DMB to Unveil Street Seats Design Challenge Entries

| Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 | No Comments »

Ruth Davis, Ruth Davis Associates
ruth1davis [at]

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(These images represent a randomly selected sample and do not reflect the decisions of the judges.)


Drawings and models to be on display at the Design Innovation Gallery

Boston, MA (February 18, 2013) – In September 2012, Design Museum Boston ( launched Street Seats Design Challenge, a major international outdoor furniture competition for Boston’s Fort Point Channel. All of the creative entries will be on display on Thursday, February 28 for the first round of judging, at a Members-only reception at the museum’s Design Innovation Gallery, located at Factory 63, 63 Melcher Street, Boston. The exhibition will be open to the public from March 1 through March 31.

More than 170 renderings, models and images linked with QR Codes of submissions from designers and teams hailing from across the United States and from 23 countries including: Italy, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Finland, Denmark, Taiwan, Israel, and India, will be on display.

The original entries include: a high-backed chair fabricated out of reclaimed wood and metal and colored with vibrant “water” hues; a combination bench and bike rack, inspired by the shape of an airplane wing, made from an experimental new modified wood product; a bench made from reclaimed wood pillars, paying homage to the pillars that support the piers in and around Boston’s harbor; a lightweight, metal bench that is reminiscent of a sitting spider; a seat for all ages, that looks like a table, serves as a bench, and accommodates all sizes – whether you’re a full grown man or a small child, the bench will be the right height for you; a bench shaped like a “U,” that echoes the shape of the Charles River at Fort Point Channel; and a bench made out of the ubiquitous wood pallet, synonymous with the shipment and movement of heavy objects (often near the waterfront), reconstructed to form something new and modern, similar to the evolution of the Fort Point Channel neighborhood.

These and many more will be on display at the exhibition.

Design Museum Boston has assembled a team of expert Bostonians and design thought leaders including Tom Ashbrook, host of WBUR Boston’s On Point; Matt Edlen, Development and Acquisitions, Gerding Edlen; Danielle Pillion, Executive Director, Friends of Fort Point Channel; Scott Reilly. Board Chairman, Design Museum Boston; Gabrielle Schaffner, Executive Director of the Fort Point Arts Community; Mark Schianca, Director & Curator, Grand Circle Gallery; David Silverman. Principal, Silverman Trykowski Associates; Bruce Smith, Global Design Director for Seating at Steelcase; and Ming Tsai, Chef and Owner, Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon restaurants. The judges will assemble at the opening to select and announce the 20 semi-finalists, who will receive a grant to fabricate their designs. These will be installed around Fort Point Channel and be on exhibition beginning on April 27. Three grand prize winners will each receive cash prizes at that time. Each bench will be accompanied by illuminated signage showing information about the design, the team, and the creative process — creating a true outdoor museum exhibition. The seats will remain at Fort Point Channel until October 2013.

Sam Aquillano and Derek Casio, co-founders of Design Museum Boston, were initially inspired to create Street Seats by the Fort Point Watersheet Activation Plan, which set a vision to establish the Channel as the next great public space in Boston. They applied for and received government grants to launch the Challenge, and subsequently, have garnered the support of Red Thread, an Innovation District-based company and the leading provider of office furniture and workspace technology solutions in New England, as well as Gerding Edlen, Grand Circle Corporation, P&G Gillette, Skanska, Blue Dragon, Boston Society of Architects, Boston Design Center, and AIR Graphics.

Aquillano said, “We are thrilled by the overwhelming response to Street Seats, our first public program of this scope.” He added, “Our goal has been to educate the public about the role of design in creating our surroundings and experiences. We’re excited to increase the visibility of the Innovation District, and specifically, the Fort Point Channel as an important part of Boston’s historic waterfront. Now that we’ve received so many creative entries, we’re sure that people will want to flock to the area, sit back, and enjoy the view.”

Design Museum Boston was founded in 2009 as an untraditional, distributed museum. Instead of establishing a museum in a single, brick and mortar location, the organization puts exhibitions in places where people already go. In 2010, Design Museum Boston opened Creative Capital: Designed in Boston, an exhibition on Boston-based design projects at Boston City Hall. In 2011 it opened Retail: Retell. Recycle. Rethink., at the Prudential Center. Just this past November Design Museum Boston installed their latest exhibition, Getting There: Design for Travel in the Modern Age, at Boston Logan Airport’s International Terminal E. Street Seats is Design Museum Boston’s largest and most public project to date.

The Members Only opening on February 28, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, will feature food by Ming Tsai’s restaurant, Blue Dragon and Harpoon beverages. Judges will announce the winners at 8:30. To become a member of Design Museum Boston, visit

Design Museum Boston’s Design Innovation Gallery, is sponsored by Gerding Edlen, Factory 63, and Silverman Trykowski Associates. The gallery features rotating exhibitions showcasing innovative and creative work happening in and around Boston’s Innovation District. Future exhibitions include:

  • Greentown Labs – April 1 – June 3 – a collaborative space where clean technology start-ups innovate and grow together,
  • IDEO – May 9 – July 8 – a human-centered approach to innovation across multiple industries and at various scales of interaction,
  • Geekhouse Bikes – June 4 – July 16 – locally-sourced bikes built to reflect the personality and individuality of each owner,
  • Urban Wayfinding, curated by Silverman Trykowski Associates – July 9 – August 20 – innovative approaches to how we orient ourselves within physical urban space, moving from place to place.

The Design Innovation Gallery is open M-F 9-5, S 10-4. For more information please visit

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Design Museum Boston is New England’s first museum dedicated solely to design. Its mission is to educate the public on the role of design in their lives and to unite the design community in ways that enrich our collective work, make businesses more competitive, and solve real-world problems more creatively. Whether in a gallery, retail environment, public space or on the web, its 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. For information on current and upcoming programs visit:

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