The 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville  | Courtesy of 21c

Whether you’re a leisure traveler or someone who travels a lot for work, everyone can agree that your hotel room can make or break your trip.

But what cutting-edge updates have been made to hotel rooms lately? USB plugs to charge your phones. Keurig coffee makers. If you’re lucky, a smart TV.

21c Museum Hotels and GE Appliances’ FirstBuild want to change that. Together they have kicked off “the hotel room of the future” design challenge. They are calling on designers, makers, engineers and other creatives to submit functional, forward-looking designs for the ultimate hotel room, including at least three innovative appliances either of their own design or from the FirstBuild community.

“At FirstBuild we create next-generation appliances by collaborating with our online and local community. Working with 21c Museum Hotels on this design challenge provides a unique opportunity for community members to look beyond the home to create for a hotel stay,” said Larry Portaro, director at FirstBuild, in a news release.

The partners urge contestants to think beyond appliances and dream big. While your designs may include radical new ways to cook in your hotel room, consider entertainment, lighting, cleaning, air and water conditioning and more.

Interested designers can come to an event at the 21c Museum Hotel Louisville on Tuesday, March 21, from 5 to 7 p.m., to meet with experts from FirstBuild and 21c and view one of 21c’s rooms. Entries will be accepted at through April 2.

Winners will be announced mid-April. FirstBuild and 21c hope to install the winning designs into a guest room in the future.

Winners will be determined by both community voting and a panel of judges including 21c Museum Hotels founder and CEO Steve Wilson; FirstBuild Director Larry Portato; principal for design firm Deborah Berke Partners Terrence Schroeder and Louisville Metro Chief of Civic Innovation Grace Simrall.

Prizes include a cash prize up to $2,500, a 21c Museum Hotel experience at any of the group’s six museum hotels, the opportunity to visit the FirstBuild microfactory and selection of FirstBuild’s products.

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