Unlike any other award in the field, the Instituto Tomie Ohtake Leroy Merlin Design Prize is launched under an innovative proposition: abdicating from categories, the prize invites university students to face a new challenge-theme in each edition. Following the challenge theme, students from any major (and not only in the design field) can submit a design project. The idea is to reward projects that emphasize and conceive the relation between design and other areas, such as architecture, biology, engineering, fashion, technology, and social sciences. With such conditions, the Prize will show that nowadays, the most striking designs are in dialogue with different fields, instigating creative solutions that can answer contemporary questions regarding our social, political, urban, and housing contexts, as well as new technological demands, new equipment, publications, and digital media.
SHARING was the chosen theme for this first edition. “This theme allows for different interpretations that have gained importance in relation to the use of our spaces – in the urban scale or not; to how we utilize and re-utilize our resources, in direct synergy with sustainable programs; and finally, to the growing use of online platforms and software that are part of our daily lives, among so many other examples”, says Priscyla Gomes, from the Instituto’s Curating and Research Center.
To present this year’s chosen theme, several specialists have been invited to partake in the symposium called “CONTEMPORARY DESIGN” on June 21st. Different perspectives will be debated: Celso Longo and Gustavo Piqueira will discuss sharing in their professional day-to-day lives; then, the relation between design and technology will be the focus of the talk with Cláudio Bueno and H.D. Mabuse; finally, Hugo França and Jackson Araújo will debate design and sustainability, in the last meeting of the day.
Project application and selection
Applications begin on June 6th (until July 22nd), and will be realized through the website www.institutotomieohtake.org.br. 20 finalists will receive R$5,000.00 to execute a prototype, and will showcase their designs in an exhibition at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, as well as feature in the prize’s printed catalogue. Alexandre Salles, Cláudio Bueno, Jackson Araújo, Hugo França, Tereza Bettinardi, Priscyla Gomes and Zoy Anastassakis compose the selection jury. During the exhibition opening, the three winners of scholarships for design courses overseas will be announced.
The Instituto Tomie Ohtake Leroy Merlin Design Prize accepts applications from university students regularly enrolled in technical or superior courses, or students that have graduated in the last two years (at most), considering the current year, as well as applications from collectives whose members meet the aforementioned criteria. The Instituto will only accept courses that have been authorized or recognized by MEC. Foreigners can also apply, provided that they reside in the country for at least two years. The prize call and other information are available at www.institutotomieohtake.org.br