Actualité 24.09.2010

Call for entries – Metropolis Magazine – "2011 Next Generation Design Competition"


NEXT GENERATION 2011 challenges entrants to bring a typical GSA building in downtown L.A. to Zero — in line with the GSA’s goal of achieving Zero Environmental Impact for its existing 9,600 properties.

Winning Design to be Awarded $10,000; Entry Deadline is January 31, 2011

September 23, 2010, New York, NY – Metropolis, the leading magazine for architecture and design professionals, announces the theme for its annual Next Generation® Design Competition, in partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). The challenge is to take an ordinary GSA office building in Los Angeles, apply immense skill and creative energy, and GET ZERO – Zero Environmental Impact.

GSA, one of the world’s biggest landlords, is being challenged by its Administrator Martha Johnson to achieve a Zero Environmental Footprint for its existing office buildings. She’s likened this challenge to the Apollo Space Project of the 1960s (the same decade when hundreds of new, modernist government buildings, like the one in downtown LA, were built). GSA’s colossal existing stock of buildings, over 9,600 of them in the U.S., poses an even bigger challenge: How can forward thinking-design transform backwards-looking buildings?

NEXT GENERATION 2011: GET ZERO aims to supply the firepower with design ideas that GSA can use to further its aim, using the 8-story building at 300 North Los Angeles Street (in the Civic Center area of Los Angeles), as the test case for entrants.

With support of competition sponsor, Herman Miller, Inc., Metropolis will be gathering the best and brightest among emerging designers from which the first “one” will emerge. But, for the first time in the 8-year history of the Next Generation® Design Competition a partner is contributing the other “one” – an entire eight-story office building in downtown Los Angeles. The partner is the General Services Administration (GSA), one of the biggest landlords in the world, and the owner of more than 362 millions sq. ft. of office space in which over 1.2 million federal employees work.

Metropolis’s 2011 Next Generation® Design Competition GET ZERO passes this challenge directly to the design community – to the next generation of designers, in practice 10 years or less, as well as students. This year, entrants will work on a specific existing GSA office building, an entirely commonplace 8-story 1960s-era Los Angeles office building that is remarkable only for being typical of hundreds of other GSA mid-century modern buildings, scattered across the 50 states.

Next Generation: GET ZERO asks entrants to design “fixes” that will transform the existing building, bringing it to the highest possible level of performance in a memorable, beautiful, and original way. Entrants may be teams working together to transform the entire building (and its surroundings), or individuals or small groups tackling one or two individual systems and elements (facade, roof, fenestration, interior furnishings and equipment, signage and way-finding, among many other details). The entries must also focus on making the building safe, accessible, and efficient for the people who work there and the thousands of citizens who visit it. Every design specialist-at every scale of design-has something important to contribute.

Most of all, the winning entries will present design ideas that could be applied to similar buildings that exist by the hundreds across the country and around the world. The winning entry – and no doubt many other entries – could provide innovative ideas to the GSA on how to transform its mid-century portfolio into high-performing sustainable buildings. As Horace Havemeyer III, Metropolis’s publisher, says, “the impact of the winning design will be visible from outer space!”

GSA’s Chief Architect Les Shepherd, says, “Metropolis’s Next Generation Design Competition is important because it brings visionary design to real problems. The results: highly innovative solutions to the issues of our day. That’s the kind of thinking we need. We’re not merely seeking to bring our buildings in line with current best practices, we’re looking for breakthrough thinking, and we expect to see it demonstrated in this year’s competition.”

The winner of Next Generation 2011 receives a $10,000 prize, but, much more important, the kind of career-building attention that previous winners have enjoyed: they’ve become leaders in their fields, the subject of TV series on PBS as well as of Metropolis’s film, Brilliant Simplicity, and received recognition from manufacturers, design firms, governments, important design schools, major NGOs – and, of course, clients. Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis’s editor in chief notes that, “In terms of real-world impact, our Next Generation GET ZERO competition may be the most important initiative Metropolis has ever undertaken to date. We’re all eager to see how the skills and creativity of this environmentally concerned, community-oriented, and technically savvy generation of designers can make a positive impact on our built environment.”

Metropolis established the Next Generation® Design Competition in 2003 to publicize the conviction that drives everything that the magazine does editorially: Good design is not a frill, not an expensive luxury, but is basic to how things work, from cities to buildings, from consumer products to energy grids. Faced with great environmental challenges, we must all assure that the buildings and devices in our world are not only functional, but contribute to a sustainable way of life in the future-and are beautiful. Everything we use, live in and work in must work better for this to happen. And great design can make this happen just as much as great engineering and great dedication.

GET ZERO challenges designers of all kinds – architects, interior designers, product designers, landscape architects, graphic designers, and communication designers.

This year’s judges include Michelle Addington, professor, Yale School of Architecture; Brian Collins, chief executive officer, COLLINS; Lawrence Scarpa, AIA, principal, Pugh + Scarpa Architects; Leslie Shepherd, AIA, chief architect, GSA. The competition judging will be moderated by Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis editor in chief.

GSA’s mission is to use expertise to provide innovative solutions for our customers in support of their missions and by so doing foster an effective, sustainable, and transparent government for the American people.

Professionals in all areas of design-architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, technology, preservation, industrial design, and graphic design-rely on Metropolis magazine each month for dynamic journalism that spans the gamut of their profession. The Metropolis Tour was hosted by more than 70 leading architecture and design firms in North America since 2007-8. It was designed to explore today’s increasingly complex design issues with lessons of regional architecture and modern preservation, innovation and research in design, and other dialogues provoked by Metropolis-produced films. Visit to subscribe to the magazine and access a wealth of continually updated content and professional design resources.”

Please note that this is an international design competition.

To view the project brief…

For more information…

(Source: Metropolis Magazine)