Sunbrella® Fabrics and Architizer™ Announce Winners of Global “Future of Shade” Competition

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Winning Projects Created Solutions for Humanitarian, Wellness Garden and Building Shade Categories

Helicon, Building Shade category grand prize winner

This year’s winning entries show not only how shade protects, but also how it can help tell the story of a space and the people who occupy it.

Sunbrella® fabrics, in partnership with Architizer™, announced today the winners of the 2015 Future of Shade competition, an exploration of the possibilities of what fabric architecture can be.

In its third year, the 2015 competition received 190 submissions from 36 countries including the US, Canada, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Italy, China and Bolivia. The wide range of entries challenges conventional notions of how fabric can be used to make exciting, functional spaces. Entrants competed in three categories: Building Shade, Humanitarian and Wellness Garden.

“We are proud to support new thinking on shade design,” said Gina Wicker, creative director for Sunbrella fabrics. “This year’s winning entries show not only how shade protects, but also how it can help tell the story of a space and the people who occupy it.”

The grand prize winner in the Building Shade category is “Helicon” by Doel Fresse. The project is an exterior fabric sunscreen that helps prevent solar heat gain, a major problem for curtain-wall buildings in tropical regions. The modular, passive solution could be integrated into any building to reduce energy use and thus cooling costs.

“The Helicon project is innovative because of its ability to retrofit a building,” said juror John Gant of Glen Raven, Inc. “They took a large office building with very static glazing and they modernized it in a way that it would become more energy efficient or more comfortable to be in. The innovation of adapting an old building for better performance was unique.”

An honorable mention for Building Shade went to Ekachai Pattamasattayasonthi for “Pixel Cloud.”

“The Fold” by student team Amber LaFontaine and Sophia Yi, won grand prize in the Humanitarian category. It’s a modular emergency shelter system that allows refugees — survivors of both natural and manmade disasters — to define the most appropriate shelter for their family.

“While many of the Humanitarian category projects think about the technology or the object itself or a deployable pod, they don’t often get at the human aspect of disaster,” explained juror Kyle Barker of MASS Design Group. “What’s really nice about The Fold is that [that] is where it springs from. So rather than being a technical solution, it’s something that allows families to stay intact.”

An honorable mention for Humanitarian went to Sanna Shah for “NouraSouria.”

The grand prize in the Wellness Garden category went to “Mosque of Light” by Nick Karintzaidis. A flexible building with simple structural steel framing, the “Mosque of Light” is characterized by hanging fabric elements that frame interior volumes. Sunbrella fabric acts as a canvas for the interplay of light and shadow while also allowing for ventilation.

“The Mosque of Light is innovative in the fact that it’s a re-rendering of a typological ideal,” said juror David Rubin of Land Collective. “It doesn’t need to be a mosque; it could be any type of structure that offers enlightenment. There are fundamental ideas about passing through thresholds, changing the human condition that can be understood across cultures and across religions.”

Honorable mentions for Wellness Garden go to Marino Torre for “Coraline” and Zejd Kobilica for “Melody of Shadows.”

Each year since 2013, Sunbrella has partnered with Architizer to sponsor the Future of Shade competition, an open call for projects and ideas that explore the possibilities of what fabric architecture can be.

The 2015 winners were selected by David Rubin of LAND Collective, Kyle Barker of MASS Design Group and John Gant of Glen Raven Inc., while Architizer's own Marc Kushner and Gina Wicker of Sunbrella served as advisers. Each winner will receive $10,000, for a total of $30,000 in cash prizes.

About Sunbrella Fabrics
Introduced in 1961, Sunbrella revolutionized the way the world thinks about how beautiful fabrics look, feel and perform. The Sunbrella brand is the leading premium fabric choice for awning, marine and furniture manufacturers, offering legendary durability, fade resistance and ease of cleaning.

Upholstery fabrics from Sunbrella are continually advancing in design sophistication and comfort, resulting in applications both outside and inside the home for coordinated décor. Sunbrella fabrics have been certified by GreenGuard, an international standard, for contributing to indoor air quality.

Sunbrella fabrics are manufactured and marketed by Glen Raven, a 134-year-old family-owned company based in North Carolina with operations worldwide. For more information on the Sunbrella brand, including fabric resources, visit sunbrella.com.

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Amanda Williams
Wray Ward
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