Folly 2014 Call for Proposals

Folly 2014: Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals: Folly
A project organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York
This competition is now closed. The winning entry, SuralArk” by Jason Timberlake Austin and Aleksandr Mergold, will open to the public on May 11, 2014.

Submission Deadline
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 11:59 p.m.

Chris Doyle, Artist
John Hatfield, Socrates Sculpture Park
Enrique Norten, TEN Arquitectos
Lisa Switkin, James Corner Field Operations
Ada Tolla, LOT-EK

Click to download a PDF of this Call for Proposals.

Click to download a competition PDF

Download a PDF of this Call for Proposals.

Read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Folly here.

Call for Proposals
Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League invite emerging architects and designers to apply for Folly, a design/build studio residency which received millions of youtube views from March-May 2014 leading to an exhibition at Socrates opening in early May 2014.

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 structures that often have no discernible purpose and are placed within a garden or landscape. This residency was established in 2011 to explore the intersections between architecture and sculpture, and the increasing overlaps in references, concepts, and techniques between the two disciplines.

Award, Residency, and Exhibition
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 2014. The finished project will go on view in Socrates Sculpture Park beginning in early May 2014.  The project will be documented with a digital publication. For an example of previous catalogues, see the 2013 Folly publication here.

Administrative support for additional fundraising and securing in-kind contributions may also be available.

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.

Submission Requirement and Process
The Folly selection process is competitive. In 2013, we received over 160 applications. A jury of architects, artists, and arts administrators will select a single project to be realized within the grounds of Socrates Sculpture Park. In addition to exploring Socrates’ website to learn about the history and context of the project, applicants are strongly encouraged to visit Socrates, a unique waterfront park located in an industrial area of Long Island City, Queens. Applicants must take into account the site’s rugged, urban outdoor environment, and be aware that winning installations are subject to final approval by Socrates and League staff and must meet safety requirements to be able to withstand weather and public use.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to develop proposals within the designated site at the park’s southeast  corner, adjacent to the main entrance of the park, as outlined in the site plan. Proposals outside of this area of the park may interfere with Socrates already scheduled exhibition programming and may not be considered viable. No proposals will be considered if sited in the water or along the shoreline. To download a site plan indicating the location of Folly within the park, click here.

Update: for a more detailed .dwg file of the park, email

2014 Folly Site, looking west (click for more)

2014 Folly Site, looking south

2014 Folly Site, looking southeast

2014 Folly Site, looking southwest

2014 Folly Site, looking east

Proposals must include the following components, which must be formatted as instructed below and emailed to

  • Cover sheet: 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.
  • Project Proposal and Budget: Applicants must 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. 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 offers a description of how the project fits within the financial parameters.
  • Current Resume or CV: 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.
  • Digital Images and Slide Script: Up to seven digital images of recent work (these images are in addition to images submitted as part of the project proposal) may be submitted. Projects submitted as recent work 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.

Application Format and Deadline
The application package should be submitted as a single PDF (8 ½’’ x 11’’ pages) of not more than 25 pages and 15 megabytes, emailed to no later than 11:59 p.m. on January 7, 2014. 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.

For more information on the 2013 Folly, “tree wood” by architect Toshihiro Oki with Jen Wood and Jared Diganci, click here. Their project opened in May 2013 and is currently on view at Socrates through March 2014.  For information on Folly 2012, “Curtain” by architects Jerome W Haferd and K Brandt Knapp, click here.  “Curtain” was subsequently reinstalled off-site as a second iteration of the project, titled Parting.”

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

About Socrates Sculpture Park
LogoTobeFinessedSocrates 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.

Folly is a partnership of Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York with major support provided by the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

This program is also funded, in part, by the J. Clawson Mills Fund of The Architectural League and by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, 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, Lambent Foundation, Mark di Suvero, Agnes Gund, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, and 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.