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Ruth Davis, Ruth Davis Associates
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DESIGN MUSEUM BOSTON INSTALLS STREET SEATS INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION WINNERS
BOSTON’S FORT POINT CHANNEL TO BE LINED WITH OUTDOOR SEATING
CASH PRIZES TO BE AWARDED AT OPENING EVENT
Boston, MA (April 5, 2013) – Fort Point Channel in Boston is growing into a great new destination, especially with the installation and exhibition of twenty colorful, sleek, funky, elegant, and inviting benches, all selected as Semi-Finalists in Design Museum Boston’s Street Seats International Design Challenge. A free, opening event will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 1pm to 3pm at the Boston Harborwalk, Gillette Public Dock, adjacent to 36-98 Necco Court, Boston, MA. Designers, design enthusiasts, non-designers, people of all ages and families are welcome. There will be food trucks, music, and tours – a great day to remember on the Boston waterfront. The exhibition will be on display through October.
The exhibit marks the culmination of Boston Design Museum’s Street Seats International Design Challenge, a competition that was launched in September 2012. The benches, all fabricated out of environmentally-friendly, sustainable materials, were chosen by a jury out of more than 170 submissions by designers, professional teams and artists representing 22 states and 23 countries including Italy, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Finland, Denmark, Taiwan, Israel, and India.
During the opening celebration, 2 finalists will be selected by the jury to receive cash prizes: $5,000 for the Grand Prize and $2,000 for the Runner-Up. Additionally, the public will have a chance to vote and select one $2,000 People’s Choice award-winner.
Sam Aquillano, Co-founder of Design Museum Boston said, “We created Street Seats Design Challenge to help make great design accessible to the public and to provide an opportunity for people to see first-hand how design can impact public spaces.”
Derek Casio, also Co-founder, added, “The winning benches offer the public an opportunity to take a seat, enjoy the view, and walk Boston’s beautiful Fort Point Channel.” He continued, ‘We are excited to open the exhibit with a fun, free event.”
Each bench will be accompanied by illuminated Beacons — signage showing information about the design, the team, and the creative process — creating a true outdoor museum exhibition. QR Codes will link each seat to a mobile app containing renderings, background information, videos and additional images, allowing people to self-tour the exhibition. Additionally, Design Museum Boston will lead walking tours during the opening event and throughout the summer. The app also contains an interactive lighting feature that allows visitors to change the color of the Beacon via their mobile devices to enhance their Street Seats experience. Philips Color Kinetics, a Burlington-based LED lighting systems manufacturer recognized for lighting the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge and Empire State Building, developed the mobile app and integrated it with an innovative LED lighting solution created especially for this exhibit.
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, our lead sponsor, an Innovation District-based company and the leading provider in New England of space solutions seamlessly integrating furniture, architecture and audio visual/technology, 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 added, “Mayor Menino has had such great vision for our city. His dream to reimagine the south waterfront as an innovation district has become a reality, drawing new businesses, many of whom support Design Museum Boston, that are helping to create an entirely new burgeoning neighborhood. We are thrilled to be a part of it and have the Mayor to thank for his efforts.”
Danielle Pillion, Executive Director of the Friends of Fort Point Channel said, “The Fort Point Watersheet Activation Plan was created from Mayor Menino’s vision of the Fort Point Channel as the next Boston Common on the water. Street Seats embodies this vision by drawing the public to the Channel to enjoy one of the City’s greatest treasures”.
Kara Buckley, Director Communications, Global Shave Care at Gillette said” Gillette is proud to be a sponsor of Street Seats Design Challenge and to host the opening event.” She added, “Having called Fort Point our home for more than 112 years, Gillette is delighted to welcome the public to this beautiful area which is being made even more attractive by the installation of the Street Seats.”
The judges include: Tom Ashbrook, host of WBUR Boston’s On Point; Mike Cully, President of AIR Graphics; Matt Edlen, Development and Acquisitions, Gerding Edlen; Julie Handorff, Community Relations and Philanthropy Specialist at Gillette; 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.
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. In 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. All of the 170 entries in Street Seats Design Challenge are on exhibit at Design Museum Boston’s Design Innovation Gallery at Factory 63 through the end of April. Street Seats is Design Museum Boston’s largest and most public project to date, the museum was just recently named as one of BostInno’s 50 on Fire, celebrating the most innovative organizations in Boston.
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: /