Announcing Street Seats Design Challenge 20 Semi-Finalists

| Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 | No Comments »

Ruth Davis, Ruth Davis Associates
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Boston, MA (March 5, 2013) – Fourteen experts and design thought leaders gathered at the Design Innovation Gallery last week to choose the semi-finalists for Design Museum Boston’s ( Street Seats Design Challenge, a major international outdoor furniture competition for Boston’s Fort Point Channel. The 20 winning designs, along with all 170 entries, will be on display until March 31. The Design Innovation Gallery is located at Factory 63, 63 Melcher Street, Boston, MA.

Each model is linked with QR Codes to renderings, background information and additional images. Submissions were received from professional designers and teams, students and amateurs, hailing from 22 states and 23 countries including: Italy, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Finland, Denmark, Taiwan, Israel, and India.

“When we launched Streets Seats Design Challenge, we anticipated local interest,” said Sam Aquillano, co-founder of Design Museum Boston. He continued, “What actually happened was far beyond our expectations. We received more than 300 registrations, more than 170 final entries. The quality, ingenuity, and creativity of the submissions was truly overwhelming.”

It is especially noteworthy that all of the benches must be made of sustainable, environmentally friendly materials and will be fabricated and installed around Fort Point Channel for an opening event on April 27, 2013. At that time, 3 Grand Prize winners will be selected and will receive cash prizes. 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.

Street Seats Design Challenge has been made possible by businesses, corporations and individuals through their generous support. Each sponsor is entitled to appoint a representative to participate as a judge in the selection of the Grand Prize winners and can keep their bench when the exhibit at Fort Point Channel ends. Currently, out of the 20 semi-finalists, 7 benches are available for sponsorship.

Tom Ashbrook, host of WBUR’s nationally broadcast radio show, On Point, said, “We had great, creative entries. They were serious, they had whimsy, they had a nice sense of this unique part of Boston. And, the jurors really picked up the challenge of selecting the best.” He continued, “It’s exciting to see Design Museum of Boston driving community life and, I’m guessing, the local economy with this competition. The city is really going to enjoy the installation when it rolls out in April. This is the kind of initiative that makes a place sparkle. And it’s just fun.”

Derek Cascio, co-founder of Design Museum Boston said, “Our goal has been to educate the public about the role of design in creating our surroundings and experiences.” He added, “Street Seats Design Challenge is helping us accomplish this mission and we’re excited about what lies ahead – many more public programs to involve and educate the community about design.”

See the Semi-Finalists with images and video at
The winners of the Street Seats Design Challenge are:

WA Chair: Katsuya Arai, New York, NY; Knot Bench: Joseph Chun Jr., Natalie Fizer, Sutton Murray, Emily Stevenson, Pillow Culture, New York, NY; The Wright Bench: Eugene Duclos, Appalachian State University, Cary, NC; City Blocks: Dirk Ahlgrim, Prat Ganapathy, David Goligorsky, Ann Kim, Sophy Lee, Timothy McGee, Liza Rutenbeck, Greg Wolos, IDEO, Cambridge, MA; The Wharf Bench: Jesse Shaw, Currey and Company, Decatur, GA; StrataForm Bench: Brian Slozak, Marc D. Gabriel, Spagnolo Gisness & Associates, Boston, MA; The Chroma Bench: Arvin Abadilla, Jason Cooper, Justin Cumming, Kat Hoy, Ian Schon, Eric Whewell, Make Stuff Lab, Boston, MA; Park Bar: Ryan Pierson, Sally Zheng, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY; Negative/Positive Matt Trimble, Haik Tokatlyan, Jared Steinmark, RadLab, Charlestown, MA; Cleat: Sarah Burley, Tyler Dawson , Cale Kaufman, Tai Geng, Blake Morton, Colton Sanford, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA; Re-Cord: Marco Goffi, Marco Goffi Design, Milan, Italy; The Seam Bench: Andrew McClure, Paris, France: Dominik: Sishi Zhou, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; Arbortecture: Teddy Slowik, Novatona, Chicago, IL; Industrial Hotspot: Charles Burgess, Harrington College of Design, Chicago, IL; luminUS: Courtney Borelli, Guy Compagnone, Kara Hanson, Gilbert Hsu, Elizabeth Jaeger, Eda Muco, Dyer Brown Architects & Chapman Construction, Boston, MA; Urban Island: Sarah Carlisle, James Jarzyniecki, Robert Linn, Keith Moskow, Moskow Linn Architects, Boston, MA; Ola Bench: Francisco Carbajal, Hiroshi Ikenaga, Daniel Olvera, Alice Pegman, Carla Santillán, Karime Tosca, Diseño Neko, Mexico City, Mexico; Twofold: Katie MacDonald, Kyle Schumann, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; and Bowsprit: Rui Chen, Christa Lee, Sanchit Mittal, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.

The judges were: Tom Ashbrook, host of WBUR Boston’s On Point; Mike Cully, President of AIR Graphics; 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.

Aquillano and Casio 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.

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.

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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