Call for Proposals: Folly 2015


Call for Proposals: Folly 2015
A project organized by The Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park

This competition is now closed. The winning entry, “Torqueing Spheres” by Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim, will open to the public on May 17, 2015.

Submission Deadline
Monday, January 12, 2015 11:59 p.m.

David Benjamin, The Living
Leslie Gill, Leslie Gill Architect
John Hatfield, Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park
Sheila Kennedy, Kennedy & Violich Architecture
Alyson Shotz, Artist

Click to download a competition PDF

Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Folly and explore features on the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Folly program. An information session on the Folly 2015 competition will also be held on December 10th; click here to read about this upcoming event.

Call for Proposals
The Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park invite emerging architects and designers to submit proposals for Folly, an annual design/build studio program during March and April 2015 leading to a public exhibition at Socrates opening in early May 2015.

This program was established in 2011 to explore the intersections and divergences between architecture and sculpture through the framework of an architectural folly. The program includes the design, realization, and exhibition of a public work, including a two-month on-site studio residency. Now in its fourth year, the program seeks to more deeply examine the concept of folly while continuing to challenge architects to create a fully realized public space.

The League and Socrates welcome proposals for full-scale projects and installations that thoughtfully use space, material, and/or process to create a physical experience. Folly 2015 is defined by several questions that were born from close examination of the past three years of Folly program applications and winning projects, such as:

Is it folly to pursue an ideal?

Is it folly to expect the material world to follow the conceptual world, as it is intended through renderings, models, and ultimately a built space?

Is it folly to use an economy of means?

Is it folly to contradict a pre-existing space or strive to resonate within a site?

If a folly has no utilitarian purpose, is it sculpture?

These questions are the launching points for Folly 2015. Applicants need not specifically address these questions, nor will submitted proposals be assessed in relation to these questions; however, we ask that they be considered while preparing proposals.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to develop proposals within the designated project location, as outlined in the site-plan, in the south west section of the park, which is separated from the main parkland by a stone walkway. Applicants can propose a different site within in the park, but final placement will be determined by the project team.

To download a site plan indicating the location of Folly within the park, click here.

To download a survey plan, click here.

To download a CAD file of the site, click here.

To see photos of the site, see images from Folly 2012, click here.

Applicants are encouraged to visit Socrates, a unique waterfront park located in an industrial area of Long Island City, Queens, before submitting their applications and to explore Socrates’ website to learn about the history and context of the project. 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.

Award, Residency, and Exhibition
One project will be chosen. The recipient will receive a $5,000 production grant towards realizing that proposed project. The recipient will also have full access to the resources and fabrication facilities of Socrates Sculpture Park’s outdoor studio during a two-month residency at the park, beginning in March 2015. The completed project is scheduled to open to the public in early May 2015. The project will be documented with a digital catalog. For previous catalogs, see the 2013 and 2014 Folly publications here:

Read the 2013 Folly publication here.
Read the 2014 Folly publication here.

Architects and designers are invited to apply. Applications will be accepted from individuals and firms, and architects need not be licensed. Architects and designers outside of New York City are eligible to apply, but housing and transportation are not provided as part of the award. If selected, non-residents will have to make their own living and travel arrangements. Students are not eligible to apply.

Submission Requirements and Process
The Folly selection process is competitive. In 2014, we received over 170 applications. A jury of architects, artists, and art professionals will select a single project to be realized within the grounds of Socrates Sculpture Park. Proposals must include the following components, which must be formatted as instructed below and emailed to no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 12, 2015.

    Applicant must include a cover sheet with name, mailing address, telephone number, email, project title, and a single paragraph of not more than 150 words summarizing your proposed project. Please indicate on your cover sheet whether you previously submitted a proposal for Folly. If you are applying as a team, please include the names and emails for each team member and identify one team member as the Lead Contact.
    Applicants must submit a project proposal of up to 1000 words that clearly describes the project and its relationship to the theme of the architectural folly. Applicants are encouraged to submit renderings and sketches of the proposed project. Proposals must demonstrate feasibility within the $5,000 production grant. A preliminary budget should be included that identifies expenses and offers a description of how the project fits within the financial parameters. The proposal should address plans for the dispersal of all material used in the project.
    The resume/CV should include information about your education; work and teaching experience; (if applicable) exhibition history; awards, grants, and residencies; and other relevant information. Provide the names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of two people who are familiar with your work.
    Up to seven (7) digital images of recent work. (These images are in addition to images submitted as part of the project proposal.) Recent works may be built or proposed in any medium. An image script with a numbered list that corresponds to the submitted images should also be included. For each image, include the title, date and a brief description of the work.

Application Format and Deadline
The application package should be submitted as a single PDF (8 1/2″ x 11″ page) of not more than 25 single sided pages and 15 megabytes, emailed to no later than 11:59 p.m. on January 12, 2015. Please put the project title in the subject line of the email.

Applicants may email questions to All questions and answers will be posted on The Architectural League’s and Socrates Sculpture Park’s websites. Click here to read the FAQs.

Project Directors
Elissa Goldstone, Socrates Sculpture Park
Anne Rieselbach, The Architectural League of New York

About Socrates Sculpture ParkScreen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.02.08 PM
Socrates Sculpture Park has been a model of public art production, community activism, and socially inspired place-making for over 25 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. The park’s existence is based on the belief that reclamation, revitalization and creative expression are essential to the survival, humanity and improvement of our urban environment.

Folly is a partnership of Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York. This program is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Socrates Sculpture Park’s Exhibition Program is also supported by the generosity of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Charina Endowment Fund, Mark di Suvero, Sidney E. Frank Foundation, Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation, Agnes Gund, Lambent Foundation, Ivana Mestrovic, Plant Specialists, Shelley and Donald Rubin, Spacetime C. C., and Robert and Christine Stiller.

And special thanks goes to our public partners, including the City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda R. Katz, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Commissioner Mitchell Silver, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl.