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Is Your Idea the Next Big Thing in Design?

GRAY's Hot New Next design competition opens.

GRAY magazine's Hot New Next design competition logo


HOT NEW NEXT is a dynamic competition celebrating the innovative ideas moving Pacific Northwest design forward. This Shark Tank-style program will offer contestants in each city the chance to present a rapid-fire pitch of a compelling new design-related concept or product to an expert panel and live audience.

Judges (and the audience) will vote, and regional winners will be featured in GRAY magazine, receive off-site mentorship by our judges, and advance to the championship round—held on the GRAY Stage at IDS Vancouver—to compete for a cash prize and the designation of truly being the next big thing in Pacific Northwest design.

​Whether your idea is brand new,  or a clever update to an existing product, all design disciplines are welcome—from architecture and furniture to interiors, fashion, tech, and beyond.

Produced by GRAY in partnership with Chown Hardware and Design Within Reach


Submissions are closed at this time. Check back for news and updates regarding future events.



Portland, Oregon, April 16

5:30-8pm at Design Within Reach

purchase tickets via Design Week Portland Vancouver, British Columbia, May 9

Venue TBA Seattle, Washington, June 14

5:30-8pm at Hotel Max

Email us at with questions.




Amy Golden, Marketing and Messaging Pro

Amy is the co-owner of Paxson Fay, a Seattle-based marketing and communications firm specializing in architecture, design, and art. After five years of working in advertising in New York and Los Angeles, Golden returned to her hometown of Seattle in 2015 and launched Paxson Fay with co-owner, Tessa Andrews, and serves clients in the architecture and design industry across the country.



Kim Kovel, Design & Innovation Pro

​Before her current top-secret role as Nike’s Sr. Material and Color Innovator, Kovel helped craft Nike’s creative vision as the Global Color Design Director for footwear. Kovel’s broad career experience, from launching her own snowboard apparel brand and collaborating with brands such as Adidas-Salomon, Fila, Patagonia, and Moncler makes her visionary in product and branding world-class.



Linda Lowry, Business & Angel Investing Pro

Lowry has 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurship experience providing strategic marketing, sales relationship consultation, and tactical business development in the technology, creative arts, and life sciences sectors. In addition to her experience as an investor and with VC organizations, Lowry’s professional career has included Nordstrom, Enterprise (Ride Share Division), and Pitney Bowes, plus her own start-up projects Just4Fund, Cin’atra Vodka, Tiger Mountain IT, and DSA Solutions.



Jeffrey Valles, Sales & Merchandising Pro

Jeffrey W. Valles is a seasoned marketing and sales executive with five decades of experience in merchandising, manufacturing, and a variety of business models. Formerly of Phylrich and Forte, Valles now leads Chown Hardware’s decorative hardware, plumbing, and lighting showrooms in Oregon and Washington.







Chown is the oldest family-owned architectural hardware company in North America and, after five generations, is still committed to exercising its knowledge of an always-evolving industry. Chown is passionate about curating the best luxury products from around the world to bring home to the Pacific Northwest’s community of designers and consumers.



Design Within Reach is a modern furniture company, known for introducing great design to the public. It has built a reputation on educating the consumer about design classics and 20th-century greats, and in the nearly 20 years since its founding has become a destination for new designs and designers that carry on the spirit and ideals of the icons of modern design. The company sells its furniture and accessories to residential and commercial customers through retail Studios in North America, online, by phone at 1.800.944.2233, and through the DWR Contract division.


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