Temporary installations have become a potent medium for young architects and designers to explore new technologies, materials, and models of practice. Field Constructs Design Competition (FCDC) was conceived as an effort to bring attention to a peripheral landscape in East Austin by engaging the design community. "The core idea with the competition is to stage an encounter between local audiences and emerging regional, national, and international talent,” explains Igor Siddiqui, co-founder and co-director of FCDC. The site, Circle Acres Nature Preserve, a former landfill-turned-park in Austin, 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.
In May, FCDC announced its 2015 Jury Selection Finalists. The 18 top-ranked proposals highlight a variety of approaches to today’s design innovation, and represent a breadth of material, technical, and social design solutions for engaging the competition brief and the competition site. The diverse qualifications of the project teams capture cutting-edge work of emerging professionals and creative practices across multiple disciplines. Jurors noted an appreciation for the scale and ambition of the chosen proposals, the variety of material approaches, and the possibility for installations to marry a sense of discovery with surprise. FCDC attracted a total of 82 submissions from 4 continents, 9 countries, 14 states, and 35 cities. The finalist selection marks the conclusion of Phase One of the competition. The 2015 Jury Selection Finalists will be exhibited at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (UTSOA) in November 2015.
“Austin is a hothouse for creativity and innovation. The Field Constructs Design Competition will foster innovation through the engagement of emerging cutting-edge designers, architects, landscape architects, and artists,” states Frederick R. Steiner, dean of UTSOA. “As a result, the competition will have enduring benefits for the people who live in Austin and Central Texas.”
The 2015 FCDC jury included: Virginia San Fratello of Rael San Fratello in Oakland, Calif.; Benjamin Ball of Ball-Nogues Studio in Los Angeles; Ingrid Spencer, executive director of AIA Austin; Jason Sowell, associate professor and program director of landscape architecture at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture; and Seattle-based artist John Grade.
During Phase Two, the FCDC co-founders will review Jury Selection Finalists in order to identify 2015 FCDC Winners, slated for realization. The selection — based on curatorial factors, funding, and feasibility — will be announced in August 2015. The winning projects will be constructed and open to the public at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve from November 14, 2015, to November 22, 2015, as part of a weeklong event series promoting design and community programming at the competition site. FCDC will also be featured as a Special Event during the annual East Austin Studio Tour (EAST). FCDC will be the first spot on the tour, located south of the Colorado River.
2015 FCDC JURY SELECTION FINALISTS
99 White Balloons
Invivia (Brad Cantrell, Allen Sayegh, Stefano Andreani, Craig Reschke, Ziyi Zhang)
Studio Roland Snooks (Roland Snooks, Cam Newnham, Sascha Bohnenberger)
Blake Smith, John Cunningham, Seth Brunner
New York, NY
Daniel Gillen, Colby Suter, Gustav Fagerstrom
Aptum Architecture (Julie Larsen, Roger Hubeli, Sean Morgan, Nathaniel Banks, Sai Lv)
Duck Blind in Plain Site
Jonathan A. Scelsa, John Paul Rysavy, Jennifer Birkeland, Isaac Stein, Nick Mitchell, Erin Wythoff
Brooklyn, New York
HA Architecture (Jamie Crawley, Dharmesh Patel, Charles Meyer), Manuel Gonzales
Austin / Lexington, KY
emerymcclure architecture (Michael A. McClure, Ursula Emery McClure), Kristi Cheramie, Sarah Young
Lafayette, LA / Columbus, OH
Glam Camo: Field Phantasms
Studio Modo (Clay Odom)
OTA+ (Kory Bieg)
Goujon Design (David Goujon)
Meat Church Field Kitchen
Jordan Bartelt, Scrap Marshall
Los Angeles, CA
Abe Drechsler, Allison Hale, Amanda Maderic, Claire Eddleman, Kristina Olivent
The OAK CLIFF Dirty 4 (Isaac Cohen, Chris Kiahtipes, Gwen McGinn, Maggie Winter)
Banned Practice (Sarah Cowles, Maritt Vaessin)
Lauren Fasic, Clayton Holmes, James Morgan, Brendan Wittstruck
Ludovico Centis, Nerea Feliz, Logan Wagner
Milan, Italy / Austin