Magis Puppy Design Challenge Held in Boston

First Place – NBBJ – Photo credit Creative Office Pavilion
Second Place – Fenway Frank by Gensler – Photo credit Creative Office Pavilion

On June 25th, Herman Miller Collection partnered with COP Boston (a Herman Miller dealer) to host the Magis Puppy Design Challenge at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). 17 local firms each used their creativity to reimagine the Magis Puppy by Eero Aarnio. Participants included Baker Design, CBT Architects, Dyer Brown, e4h, Elkus Manfredi, Gensler, Margulies Peruzzi, Miller Dyer Spears, NBBJ, Payette, Perkins + Will, PCA, Unispace, SGA, Shelpey, Sasaki, and SmithGroup.

The best in show winners were: first place – NBBJ for their Ray Eames-inspired graphic and textural Puppy, second place – Gensler for their Fenway Frank idea, and third place – CBT Architects for their Dr. DogFish design. The over 200 guests each placed a vote for their favorite concept, and the People’s Choice winner was PCA for their Slinky Dog.

All of the Magis Puppies will live at the Boston Children’s Hospital and donations received leading up to and during the event will go to the hospital’s arts program.

This Magis Puppy event, hosted in various cities throughout the US, is a way to bring the A&D community together for fun, creativity, and a cause. The participants give a lot of thought and imagination to their themes.

For example, the winning concept from NBBJ borrowed from a classic Ray Eames graphic pattern, one she said was inspired by “The Toy.” The vivid color and organic texture encapsulate the playful spirit of Eero Aarnio and his Puppy and created an un-solicited collaboration between Eames and Aarnio, synthesizing two of the great design partnerships of Herman Miller and Magis into one piece. Their Puppy took on the playful geometric pattern that serves to enrich the tactile delight of the Eames sculpture/seat, reinforcing the relationship to the ‘pet’ and encouraging everyone to touch and feel it.

Meanwhile, CBT Architects’ Dr. DogFish took inspiration from the Children’s Hospital. Their expression of the Magis Puppy created a literal “fish out of water,” a dog disguised as an iconic Surgeonfish. These fish are small scaled, with a single dorsal fin, slender spines, and, according to CBT, an “excellent dog-bedside manner.”

Photo credit Creative Office Pavilion
Photo credit Creative Office Pavilion

Herman Miller is the exclusive distributor of Italian brand Magis in North America and more information can be found here: