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SHOE TOWER DESIGN COMPETITION FOR UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO STUDENTS

Graduate students in the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape,
and Design and undergraduate students in the University’s Bachelor of Arts Architectural
Studies Major (BAAS) are invited to participate in a competition for the design of a shoe
tower. The competition is sponsored by Toronto-based WORKshop, Inc. and has been
approved by the Dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.



CONTEXT

WORKshop is an experimental design centre located on the Concourse Level at 80 Bloor Street West,
adjacent to the Bay Street TTC subway station. WORKshop promotes reciprocity between design
traditions and excellence spawned in China over many centuries and today’s contemporary urban
lifestyles in the East and West. WORKshop draws particular inspiration from the Chinese Ming period.
(See Vision Statement at the end of this document. Also see www.workshoptoronto.com, which will be
available in late August.) WORKshop is engaged in research, development, and the promotion of
furniture and products for the home and will be formally launched in early November 2009 with an
opening exhibition. The exhibition will include ideas and objects by international designers from Canada,
China, Italy, and the United States, along with winning entries from this shoe tower (S-TOWER) design
competition.



INTENTIONS

The S-TOWER competition provides an opportunity to design an innovative, fully functional structure for
the indoor storage of shoes and other footwear. In today’s urbanized world, where many people live in
small houses, apartments, or condo units, new modes of storage are needed in order to liberate
valuable space for everyday living. In certain parts of the world, particularly in Southeast Asia, inventive
shoe storage units are common in domestic environments. Various companies market useful shoe
cabinets and organizers, including shoe towers. (For example, see Hong Kong-based Goods of Desire
[GOD]. Go to www.god.com.hk, then product, then furniture, then cabinet and storage, then shoe
cabinet.) WORKshop invites participants to design an innovative shoe tower that draws inspiration from
the clarity and elegance of the Chinese Ming period while fully embracing the present and the 21st
century.
ELIGIBILITY 

The competition is open only to students registered at the University of Toronto and enrolled in either a 
graduate program in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design or in the Faculty of Arts 
and Science’s Bachelor of Arts Architectural Studies program. Proof of registration and enrolment must 
be provided as part of the Stage One submission. 

 

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TOWER 

‐although various materials can be employed if desired, the tower must be made of 80% wood, wood‐
products, or wood‐like products 

‐sustainable “green” materials and processes are strongly preferred 

‐the overall footprint cannot be larger in area than 2500 sq cm (approximately 400 sq in) 

‐the height is limited to a maximum of 1.6 meters (160 cm) or approximately 64 inches 

‐it is important to carefully consider natural aeration and ventilation of the tower 

‐the tower must be sturdy, durable, and easy to clean and maintain 

 

STAGE ONE (IDEAS) 

In Stage One, students are asked to submit a concept for a shoe tower, fully represented on one, 
horizontally formatted A‐1 sheet (594 mm high x 841 mm long, or 23.4 inches high x 33.1 inches long). 
This sheet, which can be in black and white or colour and either hand‐drawn or digitally produced, must 
include the following: 

FRONT OF SHEET: 

‐plan (1:10) 

‐section (1:10) 

‐elevation(s) as required to describe the proposal (1:10) 

‐3‐D view 

‐brief text communicating your idea (maximum of 100 words) 

‐brief description of intended materials (maximum of 100 words) 

‐tally of total number of shoes (or slippers, etc.) that can be stored in the unit 
ATTACHED TO REAR OF SHEET: 

In a sealed envelope securely attached to the rear of the A‐1 sheet, enclose the following information: 
your name, program and year (e.g. M.Arch II, BAAS‐II, MLA III, etc.), University of Toronto student I.D. 
number, e‐mail address, and telephone number. 

 

STAGE ONE SCHEDULE 

‐August 13, 2009: competition announced 

‐September 4, 2009, 5pm: Stage One (Ideas) due at the WORKshop, C‐1, 80 Bloor Street West, Toronto, 
Ontario, M5S 2V1 (tel. 416‐925‐1323); entries can be submitted by mail or pre‐paid courier to arrive by 
5pm, September 4, 2009; or entries can be hand‐delivered between 1pm and 5pm on September 4, 
2009 to the WORKshop on the Concourse Level at 80 Bloor Street West.  WORKshop, Inc. will not 
consider any Stage One submission that arrives after 5pm on September 4, 2009. 

 

STAGE ONE JURY AND FINALISTS 

Entries in Stage One will be reviewed by a three‐member jury in early September. Authorship of entries 
will not be made known to the jurors until after the jury process is completed. The jury will select up to 
five projects for further, Stage Two development and, following verification of eligibility, will provide 
each Stage One finalist $150 to support her/his participation in Stage Two. Each Stage One proposal 
selected as a finalist for Stage Two will be displayed in WORKshop’s fall, public exhibition. 

The jury for Stage One and Stage Two will be: 

Andrew Jones, Toronto‐based furniture designer and adjunct professor in the Daniels Faculty of 
Architecture, Landscape, and Design 

Larry Wayne Richards, Professor of Architecture in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and 
Design, and Artistic Director, WORKshop, Inc. (Chair of the Jury) 

Robin Speke, furniture designer and manufacturer with Speke/Klein, Durham, Ontario 

Student employees of WORKshop, Inc. are not eligible to participate in the competition, and 
communication between student participants and jury members regarding the competition is not 
allowed. WORKshop, Inc. will not respond to any questions submitted by participants about the 
competition. The sheet/drawing submitted in Stage One will not be returned to the author and will be 
retained by WORKshop, Inc. for possible future exhibitions or promotional purposes. 

 

 
STAGE TWO 

The finalists in Stage One will be invited to further develop their ideas in Stage Two. Participants in Stage 
Two are required to complete a three‐dimensional, physical model of the shoe tower at half full size. 
The model should be substantially constructed and show intentions in terms of anticipated detailing of 
the final, actual shoe tower.  Each finalist will receive $150 for research, development, and materials in 
Stage Two. Additionally, a one‐page description of the project is required with the author’s name 
included. Stage Two submissions are due at the WORKshop between 1pm and 5pm on October 7, 2009. 
WORKshop, Inc. will not consider any Stage Two submissions arriving after 5pm, October 7, 2009. 

The jury listed above will assess the Stage Two submissions in mid‐October and select a Winner and a 
Runner‐up. The Winner will receive $500 and the Runner‐up $300. Each of the Stage Two submissions 
will be displayed as part of WORKshop’s opening exhibition in the fall of 2009. The three‐dimensional 
models submitted in Stage Two become the property of WORKshop, Inc. and will not be returned to the 
authors. 

 

ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS 

    1. As noted above, drawings and models will not be returned and will be retained by WORKshop, 
       Inc. 
    2. WORKshop, Inc. reserves the right to reproduce images of Stage One and Stage Two projects, 
       with authorship dully noted. 
    3. Shoe tower designs are the copyright of the designer. 
    4. WORKSHOP, Inc. reserves the exclusive right to produce a prototype of the shoe tower design 
       by the Winner or the Runner‐up. 
    5. WORKshop, Inc. reserves the exclusive right to pursue a contractual agreement between 
       WORKshop, Inc., a manufacturing company, and the Winner and/or Runner‐up to commercially 
       produce the shoe tower, specifying a negotiated fee or royalties. 

 

 

12 Aug 09 

 

 

 

 

 
WORKshop

Vision Statement

WORKshop is an experimental design center located on the concourse level of
80 Bloor Street West in Yorkville, Toronto's luxury shopping district. The center is
being launched in 2009 to further the visionary design work of Hong Kong-based
Kin Yeung whose approach establishes reciprocity between design traditions
and excellence spawned in China over many centuries and today's contempo-
rary urban life styles in both the East and the West.

As its name suggests, WORKshop is simultaneously focused on "work"
(working, making work, objects that work) and "shop" (shopping, retail shop). In
the broadest sense, it is a research center and laboratory. It can also be under-
stood as an incubator for the development of ideas and prototypes intended for
production and for commercial distribution in both local and international mar-
kets. Initially WORKshop will concentrate on the conceptualizing, designing, and
testing of various lifestyle products, including furniture and furnishings for the
home, drawing inspiration from the simplicity, elegance, and refinement of the
Chinese Ming period. WORKshop will explore materials, material sourcing, new
technologies, and potential manufacturing processes and locations in order to
maximize product quality and marketing potential.

Guided by Artistic Director Larry Wayne Richards, WORKshop will engage
design students, recent design graduates, and emerging designers in the To-
ronto area in experimental work, with the intention of developing "Ming Modern"
furniture and home furnishings suitable for the market place. Modest research
grants will be awarded to support proposals seen as worthy of further develop-
ment. Imaginative window displays, exhibitions, website promotion, and periodic
seminars will be integral to the development of the WORKshop and its products.
The products and processes of the WORKshop will be consistent with and rein-
forcing of the eight design principles of Blanc de Chine, established by Kin
Yeung, including emphasis on: functionality, simplicity, serenity, harmony, purity,
subtlety, sensuality, and comfort. As the WORKshop experiment develops, the
guiding principles will be further defined and articulated.

Moreover, with an overview of many centuries of Chinese history and culture, it
is the intention of the Toronto-based WORKshop to become a dynamic center for
ideas and design innovation that simultaneously builds on tradition and "the fa-
miliar" while generating new, surprising objects that challenge established ex-
pectations.

				
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