Don’t Let Street Seats Pass You By – Apply Now!

April 19, 2018 | | View Comments

You’ve only got 3 weeks to apply for a chance to make a lasting impact on Downtown’s urban character. We want YOUR designs for OUR city!


Want to make your mark in the built environment while celebrating our growth and development? Create your own unique design for a useable, sustainable public art piece as we reimagine the public bench! Fifteen talented designers will have the chance to fabricate and install their designs at the World Trade Center this summer – and there’s only three weeks before the May 11th submission deadline. On the fence about whether to apply or not? Here are a few reasons why you should:

Share The Power of Design with the Public

Embrace our mission to bring the transformative power of design everywhere. Visitors don’t just admire these benches – they have the opportunity to learn about the design build process and the depth of planning and labor that goes into even everyday items. Share your creativity beyond the end product, and maybe you’ll be one to inspire a new generation of creative problem solvers!

Receive Unprecedented Exposure

Get eyes on your design like never before! Every entry is reviewed by our hand-selected panel of design thought leaders, arts and culture influencers, and urban innovators who radiate enthusiasm for and understanding of design, a drive for community, and a serious passion for Portland. The ⅛ scale models will be on view for the public in a window gallery, and the 15 Semi-Finalists will fabricate and install their full sized bench in and around the World Trade Center for a 6-month outdoor exhibition.

Build Community

How do we define spaces and places? The vibrant presence of creative, business, government, and tourism organizations around the World Trade Center and Tom McCall Waterfront park needs placemaking – an opportunity for visitors to know where they are and why it’s special. Your Street Seat can be a part of this collection that creates an engaged community space within this bustling urban area.

“More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution.” -Project for Public Spaces

Challenge Yourself

The reality of a creative profession: sometimes the premise of everyday projects don’t foster innovative ideas or opportunities. Whether you are a student, a solo artist, or a junior-level designer at a firm, opportunities for wide-scale public exposure can be scant. Let Street Seats be your creative outlet – stretch your skills beyond your day-to-day comfort zone to create a truly unique, usable public element.

“Being able to make something by hand that started from a simple sketch is a rewarding feeling. It gives you an itch to want to keep making.” – Brian Slozak, 2014 Street Seats Finalist

Win Cash Prizes

If all of the above weren’t enough – we’re also giving out $24,000 in cash prizes! All 15 Semi-Finalists receive $1,000 for the fabrication of their designs. Three finalists will receive trophies, promotion and media coverage, a feature in the Design Museum Magazine, as well as cash prizes – The Grand prize (1 entry) receives $5,000, and Runners-up (2 entries) will each receive a US$2,000 cash prize.


Ready to register?



About Street Seats

Street Seats is an international design challenge which will culminate in an outdoor design exhibition and walking tour around the World Trade Center Portland plaza in Downtown Portland, Oregon. Entrants will participate by designing sustainable outdoor sidewalk furniture with a focus on reuse, using environmentally-friendly materials and innovative construction methods. Design teams will record and submit their process along with their final designs to, in the end, create the public design exhibition.

For more information on the Street Seats design challenge, visit the competition website!