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Put on your virtual creativity caps—The Guggenheim and Google have launched "Design It: Shelter Competition," a virtual shelter competition using Google Earth and 3-D modeling software.  

The competition is inspired by Learning By Doing, an exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum's Sackler Center for Arts Education, that features plans, photos, and models of shelters crafted by students at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. And so, the competition's design brief is: Use Google Earth and Google SketchUp to create designs for virtual 3-D shelters anywhere on Earth. 

Step one: Download Google Earth and Google SketchUp

Step two: Choose a location on Earth using Google Earth

Step three: Craft a design for a 100-sq.-ft. live/work structure 

Step four: Upload your designs to Google 3D Warehouse via the Design It: Shelter Competition site.

Step five: Browse the competition!

Deadline to entry is August 23. 

Students at Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture will select 10 finalists, who will then be put forth for public voting from Sept. 7–Oct. 10. Winners will be announced Oct. 21 (which happens to be the 50th anniversay of the Guggenheim Museum's opening). Two prizes—a juried price and a people's prize—will be awarded. Choosing the jury prize are Martin Cox of Bade Stageberg Cox; Neil Denari of Neil Denari Architects; Cathleen McGuigan, architecture critic for Newsweek; Victor Sidy, dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; Lisa Strausfelt of Pentagram; Aidan Chopra of Google SketchUp; and David van der Leer, of the Guggenheim.

Prizes include airfare and two nights accommodation for two in NYC, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Guggenheim Museum and Google offices, and Google SketchUp Pro licenses. The juried prize winner also will pocket a $1,000 cash award. 

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