Last Friday was a big night here at Life of an Architect World Headquarters 2.0. It was the first round of playhouse judging and we had to go through 415 entries. While that sounds like a lot, it wasn’t that hard to go through most of them. In total, 337 were reviewed from the Houzz Website and the Playhouzz collection, and 78 were previous finalists in the playhouse competition when it was completely handled and processed on my site. As an experiment, the jury is literally still out since I didn’t have anything to do with selecting the winners from Houzz. What I did was get my group of initial judges together and we went through all the entries. We ignored the popular voting numbers on the Houzz site and evaluated the submissions based on:
Following the Rules!
That last one is a biggie … and by “rules”, I mean the size guidelines.
I will go ahead and let you know that of the 337 that were submitted on Houzz, an overwhelming large number of those did not meet the size guidelines and were therefore immediately disqualified. While I think I am a generous person and willing to see past the certain things, exceeding the size requirements is a deal breaker. I briefly thought about showing some of the more egregious submissions but decided against is since it seemed cruel to those people who thought they were doing something good. To all you folks who thought you had a genius submission and are saddened to see that it is not listed here, I would recommend that you go back to your entry and see if you designed something too large. 8′-0″ tall, by 8′-6″ long, by 7′-6″ wide.
Another consideration that eliminated a ton of entries was scale. The short version is this – if these playhouses are 8′-0″ tall, more times than not, something was designed in proportion with the building but it wouldn’t have actually worked. C’mon people! Do you not remember this graphic?!? –
Playhouses – at least good ones – are all about the proper scale. If you can’t get the scale close, the whole things figuratively falls apart. Bad scale is the kiss of death in this competition and frequently takes a clever idea and makes it something far less than clever. So enough about the two things that took 415 entries and reduced them to a much smaller handful, let’s look at the finalists from the 2016 Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition!
Sarah Sisson – Mini Glamper
Karl Grehn – Spore
Manuel Millán – Say Cheese!
Toda Junya – Continuous Window
Alan Lau – The Twinkle Star Playhouse
Adila Zaas – Bon Voyage
Patrick Beck & Madeline Gonzalez – La Cabana
Valeria Pestereva – Cloud House
Neil Griffin – Canopy Playhouse
Michael C. Brown – Planehouse
Patrick Ladendecker – Food Truck Playhouse
Patrick Turner – Thout
Steve Jordan – Beach Hut
Riann Kotze – Basecamp
Zach George and Taylor Proctor – Lookout Playhouse
Sachin Gangadharan – Crossbar Costa
Elvis Ibarra – Butterfly Pavilion
Natalie Carran – Wabi Sabi Teahouse Playhouse
Zarina Ateig – The Double Decker Playhouse
Mashrur Dewan – Love and Peace
Yungche Kuo – CASA Train
Dustin Rousseau – PorcuPOD Playhouse
Gut Berserk – Cubic Playhouse
Patricia Ng – Cat House on a Tree
There you have it – the Finalists for the 2016 Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition! So what happens next? Well, a lot actually. From these finalists we will determine the actually winning playhouses for my competition. I don’t know what Houzz will be doing or when they will be announcing their own winners (there were a lot of moving parts to the Houzz Playhouzz side of things and they will need to go through the entries with their own judging process. My process involved live action review and input that included other architects, contractors and parents. Children typically play a role in this process but they will get involved this coming week when the incredibly hard task of narrowing this list done to the playhouses that will actually get built.
Of course, if your entry made it on to this list, you will be receiving acknowledgment from me in the form of a ‘Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition’ Trophy. Remember these? Pretty nice trophy if I do say so myself – AND – there will be a slightly new design for this year’s trophy so that it will be slightly different than the ones I sent out last year. All the more reason to continue submitting your playhouses for consideration – you can start your very own, very limited edition, handmade trophies made by me.
In addition, there’s is the playhouse design that is supported and financially underwritten by the folks at SketchUp.
SketchUp will be evaluating these entries, along with the feedback from this round of judges, to pick the winner of the special consideration SketchUp category. I have been working with SketchUp to get them involved in this years competition and they have enthusiastically agreed by funding the construction of one of the Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition playhouses AND they have put together an awesome prize pack! I am creating a special SketchUp category to showcase the skill of the best winning design that uses SketchUp software. Considering that over the last four years almost every single entry I have received was created in SketchUp, this collaboration was a no-brainer. Check out this prize pack:
- A SketchUp Pro license (and a credit to get the SketchUp Mobile Viewer for free)
- A free trip to 3D Basecamp 2016 in Steamboat Springs (for US/CA participants)
- A SketchUp swag bag
- A project review on the SketchUp Blog.
I am pretty excited about the possible winners, and I think this year’s group of finalists represents some incredibly clever and original ideas. This time next Monday, I will be able to reveal the folks who have won this year’s playhouse design competition and will be getting their playhouse built and donated to Dallas CASA. Just in case you are new to Life of an Architect – here is a little information on Dallas CASA, and the volunteers that donate their time to abused and neglected children)
Dallas CASA (which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a nonprofit organization of community volunteers trained and supervised to serve as voices in court for abused and neglected children. On any day in Dallas County, there are nearly 2,000 children waiting for a safe place to live. Many times the CASA volunteer is the only constant in the child’s life during this very difficult process. Parade of Playhouses raises funds for Dallas CASA to continue serving more children who need safe, permanent homes where they can thrive.