Patrik Schumacher Lecture on Jan.9 at FIU


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Peter Cavaluzzi FAIA Lectures on Open Transit: Transit Design for Urban Living


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COMPETITION UPDATE: DawnTown Design/Build 2 – Questions Answered

In no particular order, here are the answers to the Design/Build 2 Competition:

Q:  Do the candidates have to be based in Miami?  And if not, would the candidate, if successful, be expected to travel to Miami for the competition?

A:  No, the candidates do not have to be based in Miami.  We hope to attract many candidates from all over the world; last year we had finalists from Japan and Canada, and our winner was an international selection between Miami and Spain. An award stipend is given to the winner to use as they wish, which could be used as money for travel or shipping.  Last year’s stipend was $2000.00, and expect this year’s to be at least the same. 

Q:  Where is the site?

A:  The site will be at HistoryMiami.  With the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) moving to a brand new location, HistoryMiami will be inheriting their space.  This will allow for different opportunities as to where the installation will go, which has not been decided upon yet.  Finalists will receive the parameters of where exactly their installation will be placed.

Q:  Is there a design schedule or construction schedule that will be given?

A:  The installation will debut toward the end of May, early June.  Once finalists are announced, they will have a 6-7 week window of time for design.  From there, the winning entry will have 8 weeks to begin coordination for construction.  

Q:  Regarding the portfolio submission, should we include a photograph of every single person, or can it be a group photo?

A:  Be as creative as you wish. Both photos will work just fine, just make sure to list your entire project team.

Q:  You had mentioned that the installation needs to be built quickly, what kind of budget will we have?

A:  The budget for this project will be $12,000 US.  $10,000 must be used on the construction, and $2000 goes toward the designer(s) to be used as they see fit. Designers are allowed to raise their own funds if they wish, but we don’t encourage it.

Q: But wait, if I include a photo, then how are the submissions judged “blind”?  

A: When you submit your portfolio, we ask that you include a space at the bottom for a registration and you are given one.  Before the jurors see the portfolio, they are edited so the only thing shown is your work and the registration number involved.

Q: Should the portfolio be organized in a theme?  

A: No, they don’t have to be organized in a theme.  But if you do decide to create some kind of thematic scheme for your portfolio, please inform us as to what it is.

Q:  I am a graduate student, and I wish to submit. Can I enter this competition?
A:  Please review the brief found on the website that explains the rules and how to enter. Graduate students and undergraduate students can apply as long as they are in their final year of study.

Q:  Can I submit a portfolio is my team is made up of individuals of different fields.  (ex: an artist and a landscape designer)

A: Of course!  You can have a mash up of different disciplines if you’d like.  We encourage variety.

Q:  Do I need to present an idea or you’ll supply the requirements for the composition after evaluating my credentials?

A:  No, please just provide us with your credentials via the portfolio.  We will then ask the finalists to submit ideas based off the program we provide to them.  

Q: Should I enter the competition again this year, if I didn’t make it into the second round last year? My portfolio hasn’t changed much. Won’t you remember my work?

A:  A year has passed, and there’s a good chance we won’t remember every single portfolio submission we received last year.  Not to mention, the jury will include new jurors.  Our suggestion is for you to reapply. Perhaps you were not selected last year because we had such a high quantity of great portfolios that it was difficult to select just a handful.  Maybe your work will stand out this year.

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COMPETITION UPDATE: Got Questions for Design/Build 2 ?

If you have questions about the Open Call for Portfolios for DawnTown Design / Build 2, please feel free to submit questions to:

Although not originally stated in our brief, we will do our best to answer any questions you have regarding the competition and post them here on our website.

We will take questions starting now, December 12, up until December 23nd.  

Below are some questions that have been asked thus far, which are similar to our previous competition:

How can we ask questions to the competition? Should I submit first or wait until the questions are answered?
Questions may be submitted to  It’s up to you, but we recommend that you submit your portfolio first and then ask questions.  It costs you nothing to turn in a portfolio and if you don’t like the answers to the questions you asked you could always turn down your spot as a finalist.

Where will this year’s installation take place?
We have agreed to partner with HistoryMiami in the heart of downtown Miami.  With the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) moving to a new facility, HistoryMiami is expanding to their old spaces with new galleries and lots of areas to chose from.  However, we won’t reveal where exactly until the finalists are announced.  Don’t be concerned about site specifics just yet. As always, the installation has the potential to be moved and relocated to many different areas.

Is there a specific type of program you are looking for?  What should be in the portfolio?
The program for this year’s competition itself has not, and won’t be released until the finalists are announced.  As for your portfolio, we’ll look at conceptual work, built work, and all evidence of design.  Last year we received examples ranging from fashion design, to furniture design, to large architectural structures.  The important thing is to show off your creative ability.



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Exhibit Tonight at Miami Center for Architecture and Design


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DB2 150

To download instructions on how to submit portfolios and where to submit them, download the forms here: Call For Portfolios 2013

March 2013 saw two young architects, Jacob Brillhart and Manuel Clavel create the first DawnTown Design/Build installation at HistoryMiami. Building upon the successful event, DAWNTOWN DESIGN/BUILD 2 looks to carry on that legacy with a new installation. The search begins for a new designers to submit their creative work and be a part of the call for portfolios in the first round of this latest competition. Once again, DawnTown will reward one team or individual the opportunity to create and install an innovative architecture piece in downtown Miami. This competition seeks the talents of a designer or design team to create a low cost, innovative, and temporary installation in Miami.

The competition is open to architects, artists, and all creative professionals. Designers can work individually or collaboratively in teams, and multinational teams are welcome to compete as well.

Interested designers/design teams must submit a maximum six(6) page PDF. The PDF should include all competing participants with a short biography of each, a one(1) page essay on their design philosophy, and samples of their existing work(either built/unbuilt). Work samples should demonstrate an entrant’s ability to be artistic and innovative. Entries will be collected from December 3 2013 to January 17 2014, with finalists being announced on January 30th.

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DASH Students design homeless housing solutions

Whenever we hear something about positive about one of our DawnTown family, we like to make sure to spread the word.  We’ve mentioned Eric Hankin before, a founding member of our Board, an educator, an architect, and overall great person.  When he’s not helping us here at DawnTown he guides future designers and architects at DASH (Design & Architecture Senior High), one of the more prestigious and unique high schools in the country.  Recently, the Miami Herald reported on a project his students were working on to help benefit the homeless while collaborating with Carrfour Supportive Housing. The article, written by Michael Sharp, is below:

Eric Hankin, teacher at Design Architecture Senior High, a magnet school in Miami’s Design District, created a project for his students that would give them hands-on experience, as well as benefit the homeless.

“I like the idea of exposing students to real-life projects,” said Hankin, who has been teaching at DASH for 11 years. “This project will help teach them about the community and value of work.”

Hankin and 20 of his architecture/design students teamed up with Carrfour Supportive Housing, a non-profit organization that develops, operates and manages innovative housing communities for individuals and families in need, and they are designing a living unit for a formerly homeless person.

On Thursday, students at DASH presented their drawings and models of homeless housing units to a panel of professional architects who critiqued the students’ projects and will later determine how to use ideas from the work to incorporate into future affordable housing projects.

Sandra Newson, vice president of Carrfour Supportive Housing, talked about the display by the students.

“I was impressed mostly by the focus on making the space functional,” Newson said. “You can see it in their design. It was all about the use of space and making sure there was a place for everything.”

A panel of architects gave the students feedback after their displays.

Javier Font, who graduated from the University of Miami in 1986 and opened his own firm in 1991, was one of the architects on the panel and gave his input.

“It was really refreshing to see how realistic the designs are and how they applied it with what we need to do,” Font said. “A lot of times, designs are so theoretical and don’t relate to what’s going on in the real world, but these were very realistic.”

For two hours, students took turns explaining their work, taking questions and receiving feedback from the panel.

One of the students, Kayla Montes de Oca, 16, said her main focus was to design a space that would be comfortable.

“I looked at my room and wondered how I can design something that would be as spacious,” said Kayla, who is a junior at DASH and hopes to be an environmental architect. “You see how they live and you want to find a solution for them.”

Another junior, De’Naric Mikle, 16, focused on keeping his design simple.

“I tried to create something that was cool for a formerly homeless person,” said De’Naric, who plans on working in landscape architecture. “As a homeless person, you’re living on the streets and don’t need a mansion to feel at home. I tried creating something simple and fun.”

At the end of the presentation, teacher gave the last bit of feedback and thanked members of the panel and Carrfour Supportive Housing for making this project possible.

“I’m extraordinarily proud of the work that they’re doing,” Hankin said. “You can see how supportive they are of one another, and they are learning from each other.”

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New Face of Community Panel Discussion


The University of Miami, in partnership with AIA Miami, presents a discussion on residential co-ownership that has emerged over the last two decades in Germany. Developed by groups of individuals for a variety of motivations including affordability, higher ecological performance and meaningful social interaction, these architecturally distinguished multi-family buildings offer an alternative take on urban living. The evening focuses on the explanation of the development and design process by two experts from Berlin, and a discussion regarding opportunities for South Florida. Could this new type of co-housing become an alternative to a market dominated by the condo-tower and the single-family house?

Thursday, November 21, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
111 S.W. 5th Avenue, Little Havana

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PAMM Conversation between Tom Collins and Terry Riley

This video was taken during DWNTWN Art Days between current Perez Art Museum  Miami (PAMM) Director Tom Collins, and former director Terry Riley.  The video talks about the history of the new museum’s development and it’s social presence in the urban context.

The PAMM opens to the general public on December 4th, and is free to the public between December 4th through the 8th.

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Seaplanes? Nope, just Amphibious Fiats!

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(The photos above are courtesy of Peter Hernandez)

The MSC Divina arrived this morning in Downtown at PortMiami.  A very impressive addition to the cruise ships already calling PortMiami home, the Divina may have had its thunder stolen by the curious amphibious vehicles shown in the photos above.  Apparently Fiat got into the actions by converting their pint sized cars to ride on the water.  Perhaps jetskis housed in a car’s body?  Some other kind of trickery?  Either way, its a strange yet fun sight to watch, that almost serves as a foreshadowing to how weird, unique Miami gets during Basel season.

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Video Installation on Architecture & Time


Aziz + Cucher: Time of the Empress (septet)
Curated by Tami Katz-Freiman
November 21, 2013 – January 24, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 21, 2013 7pm – 10pm

The Screening Room invites you to its upcoming show, a solo exhibition by the New York based duo Aziz + Cucher. This project is curated by Tami Katz-Freiman and is on view during Art Basel 2013.

Time of the Empress depicts animated drawings of modernist buildings in an infinite loop of construction and disintegration. These architectural renderings appear buoyant, suspended in a cycle of growth and dissolution, like Towers of Babel, simultaneously rising and collapsing. Paradoxically they also possess an inherent tranquility, evoking the patterns of our economy, of nature, and of life itself.
This video installation consists of seven large flat-screen panels that hang from the ceiling. This work was originally part of a larger solo exhibition by the artists called “Some People” which was commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) in 2012.

The Screening Room is a new media exhibition and project space located in Miami’s Wynwood Art District. Video artist, filmmaker and Miami native Rhonda Mitrani recognized a need in the community for a multi-disciplinary space dedicated to film and video programs, lectures and gatherings.


2626 NW 2nd Avenue 
Wynwood Miami Fl. 33127

Sponsored by Continental National Bank

In Partnership with Metro 1 Properties

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WEIRD MIAMI: Bus Tour of Miami’s Urban Neighberhoods

11am- 3pm 
Please arrive no later than 10:45am
Tickets are $25 each
Click HERE for tickets

BFI #BuildingsForInfill
100 Northeast 11th Street
Miami, FL 33132
BFI invites you to its periodical WEIRD MIAMI bus tour, on Sunday, November 10th from 11 AM to 2 PM.  This WEIRD MIAMI installment will visit exemplary (but often overlooked) Miami urban neighborhoods, led by urbanists Jason Chandler and Andrew Frey.
The tour complements URBAN_VARIANTS, an exhibit at BFI of new designs for Miami urban buildings, which runs from November 1st to November 24th. The exhibit includes new prototype sketches, drawings, renderings, and models, as well as studies of existing prototypes in Miami and Savannah.  The exhibit is the result of a studio course at FIU Architecture led by professor Jason Chandler in collaboration with Townhouse Center, a not-for profit that promotes urban neighborhood development, and sponsored by the Knight Foundation.

This past semester, students visited and documented existing small buildings in downtown Miami and Savannah, Georgia. During the visits, students experienced how small-scale infill buildings create resilient urban environments. The Savannah visit took students far out of the studio, to places and buildings most had never seen before. Then each student designed a new, small, adaptable prototype for Miami, resulting in over 100 designs, which have been curated for the BFI exhibit

The course, exhibit, and bus tour are all part of a larger collaboration to raise awareness of the fact that Miami has built to the sky and horizon — towers and subdivisions — but lacks neighborhoods of a middle scale. In other cities such urban neighborhoods are often the most vibrant, like Boston’s North End or New York’s West Village. To help Miami start developing these neighborhoods, FIU Architecture offered a studio course about the urban neighborhood fundamental building block: small, adaptable buildings.
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Walk on Water at FIU

A long standing tradition at Florida International University has been Walk on Water, where students build inflatable devices to traverse the man made lake on campus.  Always a site to behold, come down to FIU this Thursday, November 7th to witness absolutely amazing and sometimes hilarious results.



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Exhibit sneak peak


Above is a sneak peak of the exhibit space for the Urban_Variants Exhibit starting on November 1st, and running through November 24th.  The exhibit is being presented by BFI and partnering not only by DawnTown, but also The Miami Downtown Development Authority, Transit Miami, Miami Urbanist, Emerge Miami, South Florida Community Development Coalition, The Transit Action Committee, and American Planning Association of Florida.

BFI is located at:
100 NE 11th Street
Miami, FL 33132
6pm – 9pm

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URBAN_VARIANTS: An Exhibit of New Designs for Miami Urban Buildings


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Miami Small Urban Buildings: Course, Book (Free!), Exhibit, Bus Tour, Presentation…



DawnTown’s Founder and Board Chair Andrew Frey has recently collaborated with Florida International School of Architecture and the Knight Foundation to study infill housing.  This information comes from his organization, Townhouse Center:

Jason Chandler, a licensed architect and an associate professor at Florida International University, writes about a joint studio course with the not-for-profit Townhouse Center that is supported by Knight Foundation.

Miami has built to the sky and horizon with towers and subdivisions but lacks neighborhoods of a middle scale. In other cities—like Boston’s North End or New York’s West Village—those places are often the most vibrant. To help Miami start developing such neighborhoods, Knight Foundation funded an architecture studio course at the Florida International University School of Architecture about the neighborhood building block: small, adaptable buildings.

This spring semester, students visited and documented small urban buildings in downtown Miami and Savannah, Ga. Then each student designed a new, small, adaptable prototype for Miami. The effort produced more than 100 designs, which have been curated into a book, “Infill Housing.”

The course and book were produced in collaboration with Townhouse Center, a not-for-profit that promotes urban neighborhood development.

“‘Infill Housing’ is an easy-to-follow roadmap of how Miami can draw from the past to develop the small, adaptable buildings that add up to great middle-scale neighborhoods,” said Andrew Frey, Townhouse Center’s executive director.

During the visits to downtown Miami and Savannah, students experienced how small-scale infill buildings create resilient urban environments. The Savannah visit took students far out of the studio, to places and buildings that they had never seen before. Immersing students in cities so that they can experience buildings in person is critical to architecture education. It teaches students to “see” architecture and to appreciate its scale, materials, use and context.

“Infill Housing” was published after two months of culling, editing and formatting. It begins with student drawings of their inspiration—the small urban buildings in Miami and Savannah—and continues with their new designs, interspersed with photos of the students at work in Miami and Savannah. It provides a clear vision of what the students produced and experienced and is available in paperback or as a free e-book.

Chandler and Frey will present the book at a LAB Miami book talk on Oct 10 at 7 p.m.  The students’ work will be exhibited at BFI in Miami from Nov. 1-17.  Chandler and Frey will lead one of BFI’s Weird Miami bus tours on Nov. 10, taking riders through exemplary—but sometimes overlooked—Miami urban neighborhoods.

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Floating Stage Competition Finalist is one of Curbed Young Guns 2013


The Curbed Network, a series of sites focusing on real estate, neighborhood news and design, launched an open call to find “a group of some of the most talented young architects, interior designers, and developers—and in some cases, folks who wear a couple of those hats—in the country.”  Rules were simple: contestants had to be 35 and under, employed, and show promise in their field.  

DawnTown is happy to see that one of our previous winners has made the cut and entered into the inaugural Young Guns class of 2013:  Architectural designer at Gensler, Eric Tan. Eric was part of the design team, PinkCloud DK, that took second place in the 2011 Floating Stage Competition with their idea called “Inflatable”.  Their concept was well received and quickly picked up on eVoloArchDaily and InHabitat.  According to Gensler’s website his bio can be read below.  Congratulations once again Eric!

Eric Tan studied architecture at Columbia University and Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in New York. He has worked for SOM+CASE, Terreform1, Henning Larsen Architects, and Gensler. At Gensler, Eric is leading the development of a borough-wide urban renewal project in Manhattan, redeveloping neglected spaces into sustainable energy generating components incorporated into the city infrastructure. As a designer, Eric is committed to developing innovative, socially responsible, and sustainable design solutions for a rapidly growing world with diminishing resources.

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Rhythmicity by MONAD Studio

Image from MONAD Studio / SuckerpunchDaily

Image from MONAD Studio / SuckerpunchDaily


MONAD Studio was founded by principals Eric Goldemberg and Veronica Zalcberg in 2002.  Their firm is a design research practice with focus on spatial perception related to rhythmic affect, with explorations ranging from the scale of urban plans to buildings, and from landscape to installations and product design.  Their firm has won many accomplishments, most notably being nominated as a finalist for the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Prize back in 2008.  MONAD has lectured at several institutions such as Columbia University, IAAC in Spain, The University of Miami, and Clemson University.  Their work is cutting edge and at the forefront of digital fabrication and technology.  Locally, Eric Goldemberg serves as a faculty member at the Florida International School of Architecture as an Assistant Professor.  He has also served as a juror for our Seaplane Terminal competition, and wrote an article on the competition later published in 2011 Competitions Annual.  MONAD Studio was also a finalist for the DawnTown Design / Build Competition last year.

Recently, their work was published online on SuckerpunchDaily.  Rhythmicity is a wall installation developed for Art Center South Florida, as part of the exhibition “Unpredictable Patterns of Behavior” in Miami.

The project embodies rhythmical patterns of growth found in temporal processes of species native to Florida, such as the behavior of strangler fig trees—these operate by growing aerial roots that attach to the host tree in multiple bundles, exerting pressure and depleting the host over time.

For all images click here.

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Under Construction: The Miami Center for Architecture & Design

Construction continues on the Miami Center for Architecture & Design in Downtown Miami.  Check out these photos. (All images are courtesy of DawnTown)

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Tour of Miami Marine Stadium & Reception



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