design museum boston street seats call for entries

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Call for Entries for Street Seats Design Challenge


  • Street SeatsDesign Challenge



    Presented by:

    Call for Entries

  • Design Museum Boston is New Englands first museum dedicated solely to design. Our mission is to educate the world on the role of design in their lives and to unite the Massachusetts design community in ways that enrich our collective work, make businesses more competitive, and solve real-world problems more creatively. After all, design has the power to make our everyday lives more comfortable, more efficient, more exciting, more rewarding, more... better.

    For information on current and past programs and exhibitions visit:

    What is Design Museum Boston?

    Design Museum Boston is a decentralized network of physical and virtual exhibits. Whether in a gallery, retail environment, public spaces or on the web, our programming gives audiences new insights into the design process and the greater social, economic, and environmental contexts that both affect and are affected by design

  • About the Challenge, Schedule at a Glance Why Fort Point? The Site, Existing Design Elements Visual Schedule Challenge Overview Design and Judging Criteria, Jury Registration and Submission Process Fees and Deadlines, Submission Guidelines

    Prizes, Exhibition, Installation, and Return of Work Advisory Board, Eligibility










    Table of Contents.

  • The Street Seats Design Challenge provides you with an opportunity to improve the livability of a burgeoning urban area while being socially and environmentally conscious. Design Museum Boston invites individuals and groups from around the world to design an iconic bench or street seat for the Fort Point Channel in South Bostons up and coming Innovation District. Bostons Fort Point Channel area is a lively community and destination in 2011 the area welcomed about 1,300 businesses, 33,000 workers, and 1,900 residents and it continues to grow.

    Street Seats is a design challenge which will culminate in an outdoor design exhibition and walking tour around the Channel. Entrants will participate by designing sustainable outdoor sidewalk furniture with a focus on reuse, using environmentally-friendly materials, and innovative construction methods. Design teams will record and submit their process along with their final designs to, in the end, create the public design exhibition.

    Design brings communities together. Public seating sets the scene for chance encounters, people watching, connecting with nature, or just taking a break.

    About the Challenge.

  • Call for entries opens.

    Early Registration Deadline.

    Late Registration Deadline.

    Submission Deadline 11:59pm EST.

    1/8 Scale model deadline for arrival at Design Museum Boston.

    Judging Event in Boston, Semi-Finalists and Fabrication Grants awarded.

    Deadline for Semi-Finalists fabricated benches delivered to Museum.

    Outdoor Exhibition Opening. Unveiling of benches along Fort Point Channel. Announcement of top three design winners (finalists) at outdoor exhibition.

    Street Seats furniture collection moves indoor to TBD gallery in Boston.

















    Schedule at a Glance

  • What is the Innovation District?

    In January 2010, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino launched plans for the Innovation District, 1,000 acres of residential, commercial, and industrial space in South Bostons waterfront neighborhood. Envisioned as an area where Bostons strengths in entrepreneurship, technology, and the creative arts coalesce, the Innovation District is a place where knowledge-based companies cluster, and new models of housing, cultural, and social life attract a broad spectrum of users and residents.

    The Fort Point Channel now stands at center stage, linking the waterfronts of downtown and South Boston the seam between the Financial District and the emerging South Boston Waterfront. As a clean Boston Harbor brings the entire waterfront back to life, the City of Boston has joined with the Channels neighbors and waterfront advocates in shaping a plan for a new kind of public park. Not since the early 20th century reclamation of the Charles River Basin from an industrial swamp has there been such an opportunity to create an urban waterfront destination on such a scale. Fort Point Channel can become Bostons Next Great Place.

    - From the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan, 2002, Boston Redevelopment Authority.

    Fort Point is now home to over 300 artists who produce work in a wide array of media. It is recognized as one of New Englands largest artists communities. The historic warehouse buildings of Fort Point house painters, photographers, sculptors, designers, ceramicists, performance artists, jewelers, book artists, digital media artists, and more.

    - Fort Point Arts Community website,

    Why Fort Point?

  • Be inspired by the rich history of the Fort Point community and the possibilities of Bostons Innovation District to create public seating made from sustainable materials and processes.

  • The Hub of Fort Point Channel, extending from Boston Harbor to the Summer Street Bridge, is an extension of the harbor, a new gateway to city wide water transportation, providing docking space for transient vessels, and hosting visiting and historic vessels that can negotiate the vertical clearances of the Evelyn Moakley Bridge. Floating walkways lining the Channel provide access to vessels, inviting the public to the waters edge. The area also hosts the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum as well as the Boston Childrens Museum. An Art Basin between the Congress Street and Summer Street bridges provides an on-the-water area for floating art that can be experienced from land or from the water.

    The Site.

  • The Fort Point community protects its natural environment while meeting the needs of a growing residential population, crowds of bustling commuters, and the millions visitors who come to explore Boston and experience the harbors many cultural destinations. For reference, the following images are samples of existing design elements currently in use throughout the site.

    Be Inspired!

    Existing design elements.

  • September 20, 2012 DMB announces program

    September 20, 2012 Open call for entries launches

    April - October 2013Seats remain in place for 7 months

    February 28, 2013 Judges choose Semi-Finalists

    Seats have sign with info and wayfinding

    Judges choose top 3 designs for prizes

    Each sign has QR code for more info/video

    Street Sea


    Semi-Finalists receive grantsfor fabrication






    x 7

    Visual Schedule.

  • February 1, 2013 Round 1 entries due

    October 2013 Furniture collection moves to gallery

    April 27, 2013 Final pieces installed around the Channel

    February 28, 2013 Round 1 gallery/judging event

    Walking tours with brochure and map

    Each sign has QR code for more info/video Online exhibition opens, additional content

    Guided walking tours commence

    Opening event brings crowds and press

    Semi-Finalists receive grantsfor fabrication


  • September 2012 - February 2013: Competitors must register to receive an entry number and additional instructions. Register online at Registered competitors will receive a registration number, entry template, entry form, and file submission instructions. Competitors must submit entries for Street Seats design Challenge by February, 1 2013 at 11:59pm EST. A scale model is required models must be shipped to Design Museum Boston (P.O. Box 990938 Boston, MA 02199) and arrive by February 18, 2013.

    February 28, 2013: All eligible entries will be on display at an exhibition hosted at Factory 63 (63 Melcher St. Boston, MA 02210). The jury will select the Semi-Finalists (10-20 entries) from all eligible entries received. These Semi-Finalists will be announced and featured at Design Museum Bostons Design Innovation Gallery at Factory 63 and on the Design Museum Boston website. All Semi-Finalists will receive a US$750* reimbursement grant from Design Museum Boston for seat fabrication as well as regional, national, and international promotion.

    *Note, the Design Museum Boston reimbursement grant covers materials and fabrication processes adding up to US$750; competitors may elect to spend more non-grant funds on seat fabrication.

    Challenge Overview.

    Phase 02: Gallery Exhibition, Round 1 Judging, Selection of Semi-Finals and Fabrication

    Phase 01: Open Call for Entries

  • March 2013 - April 2013: Semi-Finalists fabricate full-scale seats. Semi-Finalists are responsible for delivering fabricated benches to Boston, MA. Registered competitors will receive information on specific location. The deadline for receiving full-scale benches from Semi-Finalists at Design Museum Bostons storage location in Boston is April 12, 2013 at 10:00pm EST.

    April 27, 2013: Final fabricated pieces will be installed around the Channel and the Street Seat Design Exhibition will be open to the public. Design Museum Boston will hold a outdoor public opening reception on April 27, 2013. From the Semi-Finalists full-scale entries, using the Judging & Design Criteria, the jury will select the top 3 s