Elevator Poetry


Photo Contest 2018 submissions are a window to a colorful, thought-provoking world.

“Colorful Escalator”; photo by Rosley Majid; submitted by Titian Kencana; location: Kuala Lumpur

Elevator Poetry” is the title of one of the submissions to ELEVATOR WORLD’s Sixth Annual Photo Contest, a competition remarkable in that it broke records with its staggering number of entries — more than 250 from 22 countries — and number of online votes: close to 3,800. Also remarkable was the quality of the photographs, many of which did not place in the contest.

The selections came from all over the world: Australia, Germany, Italy, Malaysia and Spain, and from great North American cities like Chicago, Montreal and San Diego, to name a few. Some have straightforward titles, such as “Westinghouse Logo on an Elevator Door Sill.” Others are more whimsical. Case in point: “Phantom of Lizard,” an artful presentation of a moving walk, in Japan. Its description reads, “A silhouette of lizard is full of dramatic and mystery.” We know what the submitter means, of course, but English is likely not his or her first language.

Some things simply refuse to get lost in translation, however, and the enthusiasm and passion of those who entered the contest comes through loud and clear. Toronto-based elevator designer Josh Nelson described his “Elevator Poetry” entry thus: “One-of-a-kind elevator wall panels feature poetry and wordplay, providing riders a moment of relaxation.”

For another of Nelson’s entries, he included an in-depth description that could easily be a story in itself. Of “Elevator Lobby and Material Ecology,” his description reads:

“The Hermes Building is a brick-and-limestone office tower completed in 1928. Designed and built in the Art Deco era, the edifice is a beautiful example of quality craftsmanship partnered with beautiful design. Our focus was to ensure the new elevator interior only complemented the historical landmark. Utilizing both durable and natural materials provided a strong architectural unity between the structure of the building and its interior design, while minimizing maintenance.”

He goes on to provide in-depth information about the materials and components used. Nelson’s passion for elevator aesthetics no doubt serves his clients well. It also resulted in inspired images, four of which are featured here. Besides celebrating elevators (and escalators, moving walks and city skylines), the contest is also a window to the world, providing a look at other places and ways of life.

Photographers made outstanding submissions in all categories, and many are rife with feeling, such as one taken in downtown Chicago that juxtaposes glittering skyscrapers towering over the quiet humanity below in stark black and white. Rich, vibrant color in unexpected places — such as elevator shafts and public-transit escalators — also produced amazing photographs. Herewith, EW presents a few of the impressive entries that failed to make the final cut but deserve recognition nonetheless.

Enter the 2019 Photo Contest

Submissions are being accepted for next year’s contest. Go to www.elevatorworld.com/2019photocontest to share your photos with the elevator world and earn a chance to win US$250 cash or the equivalent in Elevator World, Inc. educational products or advertising.

Elevator World Associate Editor

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