• About •
The Street Seats: Urban Benches for Vibrant Cities, an international design challenge has been recently launced by Design Museum Portland. This challenge will culminate in an public outdoor exhibition and walking tour around the World Trade Center Portland plaza in downtown Portland, Ore.
Street Seats provides an opportunity to improve the visibility and livability of an urban area while being socially and environmentally conscious. At the same time this design challenge is a catalyst for designers to use their creative minds and innovative talents to produce a real, tangible, usable object that helps transform the urban environment. It gives designers the chance to show the public how even the humble public bench can have dramatic impact in the built environment.
Design Museum Portland invites individuals and groups from around the world to design an iconic bench, or ‘street seat,’ for the World Trade Center Portland plaza. The area is a lively destination for residents and visitors alike, with access to Portland’s major financial, government, and business institutions, as well as the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and a burgeoning tourism district.
Entrants will participate by designing sustainable outdoor sidewalk furniture with a focus on reuse, using environmentally-friendly materials and innovative construction methods.
One poster using the provided Design Museum template; must be submitted in a high-resolution PDF file; each file should not exceed 50MB. Input entry title in the appropriate space on the template.
You need to include:
• High Resolution images of the design process
• High Resolution images/renderings of the final piece
• Renderings, in context
• Overall and key dimensions noted
All design process work should be documented in video format:
• Capture designers at work, interviews, research, sketches, concepts, models, prototypes, etc
• A music soundtrack and/or narration are allowed
• The title screen should include the entry title and no other identification
• 3 minutes maximum
• Video file size should not exceed 100 MB
• Subtitles are allowed for non-English speaking entries
Description of team (in English, 150 word max)
Multiple submissions from any one individual or team are permitted, although each entry must be submitted under a unique entry title.
The Jury will base its scoring on the following considerations.
• Sustainable design using recycled, reclaimed, and/or renewable materials
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Innovative design and construction
• Safe for outdoor public use
• Must fit within bench envelope (30’’ x 72’’ x 48’’)
• Seat at least 2 people - hold 600 lbs of weight at various seating positions
• Suitable for outdoor use (durable, robust, weatherproof, etc)
• Stable and securable at the site once installed
• Depth and quality of design process documentation
The jury will judge all eligible entries received and determine the 15 Semi-Finalists. A gallery exhibition displaying all entries will be curated in Portland, OR, and the jury-selected Semi-Finalists will be announced at the gallery opening.
Final fabricated pieces will be installed around the World Trade Center Portland and the Street Seats exhibition will be open to the public. Design Museum Portland will hold an outdoor public opening reception on August 2, 2018. From the Semi-Finalists’ full-scale entries, using the Judging & Design Criteria, the jury will select the Top 3 seats.
The 5 bench will be selected as the “PGE Choice” winners and will be permanently installed on the plaza. The remaining seats will be the property of Design Museum Portland, installed around the city.
Early Registration (January 18 - March 16, 2018)
• Design Museum Member: Free!
• Non-Member: US$30 General Registration (March 17 - May 11, 2018)
• Design Museum Member: US$20
• Non-Member: US$75
• Eligibility •
The Street Seats Design Challenge is open to local and international individuals and teams. Individuals, teams, professionals, and students are encouraged to contribute their designs.
• Prize •
Semi-finalists will receive a grant to fabricate their bench, which we’ll install around the World Trade Center Portland plaza and Tom McCall Waterfront Park — and winning entries will receive cash prizes and additional publicity.
All Semi-Finalists will receive a US$1,000 reimbursement grant from Design Museum Portland for seat fabrication as well as regional, national, and international promotion. The Grand Prize winning entry will receive a cash prize of US$5,000, the other 2 top entries will each receive US$2,000. Finalists will receive a feature in the Summer 2018 Design Museum Magazine. All the Semi-Finalists and Finalists will receive local, regional, national, and international promotion and will be viewable online in an exhibition on designmuseumportland.org as well.