What's Your Innovative Solution for the Future City?

The StreetFest competition focuses on the design and construction of temporary outdoor spaces that produce new ways for collective gathering.

As the world's resources continue to be endangered, depleted, and destroyed, we all need to imagine new solutions for the future of our cities. Rather than focusing on deficits, IDEAS CITY 2013, a festival created to examine this topic and effect change, will encourage an exploration of the resources that may be under-recognized or underutilized. Or, as we like to call it, "untapped capital."

There are many ways of thinking about what might define untapped capital: people and raw materials, ideas, networks, varied resources, and modes of communication. The topic "untapped capital" provides us with a touchstone for alternative thinking about new methodologies, new solutions, and new goals for urban centers worldwide.

In anticipation of IDEAS CITY 2013, we at Storefront for Art and Architecture, along with the New Museum and Architizer, are launching the StreetFest competition. We are looking for innovative submissions that explore the design, management, and construction of temporary outdoor spaces to produce new ways for collective gathering and city engagement. These temporary outdoor structures will be used during the IDEAS CITY festival to accommodate a multiplicity of activities: vendors, workshop areas, outdoor classrooms, demonstrations, installations, music, and other performances and exhibitions.

On May 4, 2013, one winning entry will occupy designated outdoor space along the Bowery in New York City, near the New Museum. We envision fabricating a minimum of 10 structures that will cover approximately 1,000-1,500 square feet.

The Challenge
Prefabricated tenting structures have proliferated in the last years as the only solution to temporary affordable outdoor shelter. The resulting landscape of street fairs or temporary events throughout cities and neighborhoods has been a spatially, geometrically, chromatically, and materially homogeneous environment that simply enables activities to happen without generating a playful engagement with the city or its citizens.

This competition asks for designs that envision street tents not only as shelters but also as active elements within the collective construction and understanding of the city. We are calling on architects, artists and engineers to re-envision the performativity—the material, social, and educational possibilities—of temporary outdoor structures.

 The winning entry will then be realized at the 2013 Ideas City Festival: Untapped Capital.

Storefront would like to personally invite you, the GOOD readers to submit your ideas and join the challenge. Check out the full brief at

Add submitting a proposal to the StreetFest competition to your to-do list here.

Registration is open until January 18, 2013. Submissions must be delivered to Storefront for Art and Architecture on February 8 or February 9, 2013 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST. We look forward to your entry!

Image courtesy of New Museum by Benoit Pailley

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