For the past five years, DawnTown’s annual design ideas competition has attracted designers from around the world to present new and creative possibilities for Miami. Over 110 teams composed of architects, artists, landscape designers, engineers and others from around the world, submitted portfolios to compete in the creation of a temporary installation on the theme of the “Evolution of Miami.”
“HistoryMiami recognizes the importance of promoting innovative architecture and attracting people to experience architecture in their community with fresh eyes. Up-Downtown and DawnTown’s annual design/build contest achieves all of these goals,” said Joanne Hyppolite, Ph.D., Chief Curator at HistoryMiami.
Up-Downtown, the prize-winning installation is a metaphor for Miami. “A city is a complex machine, where everything is interconnected and any movement affects the other,” said Manuel Clavel-Rojo, co-creator of the Up-Downtown team. “This concept is taken literally to present an interactive story of Miami’s rise. Miami is not a city that has developed steadily over time, but instead has had rapid growth spurts in generally short periods. The most interesting thing about Up-Downtown is how intelligently that fact has been captured.”
The installation features a 10’ x 10’ x 10’ box structure using steel for supports. A mirror sits at its base, with blue and pink neon lights representing the water’s edge and roadways, creating a perimeter of the downtown area. Through an analysis of building footprints and roadways, the design team created a system of wires that map out important buildings from Miami’s past, present, and future above the base. The wires are then assembled into a system of counterweights and pulleys which link to different flat planes that sit on top of the bed of wires. Once assembled, participants can interact with the installation by pulling on different wires, watching these flat planes extrude and form the outline of the different high rises around downtown Miami.
The exhibit at HistoryMiami, which was held last week, was a huge success, with over 100 people in attendance for the opening demonstration. Currently the exhibit is being tweaked and will be ready for the viewing public this week. Keep in contact with DawnTown and HistoryMiami for updates regarding “Up-Downtown”.