The new contest that Google is running with the Guggenheim is absolutely terrific:
Today, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 142nd birthday, we’re excited to announce the Design It: Shelter Competition. Held by the Guggenheim Museum and Google SketchUp, the competition is inspired by Wright’s assignment for his apprentices at Taliesin: If you wanted to study to be an architect with Wright, you had to design and build a shelter in the desert outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Then you had to live and study in it.
Unlike the Taliesin assignment, the shelters in this competition are virtual. To enter, use Google SketchUp to design a small structure where someone might sleep and work. Your shelter should be created for a specific site anywhere in the world and geo-located in Google Earth. It also should conform to size constraints and must not include running water, gas or electricity.
Here’s the official contest site.
There’s a bit of the “editor as wizard” effect here — the power of a framework or context. (There’s a better way to articulate this but I’m in a rush.) I could have, at any point since SketchUp’s introduction, designed a site-specific shelter and posted it for all to see. But… that would have seemed kinda lame, and certainly disconnected.
But now? Watch for mine on Snarkmarket sometime in the next couple months.