COMPETITION UPDATE: Questions Answered

Below are the questions and answers  for the Alternative Mobilities Design Competition – This same information can also be found on our competition section.

The program says “bus stop”.  We have existing bus stops on NE 1st Ave. Or we must find information about new bus/trolley lines in future, to find right place for bus stop?

For clarification, the program is asking you to create a better bus stop for the building and/or to integrate it better than the current design.  Make something better than just a pole with a sign above it.  Put in as much care in that part of the design as you will for the entire project.

 All dimensions in drawings, documentation should be measured in inches, feet, mile, and they cannot be replaced by international metric system?

You can take the measurements provided and using a website like Google, transfer them to the metric system.

Can we use different solutions for indoor bicycle storages (for example, 2 level, etc.) in mass storage area for 300 bikes?   But, outdoor we put only small bike holders?

Yes, the building can be higher than 1 floor if you’d like.  The bike racks/corals found outside are for a small (i.e. few) quantity of bicycles, not for small bicycles.  They will not count against the 300 spaces needed for storage.

300 bicycles but only 14 smart cars?

Think of 14 as a minimum requirement.  You can have more spaces for more smart cars if you’d like. 

Re the rule that “Designs must be of original creation, and cannot be reused projects,” this does not exclude that this project also be used as a class assignment? As long as the design was created with this competition in mind, we can also turn in the project as part of a class assignment?

If you’ve already designed this building as student work, or professional work, we’d ask you to come up with something that is specific for the site and the city.  If this project is being done as part of a (let’s say) studio course at a college/university with the competition in mind and to be turned in for the competition, then yes, your project can count as double.

Can we choose a different site? Still within downtown Miami, but another, and larger, site.

No. The site was chosen due to its proximity to existing public transportation and its urban setting.  Having designers choose their own sites, although interesting, would put the jury at a disadvantage having to analyze both the site selected and the design used to answer the problem as it relates to the site.

We just noticed that the dimension 290’x65′ does not match the Google Earth pic.

If you are referring to the site given in the form of a line drawing, please make sure you are at the right scale.  In order to use the most approximate dimensions, you can double check by measuring the site off Google Earth.  25°46’35.82″N  80°11’24.58″W is the location of the site; that navigation point is in the middle.  You can use google earth to measure it as accurately as possible.


How many team members can join? How come I can’t enter all their information?

You can have as many team members as you wish. 2, 4, 10…etc.  However, if you do have a team with multiple team members, the person who registers the team should be responsible for everyone.  They will be the ones that DawnTown will notify with any information.  Please also note that if your team wins and (let’s say) you have 5 members, you will be splitting the prize amongst your teammates.  DawnTown will distribute the funds to the registering team member and it is their responsibility to divide the winnings.

Hello, I am interested in submitting a project to this competition. However, I was wondering if I would have to be an American citizen or permanent resident to apply? Thanks.

This is an international competition, all are welcome to register.  Please visit to register for the competition and to download the brief.

What about ride-sharing? Does that count as an “alternative mobility”?

Of course!  Currently we have it listed as one of the extra credit items on our program list, although we didn’t call it by name.  Please feel free to incorporate it if you wish.

Can the building be just about supplying skateboards for the populous of Miami?  Every person could own a skateboard and skate around Miami to get to different places.

Well…if you read the brief, you’ll see that there’s a lot more involved than just one form of mobility.  You can incorporate another type of mobility (skateboards) but not at the sacrifice of the rest of the competition program.

I’m participating from another country that doesn’t use dollars, can I still enter?

The PayPal system will automatically adjust currencies when you register through Eventbrite.

Are we allowed to explore other types of transportation than the ones listed in the brief? Are we able to create our own prototypes to be used in the center?

Creating your own prototype could be interesting, but remember you are being judged by how you can resolve the question found in the competition brief.  As stated before, we encourage you to be creative but not at the sacrifice of the competition program.

What do you mean by extra credit in the competition brief?

We hope that you get a chance to take on these issues, but if you don’t, they will not be held against you.  A design team could still win without addressing either one of the extra credits.

Ok, I downloaded the competition brief, now how do I get my number? Can I just make one up?

Please read the competition brief.  The page marked “7” has that answer.  You need to register on the competition registration page hosted on Eventbrite.

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Not just the sport of kings, Miami Bike Polo is for all

The crew from Miami Bike Polo meets Fridays and Sundays at Riverside Park for matches. After watching this video, we thought, wouldn’t it be great to include some sort of public space in the new Alternative Mobilities competition that gave these cyclists a place to play?

We’ll let you, the designer, tackle that problem if you’d like.

For more information on the organization visit them at

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Beckham’s MLS Stadium Proposals

If you watched NBC 6 this morning you would have caught a glimpse of the proposals for the new soccer stadium David Beckham wants at PortMiami.  Check out the renderings below:

mls2 mls1

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Bringing Uber to Miami

As the topic for this year’s competition is on alternative mobilities and providing options for public to move around urban Miami, we are promoting the move to bring Uber to Miami (and all of Florida).

Uber is a venture-funded startup and Transportation Network Company based in San Francisco, California that makes a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services. The company arranges pickups in dozens of cities around the world.  Currently, there are 85 markets worldwide using this service.

According to the Uber blog in Jacksonville  Senator Jeff Brandes and Representative Jamie Grant have introduced legislation that would modernize transportation options, increase consumer choice and drive economic opportunity for thousands of Floridians. These bills would eliminate antiquated regulations all over the state that limit consumer choice and options in transportation.  To support their cause, they’re asking the public in voting ‘YES’ on SB 1618 and HB 1389, with the hashtag campaign #MoveFLForward

DawnTown’s current competition is not sponsored by Uber (although a mention would be great!), but we do believe a service like this would be beneficial here in Miami as well as other cities around Florida.

Below is a video that came a month ago of Ashton Kutcher (an investor in the company) speaking about why Uber is not in Miami.

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FIU Department of Architecture – Spring Design Charrette


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University of Miami Architecture graduate builds Mobile Learning Kitchen in Richmond, VA

A University of Miami School of Architecture Graduate, Michael Poupore, has retrofitted an old trailer into a mobile kitchen.  Poupore, who currently lives in Duluth, Minnesota, was contracted to build the unit for the City of Richmond, VA.  Originally starting out as a contractor, Poupore went back to school to get his architecture degree in Miami.  This project was influenced by a design/build studio course he took.  Below is an excerpt and link to the original article from Prairie Business Magazine:

Stainless-steel appliances, commercial grade convection oven, solar panels, a public address system and plenty of room.  Mike Poupore calls it the “Cadillac of food trucks.”

The Duluth contractor-turned-architectural designer has spent the last five months building the mobile kitchen in a Proctor storage unit.  The kitchen’s mission: teach people how to prepare healthy foods.

“I got the trailer in mid-October. I’ve been working on it nights and weekends since,” Poupore said as he neared the project’s completion this month.  Called the Learning Kitchen, it’s a fully equipped commercial kitchen that will travel to urban “food deserts” or low-income neighborhoods that lack full-service grocery stores and healthy food choices.

- See more at:

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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.
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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!

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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:


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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.

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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!!

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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!

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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

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Terry Riley talks about Downtown Miami

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

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Nikolay Nedev of NC-Office Exhibits Paintings at MBUS


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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!

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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.

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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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