Folly 2013 Call for Proposals

Folly 2013: Call for Proposals

A project organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and the Architectural League
This competition is now closed. The winning entry was tree wood” by Toshihiro Oki, Jen Wood, and Jared Diganci.

Socrates Sculpture Park and the Architectural League invite architects and designers to apply for Folly, a design/build studio residency (March-May 2013) leading to an exhibition at Socrates (tentatively opening May-June 2013).

Download a PDF of this Call for Proposals.

Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Folly here.

Download a site plan indicating the location of Folly within the park here.

Socrates Sculpture Park and the Architectural League invite emerging architects and designers to apply for the opportunity to build and exhibit a full-scale project around the theme of an architectural folly. This residency was established to explore the intersections between architecture and sculpture and the increasing overlaps in references, concepts, and techniques between the two disciplines.

Socrates and the League welcome proposals for large-scale projects and installations that explore contemporary interpretations of the architectural folly. Especially popular among the Romantics of the 18th and 19th centuries, architectural follies are small-scale structures, which often have no discernible purpose and are placed within a garden or landscape as a means to draw the eye to specific points or to frame a view. A jury of architects, artists, and arts administrators will select a single project to be realized within the grounds of Socrates Sculpture Park. The recipient will receive a $5,000 production grant to fund the project, as well as 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 2013. Administrative support for additional fundraising and securing in-kind contributions, if necessary, will also be available. The completed project is tentatively scheduled to open to the public in early June 2013 with an accompanying electronic publication.

Last year, “Curtain,” a project conceived by architects Jerome W Haferd and K Brandt Knapp, was selected from 115 submissions. Their project, currently still on view at Socrates (through March 2013), combined minimal structural framing with a mutable plastic chain that bisected the landscape from multiple angles, creating a voluminous and whimsical interior space. For more information about the 2012 residency and exhibition, click here.


Socrates Sculpture Park is a unique urban waterfront Park located in Queens, NY. Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit Socrates before submitting their applications and visit Socrates’ website to learn about the history and context of the project. Applicants must take into account the site’s rugged, urban outdoor environment and be aware that installations are subject to final approval by Socrates and League staff and must meet safety requirements to be able to withstand the effects of weather and public use. Folly will be sited in the southwest waterfront park space.

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


Applicants should email the following (formatting instructions below) to no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 7, 2013.

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 should 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.

The proposal should address plans for the reuse, recycling and dispersal of all material used in the project. A preliminary budget should also be included that identifies expenses and potential additional funding sources and in-kind donations, if necessary, beyond the production grant provided.

The resume/CV should include information about your education; work and teaching experience; exhibition history (if applicable); awards, grants, and residencies; and other relevant information.

Up to ten (10) digital images of recent work. (These images are in addition to images submitted as part of the project proposal.) Projects may be built or proposed in any medium. A slide 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.

The application package should be submitted as a single PDF (8 1/2″ x 11″ page) of not more than 25 pages and 15 megabytes, emailed to no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 7, 2013. Please put the project title in the subject line of the email.

One project will be chosen. The recipient will receive a $5,000 production grant towards realizing the proposed project. The recipient will also have full access to the studio space and fabrication resources of Socrates Sculpture Park from March to May 2013 (click here for the equipment list). The finished project will go on view in Socrates Sculpture Park beginning in June 2013.

Architects and related designers are invited to apply. Applicants do not need to be registered architects. 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-resident architects will have to make their own living and travel arrangements. Full-time matriculated students are not eligible to apply.

Michael Arad
Orly Genger
John Hatfield
Granger Moorhead
Billie Tsien

Elissa Goldstone, Socrates Sculpture Park
Anne Rieselbach, The Architectural League

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.

Socrates Sculpture Park is an internationally renowned outdoor venue for presenting public art and artist residency program that also serves as a vital New York City park offering a wide variety of free public programs. Socrates Sculpture Park is the only site in the New York Metropolitan area specifically dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to create and exhibit large-scale sculpture and multi-media installations in a unique outdoor environment that encourages strong interaction between artists, artworks and the public. 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.

The Architectural League nurtures excellence in architecture, design, and urbanism. Through lectures, symposia, exhibitions, competitions, publications, and digital media, the League creates a lively independent forum for artistic and intellectual work. The League presents the projects and ideas of the world’s most interesting and influential architects and designers to New York, national and international audiences; identifies and encourages talented young architects and designers; and helps shape the future by stimulating debate and provoking thinking about the critical design and building issues of our time.

Folly is a partnership of Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York.

This program is funded in part by the J. Clawson Mills Fund of the Architectural League. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and by public funds from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Socrates Sculpture Park’s Exhibition Program is also supported by the generosity of: Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mark di Suvero, Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, Spacetime C.C.

Special thanks to the City of New York, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, City Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Peter F. Vallone Jr., and the Department of Parks & Recreation, Commissioner Veronica M. White.