Field Constructs Design Competition

Submission: April 01, 2015
Registration: April 01, 2015
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: eight proposals selected for realization
Type: Open


Field Constructs Design Competition (FCDC) invites emerging designers, architects, landscape architects, and artists to submit proposals for temporary installations to be sited at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in Austin, Texas.

The international competition will result in the realization of up to eight submitted entries, selected by a jury of leading figures in architecture, design, and art. The completed installations will open to the public in November of 2015 as part of a week-long event series, which will promote design and community programming at the site. 

The competition seeks to foster cutting-edge innovation through works that actively engage with natural and cultural factors specific to Austin and its surrounding region. As one of the fastest-growing American cities, Austin’s character is continually evolving, as is the relationship between its urban fabric and the natural landscape. The competition’s site, the Circle Acres Nature Preserve in the Montopolis neighborhood, showcases the embedding of a natural landscape within the city, to the benefit of both community and environment. The specific site allows the participants to critically and creatively explore two sets of issues: (1) the capacity for public art and design to attract interest and attention to a part of the city that may otherwise be perceived as peripheral, remote, or underutilized; and (2) the potential for temporary, small- scale installations to serve as opportunities to generate, apply, and test innovative thinking with regard to site-specificity, environmental impact, and the use of new technological advancements in design. 

The Circle Acres Nature Preserve and Center for Sustainable Futures is located in East Austin’s Montopolis neighborhood, approximately a quarter of a mile south of the Colorado River. Ecology Action of Texas purchased the 10-acre retired landfill in 2010 with the goal of remediating the brownfield and transforming the once-hazardous site into a viable park for the local neighborhood and the city at large.

Ecology Action of Texas was founded in 1969 with a mission to create a healthier environment through resource recovery operations, brownfield remediation, and zero-waste initiatives.
The nonprofit organization maintains a 24-hour recycling and “hard-to-recycle” drop-off and processing center in downtown Austin; organizes educational programs about sustainability for children and adults; interacts with policymakers concerning environmental issues in Central Texas; and serves as a clearinghouse for all information regarding recycling, compost, biodiesel, and zero waste through the City of Austin’s 311 information service. 

FCDC welcomes proposals that engage with inventive fabrication strategies, novel material assemblies, lifecycle-related issues, zero-impact solutions, and integration of interactive media,
as well as other relevant areas of innovation that advance contemporary architecture, landscape architecture, design, and art. Of particular interest are projects that explicitly address the relation- ship between the installation and the broader natural and social environment within which it is situated. FCDC encourages experimentation within the given parameters of site, budget, time, and overall constructability. Realized projects are required to withstand natural elements and continuous use for the duration of the curated event. Successful projects will clearly address means and methods of off-site fabrication and on-site assembly, minimizing waste while max- imizing positive environmental impact. If appropriate, entries may propose a longer or more permanent implementation at the site. Each winning project will receive a $5,000 reimbursable budget to be used toward its realization. Travel and accommodations will be covered separately.
It is the responsibility of each winning individual or team to have the full-scale installation completed at the site according to the proposed schedule. 

The competition is open to all designers, architects, landscape architects, and artists working in the United States and abroad. Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged to apply. Teams that consist of student members are acceptable with the participation of a sponsoring faculty member or a full-time practitioner. The competition brief may be suitable for adoption as a part of coursework by architecture, design, and art instructors. Projects that have already been realized will be considered for installation, provided that they thematically fit the competition criteria. Installations must be substantially prefabricated off-site, minimizing construction and environmental impact at Circle Acres Nature Preserve.