The Future of Shade 2017

An annual competition held by Sunbrella® and Architizer, the Future of Shade challenges architects and designers to explore the integral role of fabric in shade and building design.

For detailed information, visit the competition page.

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An entry packet will be emailed to you with instructions for submission, and all entries must be submitted by May 14, 2017. Now in its fifth year, the Future of Shade competition continues Sunbrella’s commitment to the design community by nurturing the exploration of creative solutions. Three unique categories create distinct challenges where shade plays a critical role in the response. The durability and versatility of the Sunbrella fabric as the primary medium opens the door to a world of possibilities.


Categories will be based on three different site-specific challenges to inspire entrants:

Building Shade Challenge

Define an existing shade problem in local community or beyond and design a solution using Sunbrella fabrics

Humanitarian Challenge

Envision a temporary shelter that can be easily transported and deployed for relief in a refugee crisis or natural disaster

Well-Being Challenge

Create a protected outdoor space that promotes healthy living in any location, private or public where users can relax in a unique and personalized environment


As in the previous Future of Shade Competitions, entrants will draw creative inspiration from the tensile properties and countless applications Sunbrella fabrics provide.

As the world’s leading performance fabric manufacturer, the perfect fabric is surely among the hundreds of products in the extensive catalog of Sunbrella products.


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. In addition, winners will could be recognized in the press and in Sunbrella marketing and advertising materials. Additional entries (at the jury’s discretion) may receive Honorable Mention recognition and be eligible for cash prizes of $1,000 each, and other entries (at the jury’s discretion) may receive Jury Choice recognition and be eligible for a fabric donation not exceeding $1,000 in value to be used to bring their shade concepts to life. All winners will be considered for editorial coverage on, although no such coverage is guaranteed. Sponsor and Administrator reserve the right not to award any Honorable Mention or Jury Choice prizes, or to award a different number of Honorable Mention and/or Jury Choice prizes, in one or more of the categories in their sole discretion, depending on the number and nature of the entries received.

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About Sunbrella.

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 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.

Sunbrella fabrics are manufactured and marketed by Glen Raven, a more than 130-year-old family-owned company based in North Carolina with operations worldwide. For more information on the Sunbrella brand, including fabric resources, visit or check out the Sunbrella Gallery on Architizer.