COMPETITION UPDATE: Questions & Answer

Below you will find a list of questions and their respective answers.  We tried to answer specific questions that were unique, and those that were more general which many people asked.

Please be aware that we have decided to waive the eligibility rule that the head person on a design team has to be located in the United States, and (by popular demand) we’ve opened the competition to all graduate students(not just those in their final year) and  undergraduate students   (but only those in their fourth or fifth year, depending on the program of study).

Since we are an international team (one of us is a US member), we would like to know if the winning team will be given any travel expenses, as well as any fee besides the construction budget itself.

– The winning team will receive the following:  $8000 for the construction budget, and a $2000 award stipend, for a total of $10,000 US.  The dedicated construction must not be used for anything other than the costs of purchasing materials for assembly of the installation.  The $2000 is an award and can be used as the designer wishes.  This money can be used simply as an award, as resources to travel to Miami, or be included in the construction budget to increase it.  A contract will be made between the winning team and DawnTown to insure of the project delivery.  The winning design teams are allowed to seek out sponsors of their own if they so wish. 

Is there an expected schedule for the construction process?

– Yes.  Our timeline is to have the installation up by March 2013.  The winning design team will be in coordination with DawnTown about the construction process.  Designers will have to plan out a schedule of when to build the structure locally in Miami on the designated site.  Materials should be purchased locally, so therefore, your designs should be made of readily able materials.  DawnTown will help in providing the contact information of business in the area in order to help plan in advance.

In the competition brief, it is stated that at least one member of the team participating to the phase 1 should be “located” in the USA. Does it mean that one of the team member should be a US citizen or just someone (non USA -citizen) living and working regularly in the United States?

– A person located in the USA does not have to be a US citizen. Example: Your team is comprised of four; 3 from France, and 1 in the US, but not a citizen.  This would count toward our rule.  It will be easier to coordinate with someone already living in the US, but that person does not have to be a citizen.

I am interested in submitting a portfolio.  However, my work samples would be projects completed with the firm that I currently work for; the works are projects where I am lead designer and had full control over the installation, etc.  Are these works acceptable, provided I have permission from the firm?

– You should always get permission from your employer to show work off, but yes, you may show off work that was done at a firm.  Remember to indicate clearly and honestly the roles you had on a particular project.  Always keep in mind that we are looking for creative work, regardless if it was done in collaboration with a team, office, or by yourself.

What will be the responsibilities of the head of the team in this competition?

– The head of the team will be responsible for collaboration efforts and communication between the rest of the team and DawnTown.  The head of the team no longer has to be residing in the US.

Can a US collaborator, who is not an architect, and cannot be involved in the later stages, be acceptable as a formal head member?

– The collaborator in the US does not have to be the head team member, (we have decided to waive that rule).  However, the collaborator must be a design or construction professional (engineer, artist, landscape designer, industrial designer, furniture maker, etc…)  The collaborator should have an understanding of the design process and their profession should reflect that.

Will my team be allowed to participate in the competition, if the only US member of my team is not the head of the team? The actual leader of the project will in fact be me, an architect from Europe.

– See above. We are waiving the requirement that a US team member on an international team be the head of the team. 

What’s the budget?

– $10,000 US:  $8000 of which are for construction and project assembly purposes.  $2000 of which are an award stipend that the design team can use as they wish.  The $2000 can be put into the construction budget should the team desire.

Where is the site located?

– A better question is: what are the parameters of the installation.  The installation is meant to have the maximum dimensions of 12’ x 12’ x 12’.  The installation is not meant to be site specific; as a matter of fact, the design should take into account that it could be placed in a variety of locations.

What’s the program?

– The program will be revealed to the finalists from phase 1, the open call of portfolios. 

How much time will the winning team have to build the proposed design?

– The design team will have 2 months to prepare instructions/construction documents to figure out how to put their structure together.  They will then be given 2 weeks maximum to put the structure together to be exhibited. 

How long will the winning proposal be used for?

– For at least 30 days, but depending on interest, the installation may travel and thus have a longer lifespan and gain a larger audience. 

How fast and how long will the winning structure last?

The installation is temporary, having absolutely no solid foundations whatsoever.  Design teams will be encouraged to create installation that could be assembled and disassembled easily and by anyone.  This is not a building or a permanent art piece. 

I am a student(graduate level) but I have worked for many years before returning to grad school.  Am I eligible to enter this competition?

– Yes, you are. In fact, graduate students are all egible to enter into the competition.  We don’t want to exclude student participation.  Undergraduate students are allowed to participate as well, but only those that are in either their last year (fourth year in a four year program; fifth year in five year program) or second to last year (fourth year in five year program).


We are a very small firm and we believe that some of the best work comes out of collaboration with others. We would like to know if it will be possible to add team members/ collaborators later on if we are selected to move forward to the second phase of the competition as long as we do not exceed the maximum number of 6 team members allowed?

– This will be taken on a case by case basis.  Please inform us if you need to switch out team members or if team members become unavailable, but we don’t see a problem with this just as long as we (DawnTown) are kept aware of it.

What about international entrants who wish to participate individually? Is that permitted or should they still team up with someone who resides in the United States?

– Our recommendation is that you enter Phase I of the competition and submit your portfolio for us to review it.  If selected, we will give you a deadline to find a collaborator that currently resides in the US. If you are unable to find one by that deadline then we will have to remove you as a finalist.  Remember, you lose nothing by applying to Phase I, and this way it gives you more time to search your contacts.


About dawntownmiami

The annual public international architecture ideas competition for Downtown Miami! Also architecture and urban planning events in Miami throughout the year.
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