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contests

Fab Launches ‘First Things First’ Open Call

first thingsFab knows a thing or two about fresh starts. After a period of explosive growth fueled by hundreds of millions in funding, the design flash sale site imploded—itself. A massive restructuring that halved its employee count and winnowed down a product assortment that had ballooned to include pepperoni pizza t-shirts and Jesus kites has left the company leaner, meaner, and with a designer—Kiel Mead—in a leadership role. One of Mead’s first initiatives as executive vice president of Fab is “First Things First,” which invites designers across disciplines to submit ideas for “the first product that makes a house a home.” Selected items will be shown in New York in May, as part of Fab’s presence during NYCxDesign, and could eventually be put into production by the company. Submissions are due by March 21.

Christoph Niemann, RISD’s Rosanne Somerson Among ‘Doodle 4 Google’ Contest Judges

2013 winner
The 2013 national Doodle 4 Google winner was 17-year-old Sabrina Brady from Wisconsin.

christoph-niemannPut on your inventor’s helmets and break out the fancy Prismacolors, kids, because the Doodle 4 Google contest is back with a new doodling prompt: “If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…” (Magical video glasses is probably too on the nose).

“Our theme this year is all about curiosity, possibility, and imagination,” notes Google, which has run the annual competition since 2008. Students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in U.S. schools are invited to complete that sentence in the form of a redesign of the Google logo. The winning doodle will be animated and featured, for one glorious day, on the search giant’s homepage, and the lucky doodler receives a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology grant for his or her school. Among this year’s illustrious guest judges are artist, designer, and author Christoph Niemann (pictured) and Rhode Island School of Design interim president Rosanne Somerson, who are joined by the likes of Lemony Snicket, LEGO robotics designer Lee Magpili, and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, directors of The Lego Movie. Start dreaming and doodling now, because all entries must be received by March 20.

Drink Champagne, Design Tiny Chair, Repeat

champagne chairs

Two of our favorite things—Champagne and chairs—come together in a festive contest from the bubbly furniture fans at Design Within Reach. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: create an original miniature chair using only the foil, label, cage, and cork from no more than two Champagne bottles (glue is the only permitted adhesive). Entering is the easy part. Simply snap a photo of your tiny, fizzy throne and upload it here. A panel of Champagne-loving chair experts, including David Weeks, the dapper and effervescent gentlemen of Rich Brilliant Willing, and design journalist Pilar Viladas, will judge the chairs, and three winners will receive a DWR gift card. Drink fast, because the deadline for entries is Tuesday, January 14.

Ryan McGinness Creates Artwork for National Coming Out Day

rm artwork 3

An activist named Sean Strub convinced Keith Haring to donate his now-famous image of a person dancing out of a closet for National Coming Out Day, which takes place annually on October 11. This year marks the 25th anniversary of that image, and the Human Rights Campaign is celebrating with a colorful new commission: the organization invited New York-based artist Ryan McGinness to create new artwork symbolizing National Coming Out Day.

“I’m proud to follow in the footsteps of Keith Haring,” says McGinness. “I developed three final images and invite you to vote for the one you like the best.” Voting closes at midnight on Thursday, and the design with the most votes will be released as a t-shirt on Friday.
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And the Winner Is…Chrysalis: Grayish Green Triumphs in Farrow & Ball’s ‘My Colour’ Contest

Slumbering Lepidoptera for the win! A vaguely ectoplasmic, creamed pistachio hue known as “Chrysalis” has triumphed over a highly pigmented field of finalists to win Farrow & Ball’s “My Colour” contest, in which fans of the quirky-luxe purveyor of paint and wallcoverings submitted inspired and inspirational colors that would play nice with the likes of F&B’s “Elephant’s Breath” and “Churlish Green.”

The celadon-meets-Slimer shade emerged at the top of a field of some 800 entries, narrowed to 20 impressive finalists that included colors such as “Jodhpur Blue” (think Yves Klein goes to India!) and “Federal Pink,” a complexion-enhancing match for the rosy newsprint favored by the Financial Times. “It is a beautiful grey/green shade, almost shagreen, which makes a lovely modern neutral,” says winner Samantha Mansell, who will receive 10 gallons of paint in Chrysalis, inspired by the pupa casing of the monarch butterfly. “The sculptural shape of the chrysalis with its gold details also makes it look like a precious piece of jewelry. Natural, stunning, and simple.”
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Farrow & Ball Crowdsources ‘Inspirational’ Paint Colors: Vote for Your Favorite

There is paint, and then there is Farrow & Ball, whose pigment-rich, tightly edited palette includes colors—make that colours—such as “Mouse’s Back,” “Dead Salmon,” “Arsenic,” and a creamy hue known simply as “Clunch.” On September 9, the company will reveal nine new paint colors, and in anticipation of the debut announced the “My Colour” competition: a chromatic crowdsourcing exercise that has since been narrowed down to 20 finalists.

Will the dusky blue of “Old Boat” best the fizzy grapefruit that is “Pink Paloma”? Can “Colonel’s Mustard” knock out (Mrs.) “Peacock Blue,” with the “Vintage Lantern” or a shot of “Absinthe”? Is one of our favorites, the dark blueish, greenish grey inspired by the United Nations charter too close, both in hue and peaceful spirit, to F&B’s existing “Hague Blue”? Hurry up and cast your vote–the winner will receive 10 gallons of their inspirational color, which may or may not end up in a future F&B palette. Voting closes at midnight, and the winner announced on Friday.
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Jamie Isenstein Triumphs in Creative Time Sandcastle Contest


(Photo by Derek Schultz / Courtesy Creative Time)

Armed with bubbles, ice, and Sexy Sex Man, Jamie Isenstein emerged triumphant in Creative Time’s artist sandcastle competition, held earlier this month in Far Rockaway, Queens and judged by an esteemed panel that included Shelley Fox Aarons, Waris Ahluwalia, and Klaus Biesenbach. Isenstein’s “Disappearing Sculptures,” which positioned a live saxophonic nod to the world’s favorite careless whisperer and other ephemeral delights (bubbles, ice) atop three plinths of sand, bested the creations of competing artists such as David Brooks, Sebastian Errazuriz, Ghost of a Dream (Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom), and Natalie Jeremijenko to take home a “gold” shovel and $500. Rounding out the top three were Esperanza Mayobre, who hoisted the silver shovel for her sculpted raft (an oblique commentary on immigration), while Duke Riley bagged bronze for a replica of a White Castle drive-through that may have made it to the top of the list by virtue of the free White Castle burgers provided to hungry judges.
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Jean Pigozzi Asks, ‘What’s Your Sign?’

Jean Pigozzi (pictured) is an eccentric millionaire with a sharp eye for contemporary art and a weakness for loudly patterned shirts. He needs your help. Pigozzi is expanding his wild and crazy menswear line, LimoLand, with a Zodiac-themed collection, and is looking for a few—OK, a dozen—out-of-this-world astrological designs. Submit your most “original, quirky, and colorful” concepts by the end of the month, and esteemed judges including Pigozzi and Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman will pick their favorites.

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World Monuments Fund Asks: ‘What Does Preservation Look Like to You?’

There’s a time and a place for ruin porn in the quest to preserve crumbling cultural landmarks, whether in Damascus or Detroit, but the World Monuments Fund is taking a more upbeat approach with its inaugural “Everyday Preservationist” photo contest. The New York-based organization has put out the call for “original, evocative digital images that advocate for historic sites by reflecting their aesthetic beauty and importance to the communities in which they are located.” Entries will be accepted through July 31 in five categories: appreciation, adaptive reuse, sensitive urban development, thoughtful tourism, and traditional building materials. Start scouring your digial folders immediately, because the public voting is now underway. Mark Robbins, executive director of the International Center of Photography, will have the final say in selecting the five winners in each category based on on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit.

Rankin Partners with Heifer International for Global Hunger Photo Competition

Heifer International, the organization behind those buy-a-llama-oh-it’s-for-charity-they-don’t-really-send-you-a-llama catalogs, has teamed with photographer and publisher Rankin to spotlight world hunger and poverty with the launch of a worldwide photography competition. The just-launched contest is open to amateurs and pros alike. Rankin will select the winning photograph, which will be showcased at Fahey-Klein Gallery in Los Angeles and published in his biannual fashion and culture magazine, The Hunger. “We hope that vivid and unique photographs will encourage individuals to stop and contemplate the sharp inequalities that exist in our world,” said Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International, in a statement issued this week. Entries must be received by July 2, so start sourcing theoretical livestock now.

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