Alumni proposes new school design of Southwest Senior High

Southwest Presentation-1


After posting images of the new Mast High School building, we were contacted by a local architect expressing his desire to share his thoughts on school design.  Below is a narrative prepared by the designer as well as some of his own renderings:

Months ago I had an idea to rethink the way schools are made. What initiated the idea was the thought of improving our communities through architecture… and what better way to improve our communities than to improve our schools.
For months, I spent all of my spare time developing this idea by researching and using my high school Alma mater, Southwest Miami High School as an example / precedent.
This proposal was complete in early January and since then I have been speaking with people about this project and building momentum. I have kept the project quiet up until now because I wanted feed back and people reactions. After months of prepping, it is ready to be exposed.
Both projects Mast and Southwest can really complement each other side by side.  It would be an exiting step for Dade County School. These are the types of project the make history and become pioneers to our communities.
 – Danny Diaz, Architect, Southwest Alumnus 2006
Southwest Presentation-3Southwest Presentation-2
*Please note that all images are intellectual property by Danny Diaz.  Mr.Diaz has full right and credit to the design.  These designs are a proposal and not of built work.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Alternative Mobilities – Questions Extended

Questions are coming in for Alternative Mobilities, and we will answer them all on March 25th.  In the meantime, if you can’t submit your question by the 17th, feel free to do so by the 21st.  The answer date will remain the same.

Remember to take advantage of our Early Bird Registration Fee valid until March 27th!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,


AM poster

Recently, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado declared March as Miami Bike Month.  And why shouldn’t it?  Did you see the latest gathering this past Friday for Critical Mass?  Hundreds of people, including celebrity cyclists and NBA megastars Dwyane Wade and Lebron James, were in attendance for a 13 mile trek around Miami.  Cycling has become the latest “thing” in Miami.  However, it could be more than just a monthly ride.  Why not see cycling as a serious solution to the traffic congestion problems in and out of the city?  Cities like Amsterdam and Chicago seem to think of it as a real solution.  It doesn’t have to just be about bikes either, car sharing has become a major business as well and could also assist with making our streets safer.  What if there was a place in Miami, built infrastructure that helped promote these solutions?  Well there could be…..that’s where DawnTown needs your help.

We are officially launching our new architecture ideas competition for 2014, called Alternative Mobilities.  The competition is open to professionals and students of architecture and other design fields to come up with a new type of transportation hub. One that acts as a generator for new ways to move around downtown in a more sustainable fashion.

Included here is our competition brief:
Alternative Mobilities Competition Brief – FINAL

This time we around we are instituting a registration fee. Why you ask?  Many of you have alerted us that printing, mounting on foam core, and shipping your competition boards have cost you $100 to $150!  Instead, we’ve decided to reduce the amount of printed material by asking you only submit your projects digitally.  The fee allows us to do the printing for you.  It’s all explained in the brief above.
Currently, the registration fees are as follows:

EARLY BIRD………$25.00 US     (Register before March 27th)
REGULAR REGISTRATION……….$40.00 US  (After March 27th)

Act soon and take advantage of our early bird registration.  In order to do so visit our Eventbrite page:


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New building for MAST Academy on Key Biscayne

mast1 mast2


Above you’ll find two renderings of the proposed new building to be built at MAST Academy in Key Biscayne.  MAST Academy, which stands for Maritime and Science Technology is a magnet high school and governed by Miami Dade County Public School’s.  Classes at this high school are infused with topics of oceanography, environmental science, and marine studies.  The school is unique, and well respected in the community.  In 2013, MAST Academy was voted the 96th best high school in the country according to US World News.  

MAST will be constructing this new building , shown above, to accommodate the surge in student population happening soon.  The new structure is designed by local architecture firm Silva Architects.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

Design / Build 2: Announcing the 2014 Finalists

DB2 Finalists 2014

DawnTown is pleased to announce the finalists for their second annual Design/Build Competition.  Over one hundred teams entered the first phase of the competition, submitting a portfolio of creative work that also outlined their design philosophy.   The work was diverse and creative, leading to a very long jury process.  Many portfolios came from the United States, but there was a strong contingency of international participants as well.  Teams from Denmark, India, Russia, and China were just a small sample of the variety to take part in round one.  Finalists will be receiving the competition program and schedule, where they will have a chance to present their proposals for a temporary installation at HistoryMiami located in downtown Miami’s Cultural Center.

Although Design/Build 2 is in full gear, there’s still events planned from DawnTown.  So stay tuned…… we will be launching our latest IDEAS competition in a few weeks!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,




You have until 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on Jan.29th  to submit your portfolios for the Open Call!  

Less than 48 hours remain, so Good luck!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Walter Hood to lecture in Downtown Miami Feb.19th


“Walter Hood Re-Imagines Opa-locka’s Ali Baba Avenue,” a lecture by Walter J. Hood, Master M.L.A. and M.Arch. Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning and Urban Design, UC, Berkeley. Miami Center for Architecture and Design (MCAD), 100 N.E. First Avenue, Downtown Miami, 305-448-7488, 6:00 p.m. Parking: Miami Parking Authority garage on NE 2nd Street & NE 2nd Avenue.

Walter Hood is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design Department, and chaired from 1998 to 2002. He established his Oakland, California-based studio in 1992. His studio, Hood Design, has been engaged in architectural commissions, urban design, art installations, and research for almost twenty years. Earlier projects located in Oakland such as the Lafayette Square and Splash Pad Parks are regarded as transformative designs for the field of landscape architecture. Hood Design is also the designer for the gardens and landscape of the new De Young Museum; the new landscape for the California African American Museum in Los Angeles; and new Sculpture Terrace for the Jackson Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming

Posted in Uncategorized

Terry Riley talks about Downtown Miami

Architect and DawnTown Board Memeber Terry Riley travels around Miami and explains the rebirth of downtown Miami.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Nikolay Nedev of NC-Office Exhibits Paintings at MBUS


Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , ,

COMPETITION UPDATE: Design/Build 2 Deadline Extended



To make up for lost time around the holidays, and at the request we’ve been receiving from various participants, we have decided to push back the deadline for the Open Call for Portfolios.  The new deadline will be January 29th, 2014 by 11:59PM EST.  Good luck!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Architect Max Strang gets the cover story in Modern Luxury Miami Magazine

MODERN LUXURY MIAMI magazine spotlights Max Strang in their current cover story “Best of the City”.

When 43-year-old Miami starchitect Max Strang learned that the American Institute of Architects was awarding him the Silver Medal for Design, “I didn’t realize I was old enough to deserve it,” he laughingly recalls. But the body of work he has amassed in the last 15 years more than justifies the honor. These days Strang divides his talents between offices here and in Telluride, but he is still most identified with Miami, where he gained renown for his own Coconut Grove residence, Rock House, which co-starred in the film version of Miami Vice (2006). Strang’s excitement over that premier product placement is still palpable: “Director Michael Mann saw it and thought it would be a great drug lord house!” And it’s quite apparent his many other projects are just as worthy of a close-up.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Patrik Schumacher Lecture on Jan.9 at FIU


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

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


Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , ,

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

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.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged ,

Exhibit Tonight at Miami Center for Architecture and Design


Image | Posted on by | Tagged , ,


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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

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.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,