Call for Proposals: Folly/Function 2016

Call for Proposals: Folly/Function 2016



Call for Proposals: Folly/Function 2016

A project organized by The Architectural League and Socrates Sculpture Park

Submission Deadline
Monday, January 25, 2016
11:59 p.m. EST

Jarrod Beck, artist and 2012 Emerging Artist Fellow
Stella Betts, LEVENBETTS
Lauren Crahan, Freecell Architecture
John Hatfield, Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park
Giuseppe Lignano, LOT-EK

Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Folly and explore features on the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Folly program. An information session on the Folly 2016 competition will also be held on December 10th; click here to read about this upcoming event.

Click to download a competition PDF

Call for Proposals
Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League invite designers and architects to help shape the physical setting in which the park fulfills its mission as a unique environment for art, creative expression, social programming, and education.

Socrates Sculpture Park, located in Long Island City, Queens, is one of the most distinctive 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 has for 30 years harnessed the power of creative minds to transform the urban landscape.

In previous years the Folly program investigated the intersection between sculpture and architecture with temporary structures that intentionally served no utilitarian purpose. This year, marking the program’s fifth anniversary and the park’s 30th Anniversary, the competition instead asks entrants to fuse form with utility, creating designs that explore the intersection of art and architecture while durably addressing and improving the conditions of the park.

The site for this year’s Folly program is focused on the “education corridor” along the southwest edge of the park, comprised of a covered open-air and tented education workspace that is fronted by greenspace and a concrete road barrier. To read about the annual education programs and review images of the area in use, visit Socrates Sculpture Park’s education webpage here, and review Socrates’ annual calendar of events, here.

Entrants should propose designs / improvements for specific elements within the education area, specifically addressing at least one of the following challenges:

  • Design / improve and build a new covering for the open-air education workspace. This covering system protects workshop participants from inclement weather and extreme heat in the summer.
  • Design / green-scape and build a barrier to separate the entry driveway from the education corridor. This structural barrier system should incorporate soft-scaping that can be perennial or adjusted seasonally.
  • Design and build small-scale yet visually explicit systems for the education area, which could include a solar lighting system, a small greenhouse for educational programs, a rainwater catch basin system for irrigation, or other such elements.

The project must respond to, and be consistent with, current infrastructure within the park and fit within a budget of $10,000. Adaptive reuse of existing conditions, structure, or materials can be a consideration. The park has facilities and equipment that can be utilized in the fabrication, assembly, and installation of the project.

For an updated education corridor dimension diagram, click here.

To download a site plan and photos indicating the location of the education corridor within the park, click here.

To download a survey plan, click here.

To see images for this year’s site, click here.

To download a complete list of available equipment, 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 total $10,000 production grant to realize the proposed project. All aspects including design, materials, delivery, labor, and installation must be within the $10,000 budget. 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 May 2016. The completed project is tentatively scheduled to open to the public in July 2016. The project will be documented with a digital catalog.

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; entrants 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 2015, we received nearly 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. EST on Monday, January 25, 2015.

    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.
    Submit a project proposal of up to 1,000 words that clearly describes the project and its relationship to the theme of the architectural folly and function AND offers a description of how the project fits within the financial parameters. A preliminary budget should be included that identifies expenses and demonstrates feasibility within the $10,000 production grant, and applicants are strongly encouraged to include renderings and sketches of the proposed 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. EST on January 25, 2016. 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
Exhibition Director, Socrates Sculpture Park
Anne Rieselbach, Program Director, The Architectural League of New York

About Socrates Sculpture Park
Socrates Sculpture Park has been a model of public art production, community activism, and socially inspired place-making for 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. 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, a partnership of Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York, is made possible through a generous grant from the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

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.

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. Special thanks 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.


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