Think you have what it takes to design an electricity, gas, and water-free shelter that blends into the natural environment? Then enter the Design It:Shelter competition. The competition, held by Google Sketchup and the Guggenheim Museum, asks entrants to use Google's Sketchup  application to design a 100-square-foot structure suitable for studying and sleeping. But without designing the structure for a specific community, the challenge lacks any purpose beyond architectural navel-gazing. That's where the Open Architecture Network  comes in.
The open-souce sustainable architecture network is asking Design It:Shelter entrants to "add a social component to the competition" by designing structures for communities in need. Budding architects could, for example, create a dwelling for a homeless family in New York , a displaced persons home for New Orleans, or a structure for refugees in Chad. As an incentive, the Open Architecture Network is offering a $500 Purpose Prize for the Design:It Shelter entrant with the best purpose-driven design. In order to be considered for the prize, contestants have to upload their designs onto the Open Architecture Network with the tag "Shelter It".
The idea for the original Design It:Shelter competition is based on Frank Lloyd Wright's challenge to his apprentices: build a shelter in the Arizona desert. Then live and study inside. The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture has challenged students to build shelters for the past seven decades at the school's Arizona and Wisconsin campuses.
The Design It:Shelter  competition is open until August 23. Two prize winners will receive Google Sketchup Pro licenses, tours of the Guggenheim and Google Offices, a trip to New York City, and admission to New York City museums. The Juried Prize winner will also receive $1000.
[Via Google Blog ]
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