Folly 2013: Themes

Selections of project proposals best exemplifying some of the major themes arising from the Folly 2013 competition.

Throughout their review, the Folly jury identified some dominant themes in the application pool. “Wander,” “Assemble,” “Frame,” “Play,” and “Make” were chosen as terms flexible and generous enough to evoke these five organizing principles. A selection of entries best exemplifying the themes are represented here. These groupings are not meant to be deterministic or reductive: rather, they attempt to identify and contextualize the dominant aspects of each submission.


Random and non-linear movement is encouraged through open forms, reflective surfaces, and shifting perspectives.

Drawing viewers into a concentrated core, these spaces generate opportunities for being together and collective reflection.


New perspectives are revealed, juxtaposed, and augmented through re-contextualized sight lines. The activity and purpose of observation takes many different forms: from passive recreation, to curious evaluation, and social critique.

A space for play, these follies provide an active landscape of feature that encourages engagement with a welcoming – or risky – public interaction.


These projects explore and subvert the tectonics and process of structure and making.

“Folly” is a competition co-sponsored by the Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park that invites emerging architects and designers to propose contemporary interpretations of the architectural folly, traditionally a fanciful, small-scale building or pavilion sited in a garden or landscape to frame a view or serve as a conversation piece. “Folly” was established by Socrates, in partnership with the League, to explore the intersections between architecture and sculpture and the increasing overlaps in references, materials, and building techniques between the two disciplines. Now in its second year, Folly attracted over 150 submissions in 2013.