The Somfy Photography Award is a way for Somfy to emphasise the contribution it makes to people’s comfort and well-being in non-residential buildings such as schools, universities, hospitals, offices, airports, and railway stations, and to do this in a perceptive and insightful, inspiring and creative way.
The theme of the Somfy Photography Award 2020 is Gimme shelter. The Somfy Group makes use of invisible technology to ensure the well-being and comfort of building users. Somfy also ensures that these buildings use energy sustainably. Comfort, well-being and sustainability are the three most important qualities that Somfy realises in buildings. They are The Art of Somfy and the most important of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Gimme shelter is an overarching, all-embracing fundamental need for people and animals. It means protection, shelter, safety and comfort. Gimme shelter is manifested not only in buildings, schools, hospitals, factories and offices, in mansions and flats, but also in the cardboard box of the homeless person, the embrace of lovers, the mother who cherishes her child.
A selection committee of international photography experts will assess all of the submissions and project proposals to narrow the field down to a shortlist of nine finalists. These finalists will have the opportunity to develop new work on the theme. The works produced will be exhibited in the Van Nelle Factory (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in Rotterdam.
Frits Gierstberg (Nederlands Fotomuseum) is a curator and the chair of the selection committee and jury. The other jury and selection committee members will also be renowned photographers and photography specialists.
After hanging, the work will be assessed by a jury of internationally renowned photography professionals. The winner will be presented with a €15,000 cash prize and the runner-up will receive €5,000. These prizes will be awarded during the private view at the Van Nelle factory.
All shortlisted photographers will be given €2,000 to cover production expenses. Somfy will cover the costs of presenting the photographs for exhibition, for example printing, enlarging and framing costs.