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A Full Plate of Happiness With Felissimo Tribute 21 Plate Challenge

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There’s nothing like a good artistic challenge. Think about it: isn’t that why we all tune into Project Runway to watch as budding designers create the most elaborate garments using fresh produce or stacks of newspaper? Taking creative minds and placing them in a competitive contest means tons of pressure and, if all goes well, some brilliant diamonds. Japanese design company Felissimo seems to understand this concept well — this year, it launched the “Happiness: The Tribute 21 Plate Challenge” on Design 21. Members of the global art community were invited to submit original designs for an upcoming, limited-edition plate series. In keeping with Felissimo’s social activism, the competition called for designs that would inspire future generations of children and capture a harmonious state of being (especially in terms of how we interact with our environments). After reviewing 732 entries, Felissimo representatives have anow nnounced the seven winners, all of whom will receive a $1,000 cash prize, 10 plates featuring their winning designs, and a collector’s box of Felissimo-inspired colored pencils.

Pictured here are two of the winning designs (which happen to be my favorites, of course!). At top, you’ll find the “Happy Forest” design by Netherlands-based artist Giorgio Cattano, which has a kinetic energy thanks to the moving shapes of the children and adults frolicking in the forest. I love how the leafless trees allude to a wintry season, how the black, shadowy silhouettes of the humans is contrasted with the bright turquoise, green and red hues of the circles floating above them, and how these colorful forms could signify so many different things (from Christmas lights to balloons). I also really appreciate the level of detail in the design. You find yourself examining each and every form, smiling as your eyes stumble on an image of a young boy doing a split while jumping up in the air or of a woman standing with her arms stretched out toward the sky.

Next, you’ll find the “Soap Bubbles of Happiness” design by Brazilian artist Alexandre Esteves Neves, a whimsical piece that captures the sense of wonderment children exhibit when they encounter soap bubbles. It’s such a simple concept and yet so joyful — which is perhaps why I like it best out of all the designs: it zooms in on the small things that mean so much in our lives.

For more information about the Happiness: The Tribute 21 Plate Challenge or the winning designs, visit design21sdn.com. Felissimo will be producing the winning designs, so be on the lookout for more info!

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