Register: JAN/08/2018, Submit: JAN/08/2018, Eligibility: Architects, designers; individually, firms, Fee: Free, Awards: Winner 6,000 USD (production grant)
Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League invite emerging designers and architects to help shape the physical setting in which the Park fulfills its role as a venue for art, creative expression, public programming, and education. Socrates Sculpture Park, located in Long Island City, Queens, is one of the most distinct cultural organizations in the country with its combination of waterfront setting, accessibility, and community-based programming. As a venue for the presentation of public art, a New York City park, and an active social space, Socrates harnesses the power of creative minds to transform the urban landscape.
In earlier years the design-build competition investigated the intersection between sculpture and architecture with temporary structures that intentionally served no utilitarian purpose. More recently the competition has shifted emphasis, asking entrants to fuse form with utility by proposing designs that explore the intersection of art and architecture while also addressing and improving the conditions of the Park. Continuing this trend, the 2018 competition asks architects and designers to design and fabricate public seating for the Park; specifically, this call is for movable single or double outdoor seating for at least 25 people.
The seating should be easily movable by park visitors and staff, but solid enough that visitors are discouraged from removing it from the Park. To allow for efficient storage, entrants should consider structures that can be disassembled seasonally. The seating should also have a unique and cohesive identity that distinguishes it from the surrounding art installations or typical Parks Department designs. The outdoor seats should last at least three seasons (2018-2020) and should be weather-resistant. These criteria, in addition to a realistic project budget, will be strictly applied when reviewing submissions. A submission will not be selected if this project, in the judgment of the jury, does not convincingly demonstrate this capability.
The project is not confined to a single site within the Park. Instead, entrants should design movable structures adaptable for multiple locations, which will include areas adjacent to the Park entrance, to its education area, and throughout the landscape. Please consider the uneven terrain of the Park.
Before developing their submissions, applicants are encouraged to visit Socrates, a unique waterfront park located in an industrial area of Long Island City, Queens, and to explore the Park’s website to learn about the history and context of the Folly program. A competitive proposal will address the site’s rugged, urban outdoor environment. Please be aware that the winning proposal is subject to final approval by Socrates and League staff, and must meet safety and technical requirements to be able to withstand the effects of weather and public use.
BUDGET AND INSTALLATION
One project will be chosen. The recipient will receive a total $6,000 production grant to realize the proposed project for single or double outdoor seating that accommodates at least 25 people. All aspects, including design, materials, delivery, labor, and initial installation of the seating structures must be within the $6,000 budget included in your submission. Socrates Sculpture Park has facilities and equipment that can be utilized in the fabrication, assembly, and installation of the project and the recipient will have full access to these resources during a two-month period at the Park, beginning in March 2018. The initial public use of the structures will be in June 2018. The project will be documented with a digital feature on archleague.org.
ABOUT SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK
Socrates Sculpture Park has been a model of public art production, community activism, and socially inspired place-making for more than 30 years. Known for fostering experimental and visionary artworks, Socrates has exhibited more than 1,000 artists on its five waterfront acres, providing them the financial support, materials, equipment, and space necessary to create large-scale works in the public realm. Open 365 days a year from dawn till dusk, the park is an epicenter of cultural programming, as a producer of contemporary exhibitions, a presenter of a multi-disciplinary performance series, and an educator of more than 10,000 children and teens each year – all free.