Call for proposals: Folly/Function 2019

Submission deadline
Monday, January, 7, 2019
11:59 p.m. EST


Andrew Bernheimer, principal, Bernheimer Architecture
Wendy Evans Joseph, principal, Studio Joseph
John Hatfield, executive director, Socrates Sculpture Park
Toshihiro Oki, principal, Toshihiro Oki Architect
Stacie Wong, principal, Gluck+

Click here to read frequently asked questions about this year’s Folly/Function competition. Explore features on recent Folly competitions and projects here.

An information session on the Folly/Function 2019 competition will be held on Tuesday, November 27th; click here to learn more.

Download the competition poster

Call for proposals

Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League invite emerging designers and architects to help shape the physical setting in which the Park fulfills its role as a venue for art, creative expression, public 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 harnesses the power of creative minds to transform the urban landscape. (For more information about the history of the Park, see this Urban Omnibus article.)

In earlier years the design-build competition investigated the intersection between sculpture and architecture with temporary structures that intentionally served no utilitarian purpose. More recently the competition has shifted emphasis, asking entrants to fuse form with utility by proposing designs that explore the intersection of art and architecture while also addressing and improving the conditions of the Park. Continuing this approach, the 2019 competition asks architects and designers to design and fabricate an entry kiosk that will be located at the park entrance.

Socrates seeks an innovative solution for a kiosk to mark the entry to the park. Periodically staffed with two visitor service volunteers during large-scale events, the kiosk will serve as an information and visitor service hub and merchandise sales point. The kiosk should be functional and durable, with integral storage and signage, and moveable on a seasonal basis. The structure should not need foundations or tethering, but it should be stable enough to resist adverse weather conditions.

The project needs to fulfill the following requirements:

  • A maximum 8’x8’ footprint and 12’ height
  • Must be capable of either being forklifted into place or lifted with a boom truck, with a 2,000 lb. weight limit
  • Seating (not standing) for two people to greet and be seen
  • Exterior display and dispensing of printed brochure materials and exterior informational signage
  • Possible interior and exterior lighting, ideally solar powered. Kiosk will NOT have electrical connection
  • Lockable storage shelving for donation box (this could also be integrated externally with design) / t-shirt bins / inventory. Approx. need 36”H x 72”W x 18”D
  • Easily secured and lockable
  • Durable construction to ensure a 4-year lifespan
  • Align with or complement aesthetics of the organization and site

These criteria, in addition to a realistic project budget and timetable, will be strictly applied when reviewing submissions. A submission will not be selected if this project, in the judgment of the jury, does not convincingly meet these criteria.


The kiosk will be located seasonally inside the park immediately adjacent to the south or north side of the entry gate. Future construction of a permanent park structure will necessitate resituating the kiosk. Possible future locations include inside the northern gate entrance or another site to be specified at a later date. The kiosk will be the property of Socrates Sculpture Park and utilized at its sole discretion.

The project must respond to, and be consistent with, current infrastructure within the park and fit within a budget of $12,000. 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.

Before developing their submissions, applicants are encouraged to visit Socrates, a unique waterfront park located in an industrial area of Long Island City, Queens, and to explore the Park’s website to learn about the history and context of the Folly program. 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.

Download this PDF to view the site plan, photos of the park, and a list of available equipment.

Award and installation

One project will be chosen. The recipient will receive a total $12,000 production grant to realize the proposed project for the kiosk. All aspects, including honoraria, design, materials, delivery, labor, and initial installation of the kiosk, must be within the $12,000 budget included in your submission. Socrates Sculpture Park has facilities and equipment that can be utilized in the fabrication, assembly, and installation of the project; download the PDF above to see the full list. The recipient will have full access to these resources during a two-month period at the Park, beginning in March 2019. The initial public use of the structures will be in early June 2019.

The project will be documented with a digital feature on Read about previous Folly/Function projects.


Emerging architects and designers are invited to apply. Applications will be accepted from individuals and firms; entrants need not be licensed 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-residents will have to make their own living and travel arrangements. Students are not eligible to apply.

Please note that this is a hands-on opportunity and the winner will be responsible for the design and production of the kiosk. Fabrication can take place in the Park’s outdoor studio facilities, off-site, or both.

Submission requirements and process

The Folly/Function selection process is competitive. A jury of architects and art professionals will select a single project to be realized within the grounds of Socrates Sculpture Park.

In addition to completing an online form, applicants are asked to submit two 8.5″ x 11″ PDF files, a Project Proposal and Project Preview Slides. File names must follow this convention:

  • Project Proposal: “Lead Contact Last Name”_”Project Name”_Proposal.pdf
  • Project Preview Slides: “Lead Contact Last Name”_”Project Name”_PreviewSlides.pdf

These files must be formatted as detailed below and submitted via this Formstack form no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, January 7, 2019.

Must be presented on no more than 25 singled-sided pages totaling no more than 15 megabytes. Please submit as one PDF file:

    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/Function. 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 Park and the Folly/Function competition 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 $12,000 production grant, which should cover the total cost for labor, materials, fabrication, and installation. A timetable detailing the project schedule should also be included. 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; exhibition history; awards, grants, and residencies; and other relevant information. Provide the names, affiliations, 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 any renderings/sketches submitted as part of the project proposal.) Recent works may be built or proposed in any medium. Please note that the jury is particularly interested in past design-build projects, and previous experience will be a determining factor. 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.

Must be presented on two slides only, totaling no more than 5 megabytes. Please submit as one PDF file:

    Same cover sheet as above.
    Select up to two key images of your proposal and submit on one slide.



Applicants may email questions to All questions and answers will be posted on and Please read through the FAQs before submitting questions.

Project directors

Jess Wilcox, director of exhibitions, 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 more than 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.


Folly/Function, a partnership of Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York, is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.