Blue Trail Design Jam Competition – Imagination + Innovation for Ocean Sustainability


Saturday, October 27, 2012, 10 am-5:30 pm @ Adaptive Path, Pier One/San Francisco, $15 general, $10 students

Lunch provided, Registration opens October 1st @ the Blue Trail website

Join OpenLab for this high energy day of art-design-science-tech collaboration to generate concepts for Blue Trail. Blue Trail is a trail of ten commissioned interactive installations that will take place along the San Francisco waterfront during the final races of the America’s Cup sailing challenge in September 2013.

Each installation will be created by a different interdisciplinary team and offer a unique and imaginative way to engage the public in the mystery, beauty and fragility of the world’s oceans. Up to five concepts from the competition will be considered for commission.

Who Can Attend

Anyone who brings creativity, passion and energy can attend. Our aim is to create a spirited mash-up of art, design, tech and science and so welcome artists and designers from all fields, as well as engineers, programmers, educators, students, ocean activists, wildlife defenders and others with an interest in ocean sustainability.

The Event

The day will revolve around Blue Trail’s key principles: innovation, interactivity, interdisciplinarity, connectivity and sustainability. We will kick-off with activities enabling participants to meet one another as well as gain an understanding from leading marine and environmental experts of the challenges facing our oceans. The remainder of the day will be dedicated to interdisciplinary brainstorming, drawing, and model-building, culminating in teams presenting their proposed concepts. Participants will vote for the most successful proposal, which will receive a “Blue Trail People’s Choice Award.”

Exhibition and Commissions

Subsequent to the event, a Blue Trail jury will review the submissions and select up to five projects (including the People’s Choice Award recipient) for proposal development and possible commission in the range of $5,000 to $25,000. In early 2013, selected concepts will be featured in an exhibition in San Francisco.

Competition Criteria

Project concepts must offer a unique and compelling interactive experience accessible to the public along the San Francisco waterfront. Games, websites, and mobile apps will be eligible as well as physical, digital, theatrical and other kinds of public art installations and experiences. Successful projects will:

  • Engage the public (includes all ages) in one of Blue Trail’s central themes: keeping plastics out of the ocean, promoting sustainable seafood choices and preserving marine sanctuaries
  • Offer a unique voice and aesthetic
  • Be created by an interdisciplinary team that includes at least one artist or designer and one ocean sustainability expert
  • Embody Blue Trail’s five guiding principles: interactivity, interdisciplinarity, innovation, connectivity, and sustainability

Further details and guidelines will be available at the Design Jam event.

Online Submissions

Online submissions for those not attending the event may be possible. Check here for details after October 1.


Registration will take place on this website as of October 1. Advance registration is highly recommended as space is limited.


For more information, contact Lisa Zimmerman at 415.302.8195 or