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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Memorials for the Future

A design competition to reimagine how we think about, feel, and experience memorials.

Department of the Interior - National Park Service

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $45,000
Type of Challenge: Ideas
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: Van Alen Institute
Submission Start: 04/11/2016 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 05/04/2016 11:59 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here: http://future.ncpc.gov/

Description

The National Park Service (NPS), the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and Van Alen Institute are collaborating on Memorials for the Future, an ideas competition to reimagine how we think about, feel, and experience memorials with the Memorials for the Future challenge.

Memorials enshrine what we as a society want to remember. But the places, people, and stories that we memorialize, and the audiences who engage with them are constantly changing. A memorial tells its story through subject matter and design. This story is often complex and multi-dimensional, as a memorial's interpretive elements embody ideas of identity, culture, and heritage, and each has intensely personal interpretations for every individual.

As a national capital, Washington is a place of collective memory. The wealth of monuments sited throughout the city take on heightened significance as they reflect relationships among nations, of national remembrance, and of many important events and figures in our history. Often the traditional and fixed nature of memorial design does not allow for adaptation and redefinition over time and does not encourage more than one interpretation of a given narrative.

The traditional approach to developing memorials in Washington has resulted in a commemorative landscape that is thematically similar and increasingly land-intensive, which poses challenges for Washington, and has long-term implications for the potential uses of a memorial's surrounding park setting.

The planning and design process is often costly and lengthy, which limits opportunities to groups or individuals with significant resources. Current trends raise a number of questions about the future of Washington's memorial landscape and the ability to provide space and resources for future commemorative works.

Memorials for the Future calls for designers, artists, and social scientists to develop new ways to commemorate people and events that are more inclusive and flexible, and that enrich Washington's landscape while responding to the limitations of traditional commemoration. As NPS celebrates its centennial in 2016, Memorials for the Future creates new ideas for honoring our diverse histories, heritage, and culture.

The entries will be narrowed to three teams to participate in a research and design process, working closely with the competition partners to develop site-specific designs for memorials in Washington D.C. that are adaptive, ephemeral, virtual, event-focused, or interactive. The teams' proposals will advance a framework for the design of 21st-century memorials and provide future memorial sponsors with fresh approaches to commemorating their subject matter.

The goals of the competition are to create new approaches to and forms of memorializing:
  • That advance a framework for the planning and design of commemorative works in the 21st century.
  • That demonstrate how temporary, mobile, interactive or adaptive displays can provide powerful and memorable experiences that are cost-efficient.
  • That develop ways to commemorate that are inclusive of multiple narratives and have the potential to be flexible as perspectives change.
  • That Honor the scale, context and national significance of Washington, DC.

The competition results will be displayed online and at an exhibition in Washington D.C., published in an illustrated report, and will inform NPS, NCPC, and their partners on future design and policy opportunities. The deadline for registration and electronic submission of the Request for Concepts is 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 4, 2016.

PHASES

Phase I – Initial Application April 11 – May 4, 2016 Applications from multidisciplinary teams for this Request for Concepts are due May 4, 2016. (See submission requirements below for more information on applying.) Phase I will conclude on May 30, 2016, with the notification of the three teams selected to participate in the competition. Finalist teams will attend a launch event in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2016 and June 9, 2016. Teams will present their initial proposals to the competition partners, advisory committee, and any public attendees.

Phase II – Research and Design Concept June 8 – July 10, 2016 Over the course of the subsequent five weeks, teams will continue to conduct research and refine designs. Teams will participate in weekly calls with competition partners during which they will show in-progress work (via PDF sent beforehand). Teams are expected to incorporate feedback from the competition partners throughout the five-week process. For one to two days during the week of July 11, 2016, teams will reconvene for a design framework mid-review working session.

Phase III – Final Designs July 11 – August 1, 2016 Teams will have between three and four weeks to develop their final memorial proposals. During this period, teams will participate in weekly calls with competition partners and show in-progress materials via PDF. For one to two days during the week of August 1, teams will meet again for a final design presentation.

Phase IV – Exhibition Development and Installation August 1 – September 8, 2016 During the time period between the final review and exhibition launch, teams will participate in weekly calls with competition partners and show in-progress materials for the exhibition via PDF. TIMELINE

  • April 18, 2016 – Pre-registration Deadline (Encouraged but not required)
  • May 4, 2016 – Submission DeadlinE
  • Early June 2016 – Top Three Finalist Teams NotifieD
  • June 8, 2016 – Competition Launch Event
  • Mid-July, 2016 – Design Framework Working Session (Exact dates TBD)
  • Early August, 2016 – Final Presentation
  • August 8, 2016 – Final Deliverables Due
  • September 8, 2016 – Announcement of Competition Winner & Exhibition Launch

Prizes

Stipend
Cash Prize Amount: $15,000
The competition partners will select three teams to each receive $15,000 stipends to participate in a research and design process.

Stipend
Cash Prize Amount: $15,000
The competition partners will select three teams to each receive $15,000 stipends to participate in a research and design process.

Stipdend
Cash Prize Amount: $15,000
The competition partners will select three teams to each receive $15,000 stipends to participate in a research and design process.

Rules

SUBMISSION The deadline for registration and electronic submission of the Request for Concepts is 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 4, 2016. Submit your proposal electronically on the competition website with: 1. One high-resolution JPEG image to represent the team's project for promotion and publication by competition partners. 2. A single PDF document including all items listed below. The PDF should be formatted 8.5-by-11 inches in landscape orientation with a maximum file size of 10MB. Title your PDF and JPEG files with your team lead last name followed by "_MemorialsForTheFuture". Hard copies of submission materials will not be accepted. The PDF must include the following content in the order listed: Cover Sheet
  • A one (1) page cover sheet with the name of the team lead and that person's phone number and email address. Team leads will serve as the sole point of contact and liaison to the competition partners throughout Phase I of the competition.
Project Approach, Site, and Initial Concepts
  • Include a summary of no more than 500 words of the team's project approach. Teams must identify a specific site or sites, and establish a compelling argument for the commemoration of a person, issue, or narrative, its relevance, how it responds to the surrounding communities, and the viewpoint from which you plan to memorialize.
  • Include two to three different conceptual ideas relevant to commemorating this person, issue, or narrative.
  • Include a 100-word project summary for promotion and publication by competition partners.
Team Description
  • Describe your team and key team members. Each team member should have a one-paragraph bio including name, experience, and qualifications.
Previous Work
  • Include a maximum of three past projects, and if any have been realized (preferred but not required). For each project, please include the following items in a maximum of five pages total:
  • A 150-word description of the project's relevance to this proposal, innovative design and/or policy strategies, and implementation.
  • A list of participating team members, including their roles within the scope of the past project.

TEAMS
The competition is open to the public. Teams must include at least one designer (an artist, architect, landscape architect, urban designer and/or planner), and are encouraged to include members with expertise in technology, storytelling, history, commemoration, visual arts, and the social sciences. The competition partners will select three teams to each receive $15,000 stipends to participate in a research and design process.

LOCATION
The competition proposals should be based on specific places or areas in Washington D.C. Proposals may take a physical form or may be virtual. Preference will be given to teams that propose a site or sites outside of the National Mall. The following locations are suggestions reflecting typical opportunity sites for new memorials in Washington: Near the monumental core:
The Belvedere The Belvedere is located on waterfront parkland within West Potomac Park and is bounded by the Potomac River to the west, the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to the north, and the Rock Creek Parkway to the east. The Belvedere is also situated between the Kennedy Center to the north and the Lincoln Memorial to the south, providing a visual link between the two structures. The Belvedere is the historic terminus of the western end of Constitution Avenue and provides open vistas across the Potomac River to Virginia, as well as the natural environment of Rock Creek and West Potomac Parks. Within a residential area:
Randle Circle or Tenley Circle
Memorials must be integrated with community uses and goals for public plazas and open space. Implementation of new memorials within the city's residential areas must be closely coordinated with neighborhood plans prepared by local residents and elected officials.
Randle Circle is located in a residential neighborhood in Southeast Washington, D.C. Randle Circle comprises two landscaped parcels that are associated with the intersection of Massachusetts and Minnesota Avenues, SE. The entrance to Fort Dupont Park, part of the National Park System and the Civil War Defenses of Washington, is located on Randle Circle. The character of the surrounding neighborhood should be considered in any future memorial for the site.
Tenley Circle is located in a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood setting and is within walking distance of the Tenleytown-American University Metro station. Tenley Circle comprises several landscaped parcels that are associated with the intersection of Wisconsin and Nebraska Avenues, NW. While the total land area associated with this site is significant, the central parcels, located on Wisconsin Avenue, are small and occupied by existing transit uses (bus stops). In conjunction with several out-parcels, Tenley Circle is suitable for commemorative features. The character of the surrounding neighborhood should be considered in any future memorial for the site.
Around a natural setting: Hains Point Hains Point is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and is part of East Potomac Park. The site is bounded by the Washington Channel and the Potomac River shorelines and offers dramatic waterfront vistas within the established open space setting of the park. Adjoining park uses include passive and active recreation such as golf, swimming, jogging, and biking. Existing site conditions are waterfront landscaped parkland with open lawn areas and clusters of trees. The site is accessible throughout the year by vehicle from Ohio Drive. Although East Potomac Park is envisioned as the location for future commemorative works, Hains Point has not been specifically designated as the location for a memorial.  

Judging Criteria

Phase I proposal submissions will be evaluated by the jury according to the following criteria: Responsiveness to the goals of the competition Overall strength and quality in approach to developing initial concept, design, and narrative Multidisciplinary nature of team members and partners Experience working on research and design projects that incorporate understanding of local context and narratives Experience engaging diverse public audiences Clear communication of a process to relate conceptual narratives to a general audience Commemoration subject is a recognizable part of the American story, reflective of our heritage, history, and culture Clear communication of a process to engage the surrounding community with the proposed concept design Location selected (locations NOT on the National Mall will be given preference)

How To Enter

The deadline for registration and electronic submission of the Request for Concepts is 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 4, 2016. Submit your proposal electronically on the competition website with: 1. One high-resolution JPEG image to represent the team's project for promotion and publication by competition partners. 2. A single PDF document including all items listed below. The PDF should be formatted 8.5-by-11 inches in landscape orientation with a maximum file size of 10MB. Title your PDF and JPEG files with your team lead last name followed by "_MemorialsForTheFuture". Hard copies of submission materials will not be accepted. The PDF must include the following content in the order listed: Cover Sheet
  • A one (1) page cover sheet with the name of the team lead and that person's phone number and email address. Team leads will serve as the sole point of contact and liaison to the competition partners throughout Phase I of the competition.
Project Approach, Site, and Initial Concepts
  • Include a summary of no more than 500 words of the team's project approach. Teams must identify a specific site or sites, and establish a compelling argument for the commemoration of a person, issue, or narrative, its relevance, how it responds to the surrounding communities, and the viewpoint from which you plan to memorialize.
  • Include two to three different conceptual ideas relevant to commemorating this person, issue, or narrative.
  • Include a 100-word project summary for promotion and publication by competition partners.
Team Description
  • Describe your team and key team members. Each team member should have a one-paragraph bio including name, experience, and qualifications.
Previous Work
  • Include a maximum of three past projects, and if any have been realized (preferred but not required). For each project, please include the following items in a maximum of five pages total:
  • A 150-word description of the project's relevance to this proposal, innovative design and/or policy strategies, and implementation.
  • A list of participating team members, including their roles within the scope of the past project.