Folly/Function 2017: Frequently Asked Questions

This page will continue to be updated throughout the duration of the call for proposals. Please check back periodically for updated information.

Click here to return to the Folly/Function 2017 Call for Proposals.
Click here to return to the Folly/Function 2017 Information Session.

VIEW A VIDEO OF THE FUNCTION/FOLLY INFO SESSION
On December 6, 2016, the League hosted an information session for the Folly/Function 2017 competition including John Hatfield, Executive Director at Socrates, who discussed the park’s history, studio residency, resources, and how the demountable structures will be used within the park. Anne Rieselbach, Program Director at the League, outlined the competition and selection process. Folly 2016 winners Josh de Sousa and Nancy Hou discussed their experience working within the park, its resources, and their experience designing a functional folly. There will be additional time for questions.

RECENTLY ADDED
In terms of engineering and the structural feasibility of the project, what should be included in the application? At what point during the process is the engineering expertise turned over to Socrates?
Should the structure have some sort of horizontal surface that can be used as a table?
For what part of the day will the structures typically be used?
How many man-hours should the winner expect to invest in erecting the structures?
How should the structures be secured?
Where will the structures be stored?
Are there any size requirements for the structures?
Should the structures include some sort of walling element?
Will the structures be reused after one season?
Does the fabrication process have a time limit?
Is it Socrates’ intention to use these structures throughout the entire site?
When Socrates hosts film screenings during the summer, how is the screen elected?
Do all four structures need to be identical? Should there be some sort of visual connection between them? Will they all be up at the same time?
How will the structures be transported throughout the park? Will they be driven or carried?
What aspect of the current tents is breaking mid-way through the summer?

GENERAL
How frequently will the structures be assembled and disassembled?
Are there specific conditions under which the structures will be stored when disassembled (i.e. space limitations for the disassembled structures)?
Are there specific requirements or restrictions as to how the structures can/should be attached to the ground?
What are the requirements or restrictions on the dimensions of each structure when in use?
Does ‘portability’ only apply to the structures in their disassembled state?
Can, or should, the proposal consist of four copies of the same structure?
Does Socrates intend to replicate the tent structure and fabricate more tents in the future? (i.e. should the design be easy to reproduce)?
Are there material restrictions for the tents?
Who owns the rights to the winner’s design?
How exactly will the structures be used? What are the reasons you want to create new structures, and in which ways are the ones you’ve been using until now not meeting your needs?
Can teams apply?
Can non-New York residents apply? Can non-US citizens apply?
Are travel funds provided to recipients from outside of the New York area?
Can I submit more than one proposal?
Is there additional funding?
What are the expectations and limitations for the proposals?
For how long will the winning entry be used?

SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK
Does the site change from year to year?
What assistance does Socrates provide?
What are the Studio facilities?
What tools and equipment does Socrates provide?
How safe must the folly be? Can the folly be an enclosed structure?
How many people can I have working on the site?
Is there parking near the site?
Can I have materials delivered to the site?
Does Socrates have any building materials that could be used to create the new structures?
How late may I work onsite?
Can I alter my design if I win the competition?

THE ARCHITECTURAL LEAGUE OF NEW YORK
What support does The Architectural League provide?
Will The Architectural League publicize the folly?
Will The Architectural League select runners-up?

RECENTLY ADDED
In terms of engineering and the structural feasibility of the project, what should be included in the application? At what point during the process is the engineering expertise turned over to Socrates?
You should approach your project with some engineering sensibility, in that your proposal should appear to be structurally feasible. There is no requirement to consult with engineers prior to being selected, but there will be an engineer on the jury and structural feasibility will be considered. After being selected, you will have the opportunity to consult with specialists to ensure that your structure can stand.

Should the structure have some sort of horizontal surface that can be used as a table?
Not necessarily. Socrates has several fold-out tables that can be used for events, so there will be no penalty for not providing a table-like surface.

For what part of the day will the structures typically be used?
It depends quite a bit. For some events, the structures will be used for the entire day from 8am until closing. For certain special events, such as summer film screenings, the structures will be used from around 4pm until after midnight. Occasionally, Socrates has left tents out overnight if there is a late afternoon event one day and an early morning event the next.

How many man-hours should the winner expect to invest in erecting the structures?
It varies from year to year. Winners often complete some pre-fabricated work off-site before bringing structures to the site, but it entirely depends on the scope of your project and its complexity. There will likely be volunteers available to help with any initial construction.

How should the structures be secured?
Socrates Sculpture Park is built on landfill, so it will not be possible to drive large stakes into the ground in order to secure a structure. We recommend that proposals do not rely on this method for stability.

Where will the structures be stored?
Socrates uses on-site shipping containers for most of its storage needs. One of those containers is dedicated to materials for events, but Socrates will not be able to dedicate an entire storage container to the structures alone.

Are there any size requirements for the structures?
The tents currently in use are about 8ft. square in footprint and 7ft. in height, which are roughly the minimum dimensions needed for each structure. Generally speaking, someone should be able to sit, stand, and move around in the structure.

Should the structures include some sort of walling element?
Not necessarily. The tents currently in use have no walls. If participants do decide to incorporate walls of some sort, they should keep in mind that wind conditions at the site might make it more difficult to stabilize a walled structure.

Will the structures be reused after one season?
Socrates Sculpture Park would like to be able to use the structures for more than one season, so some level of durability should be incorporated into the design.

1) Does the fabrication process have a time limit?
The winning entry will be announced in late February, and the structures will first be needed in early May, so the winner will have just over two months to complete the structures. Time for assembly and disassembly should be kept to a strict 15-minute limit.

Is it Socrates’ intention to use these structures throughout the entire site?
The tents are deployed and used throughout the park, though most events require at least one tent to be positioned at the entrance to the park.

When Socrates hosts film screenings during the summer, how is the screen erected?
The screen is inflatable and is secured using stakes. The assembly process for the screen is usually about six hours long

Do all four structures need to be identical? Should there be some sort of visual connection between them? Will they all be up at the same time?
Certain events require all four tents while others require only one. While the visual unity of the structures is at the discretion of the designer, the structures should have some autonomy. All four structures will rarely be erected in the same part of the park.

How will the structures be transported throughout the park? Will they be driven or carried?
Currently, Socrates staff members are able to carry the tents throughout the park by hand. The park does have several carts, as well as a small tractor vehicle at its disposal, but the structures should be as light and as easy to assemble as possible.

What aspect of the current tents is breaking mid-way through the summer?
There are two main issues occurring with the current tents. The first issue is that the two-part aluminum tubes that form the tents’ leg support often bend and dent—which then prevents them from telescoping in and out. The legs get stuck and then they are unable to extend to their fullest height. Another common problem is that the system for locking the two parts of the aluminum legs together often fails—the system is a small button supported by a spring that pushes into a notch. The spring often breaks and then Socrates is unable to lock that tent into place.

GENERAL
How frequently will the structures be assembled and disassembled?
The structures will be assembled and disassembled 3 times a week on average.

Are there specific conditions under which the structures will be stored when disassembled (i.e. space limitations for the disassembled structures)?
The structures will be stored in a shipping container with other equipment. All four disassembled should fit into a space of no more than 8 x 8 x 10 feet.

Are there specific requirements or restrictions as to how the structures can/should be attached to the ground?
Other than not staking into the ground, there are not specific requirements as how the structures should be attached to the ground. Keep in mind that structures should be able to be sited in multiple locations throughout the park and must comply with Socrates Sculpture Park’s judgment about safety.

What are the requirements or restrictions on the dimensions of each structure when in use?
When Open:
Minimum dims in plan: 8′ x 8′
Minimum height: 7′

Maximum dims plan: 12′ x 12′
Maximum dims height: 12′

Does ‘portability’ only apply to the structures in their disassembled state?
Yes.

Can, or should, the proposal consist of four copies of the same structure?
It can, but does not necessarily have to. However, SSP will consider visual unity of the tents.

Does Socrates intend to replicate the tent structure and fabricate more tents in the future? (i.e. should the design be easy to reproduce)?
Currently SSP does not have plans to replicate the tent structure. However, we encourage applicants to think creatively about all possible functionalities of their proposal.

Are there material restrictions for the tents?
The roof should be waterproof. Other than its functionality, budgeting, and safety, there are no other material restrictions.

Who owns the rights to the winner’s design?
The designers retain the copyrights of their design. SSP reserves the right to reproduce images of the design and produced tents.

How exactly will the structures be used? What are the reasons you want to create new structures, and in which ways are the ones you’ve been using until now not meeting your needs?
The tents are used throughout the park primarily for SSP’s programmatic partners and staff. Shade from sun and shelter from light rain are the primary functions in addition to way-finding, park identity, and information.

The current tents are not meeting our needs of sustaining the entire 8 month season. They have been breaking mid-way through. Additionally, they are visually uninteresting.

Can teams apply?
Yes. Teams may apply. Please note that regardless of the number of team members, there is only a single production grant of $8,000.

Can non-New York residents apply? Can non-US citizens apply?
The competition is open to all architects and designers.

Are travel funds provided to recipients from outside of the New York area?
There are no funds available for travel or accommodations. Recipients who reside outside of the New York-metro area will be expected to provide their own travel and accommodations for the two-month residency.

Can I submit more than one proposal?
No. Individuals may only submit one proposal, either alone or as part of a team.

Is there additional funding?
Neither Socrates Sculpture Park nor The Architectural League provides additional funding.

What are the expectations and limitations for the proposals?
We are interested in many types of “functional follies” and design practices, which can include prefabrication, entire fabrication on site, or a combination of the two.

For how long will the winning entry be used?
We hope the anticipated life span of each tent will be three seasons. Each season is eight months long.

SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK
Does the site change from year to year?
The site for the Folly / Function Program has changed annually to reflect Socrates Sculpture Park’s exhibition programming. To download a site plan, click here. This year, the competition will focus on no specific area of the park and the proposal should be versatile and able to be used on a variety of sites.

What assistance does Socrates provide?
Socrates Sculpture Park’s Studio Manager will work with the winner to fully understand the demands and challenges of the folly construction timeline, maintenance and durability. It is up to the winner to secure materials, labor, construction, and other logistics, all within the allocated funding.

What are the Studio facilities?
The Socrates studio is a completely outdoor space, open to the view of the public. There is a small private space for meetings and laptop use. Some storage space is provided. There is electrical and water access. The Socrates Studios are shared spaces among Folly / Function winners, Socrates installation and grounds crew, and education workshop staff. The Emerging Artist Residency begins May 1, after the conclusion of the Folly / Function residency.

What tools and equipment does Socrates provide?
The studio has many tools on site (such as welding and woodshop equipment) and Socrates staff will orient and train the winner on the best use of the studio and its tools during the residency and on-site installation. Please click here to download a complete list of available equipment.

How safe must the folly be? Can the folly be an enclosed structure?
The tent structure must be able to withstand the wear and tear of extreme weather exposure (heavy rain, extreme heat, freezing cold, snow) and heavy public interaction. Socrates staff will work closely with the winning applicant to make any necessary structural modifications, suggestions, or additions.

For safety reasons, we will not select any proposal that enables the public to climb to unsafe heights, access hidden or enclosed spaces, or encounter sharp or otherwise hazardous protrusions. Socrates staff will require design modifications to any questionable design feature that poses a potential hazard to the general public.

How many people can I have working on the site?
As many as needed. We encourage winners to have as many helpers as desired.

Is there parking near the site?
Yes, there is street parking along Vernon Boulevard.

Can I have materials delivered to the site?
Yes, deliveries will be received during regular Socrates office hours, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We ask winners to please be available on site for any larger material deliveries, such as lumber or masonry, as Socrates Staff will not be able to negotiate the placement of these deliveries without the artists.

Does Socrates have any building materials that could be used to create the new structures?
Socrates has a stock of previously used materials that Folly / Function designers are welcome to use. However, this stock is limited. Some overstock hardware is also available.

How late may I work onsite?
The park is open from 10 a.m. until sunset every day. Folly winners may work in the studio throughout that time, and special arrangements can be discussed if additional time is needed.

Can I alter my design if I win the competition?
After winning the competition, the winners will work closely with Socrates Sculpture Park’s staff and site managers to understand the demands of the winning proposal and discuss possible issues with construction, materials, schedules and siting that may affect the final design.

THE ARCHITECTURAL LEAGUE OF NEW YORK
What support does The Architectural League provide?
The Architectural League oversees the juried competition. However, after the selection process, Socrates Sculpture Park takes over responsibility for working with the winners.

Will The Architectural League publicize the folly?
Yes, the League will publicize the project online and will compose a post-installation text, which may include an interview, with the possibility of a print and web release.

Will The Architectural League select runners-up?
Yes, the League will select finalists and notable entries, which may also include the possibility of publication in print and web material.