Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The City of Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture Announces: Gimme Shelter: A National Ideas Competition for Urban Shade Structures

Phoenix, the nation’s fifth largest city, has nearly 300 sunny or partly cloudy days a year. That makes it a great place to be in the winter, but a tougher assignment in the summer. With the mercury exceeding 100 degrees for weeks on end from late May through September, there are plenty of reasons to cry “gimme shelter” and invite the best talent in contemporary art and design to invent new forms of beautiful and durable city shade structures. The “Gimme Shelter” competition is part of Phoenix’s efforts to revive its urban core as a “Connected Oasis” of shaded sidewalks, plazas, streets and open spaces.
This competition is open to all artists, architects, landscape architects, engineers, industrial designers and other design professionals based in the United States. International designers can be included as part of American teams. This is an ideas competition. Applicants who are philosophically opposed to submitting concepts as part of an RFP should not apply. City of Phoenix employees and their immediate family members are ineligible to apply.
Designers will compete anonymously in a two-stage design process. In Stage 1, designers will submit concepts. A selection committee will review the concepts and recommend up to five designers to proceed to Stage 2. During the second stage, the finalists will be paid up to $6,000 to further develop detailed designs and models. The selection panel will interview the finalists and review their proposals before making its final decision. The panel may recommend more than one winning design. Winners will be contracted to develop construction documents and fabricate a site-specific shelter. Additional shelters may be fabricated and installed as more sites are identified citywide. All designs will be considered for inclusion in an exhibition of proposals submitted for this project.
Designers are urged to invent new forms for built shade. Beauty, scale, functionality and durability are essential criteria. Designers should consider how southern, western, eastern overhead and low-angle (late day/early morning) exposures require different forms and approaches. Designers should also consider the merits of combining built shade with living shade. Designers should propose materials that minimize the transmission of heat, both from the shelter and from the surrounding ground. Plastics, fiberglass and other materials prone to disintegrate in sunlight should not be considered. The use of sustainable materials is also encouraged. Materials and finishes should be durable, easy to maintain and graffiti resistant. The integration of solar panels in the design is encouraged where appropriate. The City is seeking ideas both for streetscape shade and for open spaces, such as parks.
Submission Requirements:
Registration deadline: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
-To register for the competition send an e-mail by Wednesday, March 18, 2009 to with your contact information. Subject line should read Gimme Shelter. Contact information should include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. You will then be given a registration number, which you will use to identify yourself in your proposal.

Submission deadline: Thursday, April 30, 2009
5:00 PM MST receipt deadline (not postmarked)


-A Power Point presentation on a PC compatible CD-ROM containing the information and images you choose to present your vision for this competition. In order for the judging to be blind, you must not include any identifying information on the slides. Please be sure to title your project with your registration number on the first power point slide, followed by 10 proposed images.
-An abstract and detailed description of each design concept including materials, fabrication concepts or any other information that explains your ideas. The renderings or models in the power point presentation should clearly indicate orientation and scale.
-One copy of an image list identifying images of concepts by number.
-One copy of your current resume or curriculum vitae.

Please be inventive and have fun.

Proposals must be received (not postmarked) by 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) on Thursday, April 30, 2009 in order to be considered for this competition.

Proposal materials and CD’s will NOT be returned upon completion of the selection process. If you strongly feel you need the CD returned to you please include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage.

Mail or deliver proposals to:

Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
Public Art Program
ATTN: Gimme Shelter
200 W. Washington St., 10th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003

The Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture reserves the right to reject any or all applications, or to terminate the selection process for any project without prior notice. Application to any project advertised by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture constitutes agreement to all applicable rules and guidelines. A complete copy of the rules and guidelines is available at To receive a printed copy, call the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture at (602) 262-4637.

For additional information on this project or a copy of this information in an alternate format, contact Elizabeth Grajales, Public Art Project Manager, at (602) 534-7230, or
or through City of Phoenix TTY Relay at (602) 534-5500.