Website Sponsor:

Million Dollar Pool Design Challenge

Million Dollar Pool Design Challenge logo

The clients and their long list of requirements are fictitious but the site, and the contest, are real. Designers are invited to enter the contest and design the ultimate outdoor oasis with a million-dollar budget. 

Five finalists, including one student, will be selected to receive a trip to PSP/Deck Expo 2023, where their renderings will be presented to their peers. Voting is to be held live during the presentation, and the top four winning designers will receive a cash prize. The deadline to apply is September 21, 2023.

For the second year, designers can win a top prize of $10,000 thanks to Lead Sponsor, Riverflow® Pumps by Current Systems.

Lead Sponsor

The Scenario

The clients are currently building their dream 'forever' home on the Intracoastal Waterway in the Miami Beach area. They have just become empty nesters after raising three kids, all in their 20s, and hope to create a home that friends and family can enjoy year-round.

The space will need to be flashy enough to entertain some of the biggest names in the Miami area while also feeling warm and inviting for their future grandkids and other family members.

The couple's favorite activities outside of the home include collecting Latin-inspired art and decor, spending time at their local country club, and taking their boat out on the Intracoastal to visit their favorite dining and shopping spots.

Aesthetics and View

Love the view of the water but wouldn't mind a little bit of privacy in their secluded areas.

Love modern design elements, fire and water, and Latin flair.


Elements to Include

The Site

  • Based in the Miami Beach area; the clients are new empty-nesters
  • Home has a ground level and lower and upper terrace
  • The space will need to be flashy enough to entertain some of the biggest names in the Miami area... 
  • ...While also feeling warm and inviting for their future grandkids and other family to enjoy

Pool & Spa

  • Swim Up Bar
  • Group Spa
  • Private Spa
  • Possible Cold Plunge or Sauna
  • Splash Pad

Furniture & Outdoor Living

  • Sun Ledge with 4+ Ledge Loungers
  • Daybeds
  • Outdoor Kitchen
  • Sunken Firepit
  • Putting Green

Elements to Include

  • Lazy River featuring Riverflow® Technology by Current Systems, Inc.
  • Dramatic Front Entry
  • Front Drive w/ Fountain
  • Glass Tile Mural
  • Acrylic Glass Element

Other Considerations

  • Normal Size Gathering of 25-30 People

How it Works

Reid Schindler, one of the industry's up and coming award-winning designers, and Mike Farley, with 30+ years designing award winning pools, are teaming up with the PSP/Deck Expo to discover the industry's top designers.

Join in on the fun with us to see! A panel will be picking 5 finalists (1 student finalist) to send to this year's event.  All finalists' presentations, as well as Mike and Reid's solutions will be demonstrated on-site at the Expo. 

Attend the Session

Five finalists will present their renderings during a live Show Floor Education Session, and the winner will be voted on. 

Million Dollar Pool Design Challenge
Tuesday, November 14 | 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Booth #3555 (Expo Stage)
Session Code: E8

Contest Rules

Three Categories - Individual - Student - Team/Company*​​

What we need from you​:

  • Scaled 2d plan, rendered with media of choice.  
  • At least 1 form of a perspective rendering. **    
  • At maximum, 5 supporting graphics rendered with media of choice.  *** 
  • A short paragraph detailing your design process and/or explanations of solution details.​

Optional items for consideration: 

  • A two minute maximum video (.mp4 or .mov format) flythrough. 
  • 3d physical model or other unique presentation support.

*Limited to 4 Individuals or Teammates
**Entries will not be judged on amount of renderings, but quality of workmanship​   and effective/unique design usage for the clients wishes.​ 
***The Designer & Company will remain anonymous to the judges until the initial judging process is completed.  Please do not have names your plans or perspective renderings.  Design & videos will be co-property of “The Million Dollar Pool Challenge” once submitted and can be distributed to electronic and print outlets.  Owner of design can also distribute design materials.​

Each category's top project automatically earns a spot in the Top 5: Individual - Student - Team. The other two spots are open and will go go next highest-rated projects, regardless of category.​

The judges panel will consist of 6 industry experts using a point based system using the following criteria:​           

1. Aesthetic Quality - Is the concept’s form pleasant to look at?           
2. Differentiation - Is the concept "fresh" & unique?    ​           
3. Functionality -Does the concept meet the criteria of the families needs?  Does it consider all elements site analysis? 
4. Realization Possibility - Is the concept buildable if the client decided to move forward with construction? ie. topographically, features, function​


The Million Dollar Pool Design Challenge finalists receives:​

  • Airfare (up to $350)
  • $150 stipend
  • 2 hotel room nights (booked by show management)
  • Complimentary Super Pass 
  • Cash Prize: $3,000 for 2nd Place; $1,250 for 3rd Place; $750 for 4th Place; $500 for 5th Place

The Million Dollar Pool Design Challenge winner receives:​

  • $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of Lead Sponsor, Riverflow® Pumps by Current Systems.
  • Airfare (up to $350)
  • $150 stipend
  • 2 hotel room nights (booked by show management)
  • Complimentary Super Pass 
  • Customized Trophy
  • Invitation to sit on the judges panel in the following year

The winner can be voted on by the attendees of a design class at the 2023 PSP/Deck Expo. After video presentations of final designs, the class will vote via ballot on the top designer. This vote will serve as a strong influence used by the judges panel to ultimately select the winner. The top four scores from judging to determine the finalists; they can be individuals or team entries.

Lead Sponsor

Young Professionals

The Million Dollar Design Challenge has partnered with the PHTA WAVE Network to sponsor a young professional (under 29 years of age at time of submission). Young professionals will be entered within the general competition and will be eligible to win multiple spots in the design competition, with one guaranteed spot.

The selected finalist's design work will be presented at this year's  PSP/Deck Expo, along with the other finalists.

If the YP is a student, they may work as an individual or do it as a group project. If you choose to enter it as a group project, you must submit it under one student name and he/she will list the others in the group. The named student will be the presenter at the class & will receive any awards and/or airfare & tickets to the show. The whole group may be in the video presentation.

See the Contest Entry Rules for submitting files and to receive contest scenario.   

The student design will be included in the class vote for the "Top Designer" award along with the other finalists. 

PHTA WAVE Young Professionals Category Winner will receive:

  • Up to $350 credit for airfare
  • Free Conference Super Pass for PSP/Deck Expo
  • Two hotel room nights (booked by show management)
  • $150 stipend
  • Design presented in "Million Dollar Pool Design Challenge" class
  • Exposure in leading industry print & digital forms

Special Thanks

The PSP/Deck Expo extends its thanks to design challenge creators, Mike Farley and Reid Schindler.

Reid Schindler

Mike Farley
Farley Designs