Sunbrella®, Architizer Announce "Future of Shade" Call for Entries

Sunbrella® and Architizer invite the architecture and design community to reimagine shade design with the announcement of the fifth annual Future of Shade competition. The competition calls on creative architects and designers from around the world to envision pioneering shade designs to meet the needs of the 21st century and beyond.

The Future of Shade competition offers three unique categories with distinct challenges where shade plays a critical role in the solution. By using performance fabrics, entrants have the power to transform their ideas into revolutionary, realistic shade designs.

 Categories include: 

  • Building Shade: Architects are best at identifying real-world issues, and Sunbrella is asking entrants in this category to define a site with a real-life sun-exposure problem. Whether in their local community or beyond, entrants must design a concrete solution for either commercial or residential structures using Sunbrella fabrics.   
  • Humanitarian: Design plays a critical role in providing a home for those displaced around the world. Changing weather patterns, political instability and other hardships are contributing to a surge in creative responses to human shelter – a simple shade can empower an individual with a sense of place and ownership. This category is dedicated to temporary shelters designed for relief during a natural disaster or refugee crises, which must be easily transported, rapidly deployed with only simple tools, and useful for a range of conditions found all over the world.
  • Well-Being: Designing for wellness and self-care are important opportunities to expand the potential of buildings in society today. Yoga studios, meditation rooms, napping spaces and small gardens within office buildings, healthcare centers and schools encourage physical and mental wellness. This category is a challenge to design a shaded, outdoor space that promotes healthy living in any location, private or public where users can relax in a unique and personalized environment.

Shade plays an important role in the way we live, work and play. It protects people from sun-induced skin cancer, helps moderate energy consumption in buildings, and, from a design standpoint, if considered early enough in a project, contributes to a cohesive design rather than being an after-thought. Through the competition, Sunbrella continues to challenge conventional thinking about fabric.

"The Future of Shade competition is an opportunity for architects, students and designers to be a part of a larger conversation about shade and the impact it can have on society," said Gina Wicker, director of A&D markets for Sunbrella. "Fabric shade structures have the ability to affect much more than a building’s outward appearance, and our goal is to discover new, powerful ways to solve critical problems using creative shade solutions."

This year, the Future of Shade jury will again select one winner in each of the three categories to each receive a $10,000 grand prize. The competition is open to all firms and individuals, including students, involved in architecture, landscape architecture and design. There is no limit to the number of entries that may be submitted by any entrant, but each entry must relate to a different project or design. Each entrant must register to be eligible to submit an entry.

Registration is available on the competition website through April 30, 2017. The entry submission deadline is May 14, 2017 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. To view past winners and imagery from submissions from around the world, please visit


About Sunbrella Fabrics

Sunbrella has revolutionized the way the world thinks about how beautiful fabrics look, feel and perform. With an inspired palette of colors, styles and textures, premium Sunbrella fabric gives consumers, designers and architects the material they need to create the extraordinary in marine, shade, residential/upholstery, commercial and contract applications.

Versatile in style and function, Sunbrella fabrics create welcoming spaces indoors and out, offering durability, fade resistance and ease of cleaning. They also offer peace of mind; Sunbrella fabrics have achieved GREENGUARD GOLD certification as contributing to healthy indoor air quality.

Introduced in 1961, Sunbrella fabrics are manufactured and marketed by Glen Raven, Inc., a 135-year-old family-owned company based in North Carolina with operations worldwide. For more information on Sunbrella, including inspiration, fabric collections and where to buy, visit

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