also serving as a judge will be the 2004 Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition grand prize winner, John Hong, a principal at Cambridge-based architecture firm Single Speed Design.

Like last year, the competition’s winner will be featured in the June issue of Metropolis and on; the winner will also be honored at a celebration. Stories and updates about select runners-up and entrants will run in both the magazine and online throughout the second half of 2005.

Participating in the Next Generation Design Competition and its inaugural exhibit, RAW, held at the 2004 International Contemporary Furniture Fair, has brought considerable attention to some of last year’s entrants. Following Metropolis’s publication of their winning proposal, the Big Dig House, Single Speed Design was profiled in Dwell magazine and the Boston Globe; press coverage has been as far-flung as Korea, where architecture magazine Poar printed a piece delineating the firm’s proposal and building methods.

Similarly, two materials featured in the RAW exhibit—Lume, an LED light-embedded fabric, and OpTrix, a laser-cut acrylic tile—have built on their Next Generation success. The Lume prototype, crafted with the help of Divalli lighting, was included in numerous other exhibitions, including ones at Fellisimo Design House, New York’s Center for Architecture, and Jack Lenor Larson’s residence. OpTrix, now called Sensitile, went on to be voted “Best New Material” at the Materialica 2004 show in Munich; creator Abhinand Lath subsequently developed a special prototype for Zaha Hadid that she used to pave a street in Berlin. Lath, one of three designers whose work gained special recognition at the RAW exhibit, winning a free space at ICFF 2005, will introduce his latest line of cement and acrylic tiles at this year’s show.

Those interested in taking part in the second annual Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition must hurry: the deadline is January 15. Late entries will be considered if received no later than January 31 and accompanied by the requisite late fee. Click here for competition rules and to download an application.

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