Rebuild By Design

The Institute for Public Knowledge is partnering with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the President’s Hurricane Sandy Task Force to organize REBUILD BY DESIGN, a multi-stage regional design competition to promote resilience for the Sandy-affected region.  IPK will serve as Lead Partner for Stage Two, which will provide an analysis of the region through a collaborative process with local communities, regional stakeholders and international experts.

The goal of the competition is two-fold: to promote innovation by developing regionally-scalable but locally-contextual solutions that increase resilience in the region, and to implement selected proposals with both public and private funding dedicated to this effort. The competition also represents a policy innovation by setting aside HUD Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding specifically to incentivize implementation of winning projects and proposals. Examples of design solutions are expected to range in scope and scale – from large-scale green infrastructure to small-scale residential resiliency retrofits. The competition process will also strengthen our understanding of regional interdependencies, fostering coordination and resilience both at the local level and across the US.

For more detail on the competition, including information on how to apply and an initial survey of available data sets, please follow the below links:

The Task Force issued a Request for Qualifications (see page 8 of the Rebuild By Design Brief) on Thursday, June 20, 2013. Responses must be sent to no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, July 19, 2013.

Stage Two: Analysis of the region through collaborative process

August – October 2013

Process: Applicants selected to proceed to Stage Two as Design Teams will receive $100,000 USD for all their efforts in Stage Two. The selected Design Teams will participate in an intense participatory process organized by New York University’s Institute of Public Knowledge (IPK) in close collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other partners in the region. This process will include engagement with a wide-range of stakeholders (including state and local government) and experts to develop a comprehensive understanding of the region, its interdependencies, key vulnerabilities, and areas that warrant integrated design thinking and solutions. Teams will be expected to participate in the following over the three-month analysis stage:

  • Ongoing seminars around relevant themes and knowledge;
  • A series of team symposia (one every three weeks) to discuss common  needs for information/resources;
  • Several regional site visits to interact with local stakeholders, engage the public, and witness affected spaces and structures; and
  • An opening and closing conference for the analysis stage.

NOTE: Content from this facilitated analysis process, being collaborative in nature and involving a wide-range of stakeholders, will be public, meaning that it can be used by all teams and will be collected throughout the process and presented by NYU IPK through a variety of mediums.

This iterative research process will underpin the analysis conducted by each of the Design Teams in their chosen focus area, and inform each Design Team’s production of a research report and public presentation.

As part of the research and analysis stage, Design Teams must also identify at least 3-5 design opportunities resulting from their research. Design opportunities are defined as key opportunities or key projects that have the potential for maximum impact on the region’s strengths and vulnerabilities. These opportunities can be both site-specific and/or representative of a typology that is regionally replicable.

Through a collaborative process with the Design Teams, Competition Jury, and other stakeholders, each Design Team will end up with one design opportunity for development and refinement in Stage Three in collaboration with state and local communities.

By defining the design questions through the competition process, this competition will incorporate the regional scale and perspective and will reflect the insight and interests of state and local stakeholders. Design Teams will then select one design opportunity to focus on in Stage 3.

Mid-August, 2013 Opening Conference
August – October Ongoing Seminars and Team Symposia
August – October Six Regional Site Visits (exact sites TBD)
Late October, 2013 Closing Conference

Deliverables: Each Design Team must submit a highly-accessible digital research report that includes visual and non-visual analysis, and identification of at least 3-5 design opportunities within their focus area. Design Teams will publicly present their research at a conference in October 2013. These analyses will be compiled by NYU IPK into a public catalog of submissions and synthesis document that could be used by a wide variety of stakeholders. NOTE: At the start of Stage Two, selected Design Teams will meet with NYU IPK to identify an agreed-upon format for each of the Stage Two deliverables.

Please direct any questions to

Project Launch

IPK Resilience- from Institute for Public Knowledge on Vimeo.

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