Announcing the Finalists!

Meet the Finalists

After reviewing hundreds of entries from across the country, Cooper Hewitt is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 National High School Design Competition, which challenged students to design (or redesign) a nature-based solution to a global problem. Congratulations to the finalists:

  • Daniela Contreras, age 19, and Lucas Dunoyer, age 17
    Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami, FL
  • Bella Jacobs, age 17
    Myers Park High School, Charlotte, NC
  • Marisol McEwan, age 17, and Teshawn Sinclair, age 18
    Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami, FL

DANIELA CONTRERAS, AGE 19 AND LUCAS DUNOYER, AGE 17 DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, MIAMI, FL

Sound gardens are a solution to sound pollution in urban cities for people as well as wildlife surrounding the city by blocking out city sounds like construction and vehicle noise. Our design is inspired by the sounds of wind in nature passing through foliage and rattle seeds. Using the movement of urban cities to create white noise, Sound Gardens is made of foliage and rattle seeds that would be placed along street lamps, metro rails, and building facades to suppress stressful city sounds and improve life quality and provide a safer habitat.

BELLA JACOBS, AGE 17
MYERS PARK HIGH SCHOOL, CHARLOTTE, NC

People say water is the oil of the future, but water is the life of now. In South Africa, I witnessed drought-ridden communities craving water where people have few resources to collect vital rainfall. Inspired by the Horned Lizard, which thrives in deserts through rain-harvesting with its irrigation like interscalar skin channels, RainScales marries biomimicry, architecture, and design to collect and conserve water. RainScales involves interlocking brick-like architectural adhesions that create a channel, funneling collected rainwater down the side of buildings into basements where it is then filtered in a small wastewater-treatment plant. Architecturally integrated, it is both easy to use and administer, while providing an aesthetically pleasing infrastructure to collect and distribute water and foster self-sustaining communities.

MARISOL McEWAN, AGE 17 AND TESHAWN SINCLAIR, AGE 18
DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, MIAMI, FL

Infected female mosquitoes carry life-threatening parasites and bacteria that can be transmitted to people. About 2.5 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk for mosquito-borne diseases. Capuchin monkeys, which are the inspiration for this design, rub themselves with piper plant leaves that contain chemical compounds such as viridiflorol and aromadendrene that repel mosquitoes and other insects. Our design is to create a fabric from the piper plant’s leaves using the process of retting, which involves soaking the stems and leaves to soften and separate the fibers. The fibers will be sewn into a fabric and used to make clothing that will work as a repellent.

Honorable Mentions

Cooper Hewitt is excited to announce 13 Honorable Mentions, whose designs will be featured with the finalists in a poster exhibition at the museum.

  • John Begley, age 16, Paris Kiehl, age 16, and Sophie Kiehl, age 16
    Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, CO
  • Andres Chavez, age 17, and Nicholas Navarro, age 17
    Glen A Wilson High School, Hacienda Heights, CA
  • Abby Doll, age 18 and Grace MacDonald, age 17
    Menlo School, Atherton, CA
  • Heather Holtgreive, age 18
    Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, CO
  • Avni Jain, age 16, Rhea Sharma, age 18, and Colleen Thompson, age 18
    Eden Prairie High School, Eden Prairie, MN
  • Lilah Lichtman, age 16
    The Park School of Baltimore, Pikesville, MD
  • Belle Lim, age 17
    Great Neck North High School, Great Neck, NY
  • Isaac Liu, age 16 and Ziyao (Samantha) Su, age 16
    Orange County School of the Arts, Santa Ana, CA
  • Alan Lomba, age 16, and, Erik Sande, age 16, and Julian Sarria, age 16
    Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami, FL
  • Vega Lund, age 16
    Nova High School, Seattle, WA
  • Bryson Maneul, age 18 and Lindsey Millerd, age 17
    Waipahu High School, Waipahu, HI
  • Payton Shattuck, age 18
    Design and Architecture Senior High School, Miami, FL
  • Sam Suchin, age 16
    Pikesville High School, Pikesville, MD

What’s Next for the Finalists

The three finalist teams will move on to Stage Two of the National High School Design Competition, where they’ll participate in inspiring mentoring activities including:

  • Team phone calls with a mentor to discuss how to further develop their design ideas in April.
  • Travel to Portland, OR to attend Mentor Weekend on May 11–12. Finalists will dive deep into the design process, learn more about how designers use design to solve everyday challenges, further discuss their design ideas, and prepare for the in-person judging.
  • Travel to New York City to attend the Judging Weekend on June 8–9, to visit Cooper Hewitt and explore the Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial exhibition, and present in person to the judges.

Mentor Weekend

On May 11–12, the finalists will attend Mentor Weekend at adidas, with lead mentor Ken Link, VP of Basketball Design. Finalists will dive deep into the design process, learn more about how designers use design to solve everyday challenges, further discuss their design ideas, and prepare for the in-person judging.

Judges

On June 9, the finalists will present in person at Cooper Hewitt in New York City to a diverse panel of creative experts.