The Metropolis Next Generation® Design Competition was created in 2003 to promote activism, social involvement, and entrepreneurship in young designers. Metropolis saw the need for a new type of competition, one that went beyond the usual beauty pageants for finished projects, a competition that would generate and reward ideas.
Metropolis celebrates the next generation by rewarding imaginative young designers at large companies and recognizing the hard work of those striving with their own young firms or on their own as well as students—while some designers have a proposal ready and waiting, others are at the beginning of the process with an undefined desire to create and can use a kick start.
The Next Generation® winners and runners-up are a testament to the success of this mission. Each project recognized has embodied the core values of good design—incorporating systems thinking, sustainability, accessibility, materials exploration, historic relevance, and technology—while forwarding our thinking on what designers can accomplish. The breadth of proposals has been stunning: building projects, urban planning and community building schemes, responsive interior environments, population pressure issues, new materials, ergonomics, product design, social and housing solutions, environmental management, water purity, and waste disposal in crisis situations and so on. The prize of $10,000 in seed money for developing the projects, plus the publicity they receive, have helped winners’ and runners-ups’ projects leap from the drawing board to implementation and production.