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The “Happiness Plate” Design Challenge

People who adore antique stick pins, touristy shot glasses and magnets – I’ve never understood their motivation. Then, one day, my mother presented me with a set of vintage butter pat dishes hand-painted with birds. I didn’t know I lacked butter pat dishes, but they delighted me and ignited an appreciation for lovely, unique dishes of all sorts.

Designer plates

Now my collection includes lots of tiny plates, Asian prints, hand-painted squares and a self-imposed, though likely temporary, ban on further acquisitions. Oh! But I really want this fun, vibrant dish, so beautifully designed and colorful, the bubbles just inviting guests to become high-spirited and the best kind of silly they can be. Look at that pensive little inky guy making his own atmosphere brighter.

Designer plates

These awesome plates were all entries for “Happiness: The Tribute 21 Plate Challenge.” Sponsored by DESIGN 21: Social Design Network, the contest invited submissions inspired by the theme, “happiness in harmony with our surroundings.”

Designer plate

I love this one, too by designer Jeong Seok Oh, as well as his wholesome entry comment: “To see the naked body may develop more loyalty to each other and make happiness and sense of kinship.”

Designer plates

“Happy Forest” by Giorgio Cattano, one of the Judges’ Picks

The lucky and talented winners received $1,000, which they may keep or donate to UNESCO/Tribute 21 DREAM Center Fund or another charity of their choice. They also received 10 plates featuring their design and 500 Felissimo colored pencils to keep them working!

Designer plates

Honorable mention “Happy Harmony” by Bonnie Jordan, with its sea creatures, land animals, winged beauties, plants, and even humble humans, nails the competition’s theme more literally, especially the part in the rules stating the plates should communicate “a wish, inspiration or message for children and future generations…”

I can guarantee you that my happiness in harmony with my surroundings would be greatly increased if I had any of these beauties in my collection.

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