“Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” –Paul Rand

Back in September 2012, a UK-wide competition was launched to design a new chair for University of Oxford's historic Bodleian Libraries. After receiving over 60 strong entries, six award-winning designer/manufacturer partnerships were picked to proceed to the next stage of the competition, with the goal of winning the title prize.
In 2003, Resolution: 4 Architecture was one of 16 firms who participated in the Dwell Home Design Invitational—a competition to design a modern prefab home for $200,000. Their winning design, constructed in Pittsboro, North Carolina, is a groundbreaking case study that combines prefabricated construction with contemporary, modern design.
Master builder and certified home inspector Karl Champley has been involved in the building trade for more than 20 years, and on two continents. He has appeared on a number of DIY Network programs, including as a host on Wasted Spaces and DIY to the Rescue. In episode one of Ellen's Design Challenge on HGTV, Champley paired with Katie Stout for a successful final outcome, winning the top prize of the show.
Black and white kitchen cabinets painted with a triangular pattern add a whimsical touch to this funky kitchen.
Honorable mention went to Hyontek Yoon of Queens for his design titled Upside Down Bridge, which aims to connect the streetscape with the elevated tracks. Image courtesy of Hyontek Yoon.
Song Deng of Toronto was awarded $1,000 and third prize for this design, which recasts an abandoned elevated track as a complex of small gardens and units that artists can rent "to hone skills and test new products." Image courtesy of Song Deng.
"This chair was designed by University of Houston student Abizer Raja for the Wilsonart student chair competition. This year's theme: outer space!"
Carrie Wilbert, a graduate of Kansas State University, now lives in Paris, where she is studying at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville. She was awarded the $5,000 ENYA Prize for this design, titled The QueensWay Steps. Image courtesy of Carrie Wibert.
Jessica Shoemaker of Albuquerque, New Mexico, titled this entry Ebb & Flow. She was awarded the student prize and $1,000. Image courtesy of Jessica Shoemaker.
Nikolay Martynov of Basel, Switzerland, was awarded $2,500 and second prize for this design, which he based on the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City, Queens, and the Domino Sugar sign from the old refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Image courtesy of Nikolay Martynov.
This "local prefab" home on the Isle of Skye is made mostly from materials sourced in northern Scotland. The timber-framed model, meant to evoke the simple agrarian barns of the area, can be constructed on-site in as little as a day and is designed for affordability.
Louise Hederström

Willow planter for Nola

$880

louisehederstrom.com

Based in Malmö, Sweden, Louise Hederström has a cheerful aesthetic derived from a wide array of sources, from the sheet metal she often uses  (inspired by the tractors on her childhood farm) to her product names, many of them homages to Elvis Presley. This multifaceted planter is fitted with “branch” pots that can grow a variety of flora in one go. Add a wooden top in oak or birch for a ready-made seat.
When Abbie and Bill Burton hired Marmol Radziner to design their prefab weekend home, their two requests were “simple-simple, replaceable materials,” says Abbie—such as concrete floors (poured offsite in Marmol Radziner's factory) and metal panel siding—and “the ability to be indoors or outdoors with ease.” Deep overhangs provide shade and protection from rain, so the Burtons can leave their doors open year-round and hang out on their 70-foot-long deck even in inclement weather. They visit the house once a month, usually for a week at a time, with Vinnie and Stella, their rescue Bernese Mountain dogs. Their two adult children occasionally join them. The couple hopes to one day retire here.
Japanese showers are usually set low down so the bather can sit on a stool and scrub, then pour cedar buckets of hot water over their heads for a refreshing rinse. This homeowner in Venice, California mounted a handheld shower head on the wall for added flexibility. The drain is under the removable cedar floor slats, keeping the room design uncluttered. Wood tubs are cleaned with a simple rinse and last for decades, as the antiseptic properties of cedar guard against mold and rot.

This ofuro was designed by Santiago Ortiz and fabricated by Bartok Design.
Tanya, Chris, Jackson, and Zeke spend much of their day outside.
Because the house is narrow and long (16 by 68 feet), the design team decided to create a huge open-air space to light the interior naturally. Two retractable motor-driven 

canvas canopies shelter the space during Singapore’s frequent rains.
Louisiana. Based in New Orleans, Loomed NOLA produces hand-woven, organic Turkish textiles, from tea towels to blankets.
Artist Kiernan Dunn's silkscreen prints celebrate the architecture of New Orleans, as well as camp icons like John Waters and his muse Divine.