The results are in and we are proud to announce the winners of the latest Core77 1 Hour Design Challenge: Voting Booth! There was a wonderful selection of entries in this round, and the lead up to November 4th provided some nice design fuel. Thanks to everyone who participated, and make sure to check out all the entries in the forum.
Our esteemed judges on this this challenge were William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand of Winterhouse, creators of The Polling Place Photo Project (now a New York Times project) and founding editors of Design Observer. Here are their overall impressions:
Voting is a serious civic activity--perhaps the most important citizen engagement in a democracy. The challenge of one-hour solutions for voting booths might seem to run contrary to the scope and complexity of the enterprise, but we are nonetheless impressed with the range of solutions offered here. Some are serious, some are playful, and some are politically ironic. A carnival ride where you see the future implications of your vote? A monkey with a tamborine superimposed between the candidates? Throwing rocks at the portraits of the candidates you least like? We are amused. We are going to (generally) error, though, on the side of serious proposals, these being serious times. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all who took the time to participate.
And now for the winners...
First Place:"Vote with Style" Voting Tree, by vinishree
Judges' Comments: The idea of conflating the act of voting with a sculptural gesture is a novel idea. This proposal also seemed to balance the public/private balance of voting in a graceful manner: by invoking the nature of a tree, albeit an artificial one with paper leaves, the notion of public participation feels less like a rally and more like a kind of grounded act. There's also something nice about voting outside, in a park or park-like environment. Together, these references--that you're contributing to a larger environmental awareness, that your vote adds to others and collectively bespeaks a kind of united public activism--lends a tone of noble, yet natural gravitas to the idea of voting as a conduit to establishing a kind of anchored, responsible, human national governance. And that's a good thing.
Second Place: Portable Voting Booth, by firenzee
Judge's Comments: If gestures of permanence represent voting as a grounded activity, then the portable voting experience is, arguably, a misguided notion. However, it acknowledges the fleeting, nomadic nature of contemporary life, and in this respect, the portable voting booth--that includes collabsible walls and a handle for easy carrying--seems a plausible proposal. Lightweight construction and red-blue bipartisan color codes make it an instantly recognizable form, and represent a strategy for bringing the voting to the people--as opposed to getting people to the polls--which may well be worth considering in future elections.
Third place: Bipartisan Shape Sorters, by njessee
Judge's Comments: Many of the entries fell into the category of editorial commentary--among these, the voting experience as carnival ride made us laugh, as did the notion of throwing stones at your least favorite candidate and casting your vote, by conjecture, for the least blemished portrait--but this one impressed us with its sheer simplicity. Sure, voting along party lines isn't an option in many states, but for those who are party-centric, have small children, are time-pressed, entertainment-challenged or, well, illiterate, this solution is the closest thing we saw to a slam-dunk. It's a sad reflection on a country that would rather watch Dancing With The Stars than get their sorry asses over to a polling booth, but given the short attention span that characterizes a striking part of the population, this one might not be such a bad idea.
View all the entries to the Voting Booth challenge here.
View past Core77 1 Hour Design Challenges: