At a public reception at Eyebeam Saturday, December 15, Executive Director Amanda McDonald Crowley announced the winners of Eyebeam's two-part, online Eco-Vis Challenge competition. Oz Etzioni's Unrecyclable Icon was awarded a $2000 grand prize in the Eco-Icons category, and the Studio for Urba n Projects' In Popular Terms, the Evolving Language of Ecology was awarded a $2000 grand prize in the Eco-Visualization category. The winning projects will be previewed during the month of January, and exhibited as part of Eyebeam's Feedback show in March 2008.
Two proposals in each category received Honorable Mentions and prize money of $150 each, also earmarked for realization of the projects in conjunction with the Feedback exhibition. For Eco-Icons, Green Map was recognized for "creating a comprehensive and inspiring visual system and vocabulary," and Forays' project Edible Excess for "the practical application and smart design of an Eco-Icon." In the Eco-Visualization category, Annina Rüst's RiceCooker was named "a wonderful and novel concept for social conviviality and structured participation," and Timm Kekeritz's Virtual Water and Water Footprints project was recognized for its "clarity, visual literacy and fluency of design.
The competition was juried by engineer and techno-artist Natalie Jeremijenko, mathematician Martin Wattenberg, a researcher at IBM whose work focuses on visual explorations of culturally significant data, Joey Roth, an industrial designer and writer for TreeHugger.com, Casey Caplowe, creative director of GOOD Magazine, Elizabeth Thompson, executive director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Eyebeam Research Fellow Michael Mandiberg, and Eyebeam Alumna Brooke Singer, with Eyebeam's Amanda McDonald Crowley and Paul Amitai moderating.
The winning and honored proposals will be on display at Eyebeam in January as a preview for the March 13 - April 19 Feedback exhibition, which will feature the realized proposals alongside work by past and current Eyebeam artists, with others. Both events are part of Eyebeam's ongoing Beyond Light Bulbs programming series, which grew from the conversations and findings of Eyebeam's Sustainability Research Group.
The Eco-Vis challenge was crafted by Research Group members Michael Mandiberg a 2007-08 Fellow in the R&D OpenLab and Brooke Singer, an Eyebeam alum.
The Eyebeam Sustainability Research Group began in July 2006 as a forum for past and present residents, fellows, and staff to engage in a critical dialogue about environmental sustainability. The group's monthly meetings have covered a range of issues, from sharing creative research to working on practical ways to "green" the Eyebeam facility. Out of these meetings, a number of public programs and exhibitions have been developed, including the Eco-Vis Design Challenge, the upcoming Eyebeam exhibition Feedback, and the ambitious 2007-8 program series, Beyond Light Bulbs. Among the Sustainability Research Group reBloggers are: Jennifer Broutin, Carmen Trudell, Brooke Singer, Paul Amitai, Leah Gauthier, Michael Mandiberg and Amanda McDonald Crowley, who have all been contributing content to Eyebeam's reBlog website. This content, as well as the online eco-vis projects of Ben Engebreth, Brooke Singer and Michael Mandiberg will be on display alongside those of Challenge winners.
Prizes were generously underwritten by Deep Green Living, green consultants for home and business.