Design Brief

Download the official PDF version: 2012 LAGI Design Competition Design Brief
please consider the environment before printing this document

The 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative, in partnership with New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, calls on artists and designers to submit proposals for a pragmatic art installation for Freshkills Park, Staten Island, New York City. A qualified entry must fulfill the following requirements and be developed to a concept design level of detail.

Submissions must:

      - consist of a three-dimensional sculptural form that has the ability to stimulate and challenge the mind of visitors to the site. The work should aim to solicit contemplation from viewers on such broad ideas as ecological systems, human habitation and development, energy and resource generation and consumption, and/or other concepts at the discretion of the design team.
      - be well informed by a thorough understanding of the history, geography and geotechnical details of the site, as well as the broader contexts of Staten Island and New York City. The work should maintain acute attention to details and context.
      - capture energy from nature, convert it into electricity, and have the ability to store and/or transform and transmit the electrical power to a power grid connection point to be designed by others. Consideration should be made for artfully housing the required transformer and electrical equipment within the project boundary and restricting access for the safety of visitors to the site.
      - minimize their impact on the natural environment and not create greenhouse gas emissions. Each entry should provide a brief environmental impact assessment as a part of the written description in order to determine the effects of the project on the natural ecosystem, and to make clear that no damage will be done to existing engineered systems and infrastructure of the landfill. Mention should be given to a mitigation strategy that will address any foreseeable issues. A link to the Freshkills Park Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) document is available in the downloads section of the competition website and provides additional context. Please note that LAGI 2012 does not require a lengthy EIS, but rather only asks for a paragraph that explains the design team’s approach at a conceptual design level.
      - make pragmatic considerations for preserving the integrity of the landfill cap and all other engineered systems that are in place, including landfill cover, infrastructure, and environmental controls. The cap shall not be penetrated in any manner for any reason. Vehicular access to above-ground landfill infrastructure must be preserved.
      - be safe to on-site viewers. Consideration must be made for viewing areas as well as boundaries between public and restricted areas.
      be pragmatic and constructible, employing technology that can be scalable and tested. There is no limit on the type of technology or the proprietary nature of the technology that is specified. It is recommended that the design team make an effort to engage the manufacturers of existing technology in preliminary dialogue as a part of their own research and development of the design entry.
      - use a percentage of the site strictly in accordance with the allotment allowances on the Site Plan. The overall footprint and covered area of the work must not exceed 100 acres in total. The installation may be limited to the North Park site, or to the East Park site, or may exist partially within both boundaries.
      - work in coordination with the approved Draft Master Plan for Freshkills Park. Within the specific project boundary areas in North Park and East Parks, the preliminary programming activities listed in the Draft Master Plan may be suspended or amended in lieu of the LAGI artwork program.

Supplemental Downloads

LATEST UPDATE (May 24, 2012):

Water Velocity Data

For tidal data, see also:
and then select: New Jersey and Boundary Area/The Kills and Newark Bay/Arthur Kill/Carteret



(Additional photos can be found in the Freshkills Park Flickr Album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36189491@N03)


LAGI2012-CAD-FreshkillsPark.dwg (971Kb)
GENERAL INFORMATION CAD FILE - Updated on April 4, 2012: Contains the layer “LAGI_Plot Limits," which is the official site boundary; topographic information has been removed from this file. For topographic information please see the DSNY.zip file.

LAGI2012-CAD-FreshkillsPark.zip (132Mb)
GENERAL INFORMATION CAD FILE WITH EXTERNAL RASTER IMAGE LINKS AS UNDERLAY - Updated on April 4, 2012: Contains embedded USGS and satellite maps on the layers beginning with "IMAGE_...". Drawing (vector) information is exactly the same as in the above file.

DETAILED AS-BUILT: Courtesy of New York City Department of Sanitation. Provides detailed information about the as-built conditions of the landfill infrastructure and site topography (contours are expressed in feet, and there are 2 feet separating each contour line).

(The same New York City Department of Sanitation drawings as a PDF set)

BoundaryLimitOverlay.dwg, BoundaryLimitOverlay.pdf


Excerpt from: “Large-Scale Solar at Freshkills Park–Feasibility Assessment” by the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University
(Courtesy of the City of New York)

Excerpt from: “Evaluation of the Feasibility of Installing a Commercial Scale Wind Energy Facility in Fresh Kills, Staten Island, New York” by BQ Energy LLC
(Courtesy of the City of New York)

FILE ADDED ON JANUARY 14, 2012: FreshkillsWindRose.pdf

This file will print out 1:1 size on A1 or ArchD paper at 1”= 40’ scale. All dimensions are in feet.


Document produced by New York City Department of City Planning for the
2001 international design competition for Freshkills Park
(Courtesy of the City of New York)

The work of James Corner, Field Operations: Draft plan of the design selected
from the submissions to the 2001 RFP
(courtesy of the City of New York)

Slides from the public presentation of the detailed proposal for North Park
(Courtesy of the City of New York)

Freshkills Park Generic Environmental Impact Statement
(Courtesy of the City of New York)
Please note that Section 15 pertains to the energy demand of Freshkills Park. For the complete GEIS, Please see this link to the Freshkills Park public review section at NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

“Working West Shore” Master Plan for sustainably growing Staten Island’s West Shore
(Courtesy of the City of New York)


“Landfill Capping: Engineering and Restoration” by C. McDonald, T. Meggyes, and E. Simmons

SolarOnClosedLandfills-Gabriel Sampson-UCSantaBarbara.pdf
“Solar Power Installations on closed Landfills: Technical and Regulatory Considerations” by Gabriel Sampson, National Network of Environmental Management Studies Fellow, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara


“Description of the New York City District” by F.J.H. Merrill, N.H. Darton, Arthur Hollick, R.D. Salisbury, R.E. Dodge, Bailey Willis, and H.A. Pressey
An interesting in-depth geological history document about the New York City region.

“Reconnaissance Mapping of Landfills in New York City” by Daniel C. Walsh

Jury and Selection


Bjarke Ingels
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Dr. Henry Kelly
Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy

Jean Gardner
Associate Professor of Social Ecological History, Parsons New School, School of Constructed Environments

Alice Aycock
Public Design Commission of the City of New York, and Independent Artist

Eric Shiner
Director, The Andy Warhol Museum

Patricia Watts & Amy Lipton

Melanie Cohn
Executive Director, Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island

Steven Grillo
Staten Island Economic Development Corporation

Peter Yeadon
Partner, Decker Yeadon

Eloise Hirsh
Freshkills Park Administrator, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Phil Gleason
Assistant Commissioner for Waste Management Engineering, NYC Department of Sanitation

Anne Guiney
Executive Director, Institute for Urban Design

James Corner
james corner field operations

Suzaan Boettger
Scholar of environmental and environmentalist art, NYC ; Associate Professor, Bergen Community College, NJ

Mitchell Joachim & Maria Aiolova
Terreform ONE and Planetary ONE


      Adherence to the Design Brief and Submission Requirements
      The integration of the work into the surrounding environment, landscape, and the approved Draft Master Plan for Freshkills Park
      The sensitivity of the work to the environment, to local and regional ecosystems, and to the integrity of the landfill cap and underground infrastructure
      The estimated amount of clean energy that can be produced by the work
      The way in which the work engages the public
      The embodied energy required to construct the work (this criterion relates also to the pragmatism of the proposal and to its return on construction investment period)
      The originality and social relevance of the concept


Refer to Prizes, Terms and Conditions



JANUARY 1, 2012
Announcement of call to teams

JANUARY 1, 2012 to APRIL 15, 2012
Open period for questions

JULY 1, 2012
Deadline for submission

AUGUST 30, 2012
Selection of winning entry

Announcement of winner and award ceremony
Public exhibit of selected entries

Questions & Answers

The open period for questions is now closed.
See below the FINAL Q+A Document (Updated May 24, 2012 to include water flow data PDF file link):

- May 24, 2012 Q+A

Instructions, Prizes, & Terms and Conditions



Submissions will be accepted until July 1, 2012 at 23:59 GMT.


Register your team by creating an account at: www.landartgenerator.org/designcomp/
Under Log In, click Register. Enter your username and email address. You will receive a password and confirmation via email.
Registration is free.


      • Exactly four (4) A1 size layout pages (PDF only)
      A1 size is based on the international ISO 216 standard (594mm × 841mm)
      • One (1) 1,500-word maximum written description (DOC or TXT only)
      • Layouts must all be landscape in orientation (for consistency in publications and exhibits)
      • Each layout page is to be uploaded as a separate PDF file
      • Each layout page may not exceed 6MB file size
      • Each layout page must have a unique 8-character code visible somewhere on the sheet. The 8-character code is to be selected by Entrant (you) and must consist of letters and/or numbers (no symbols, non-latin alphabet letters, or letters with accent)
      • Language must be English


      • Teams (Entrant) may submit only one entry (Submission) to the Competition. Individuals may not be on more than one team.
      • Be sure that no personal identifying information is visible on any of your layout boards other than the 8-character code. You pick the code yourself.
      • Name each file with your 8-character code, underscore followed by the number of each layout page.
      ex: EZ35G455_1.pdf, EZ35G455_2.pdf, EZ35G455_3.pdf, and EZ35G455_4.pdf
      ex: EZ35G455.doc (for the written description | do not number, there is only one)
      **Do not use this example 8-character code**
      • Go to: www.landartgenerator.org/designcomp.html and log in.
      • Under Details and Downloads, click Upload Submission.
      • Upload your layout boards using the online form. Locate each of your PDFs and your DOC file on your local computer. Make sure that your email address and all other information is correct and that all required fields are completely filled in. Click “Upload.”
      • Please be patient while the upload is in process and do not navigate away. Uploading may take ten minutes or even longer, depending on your connection speed.
      • Once your submission is complete, you will be re-directed automatically to a confirmation page and you will receive a confirmation email.


First Place: $15,000 (USD)
Second Place: $4,000 (USD)


The following supersedes the General Criteria and the Terms + Conditions in the PDF document


Land Art Generator Initiative design competition ("Competition") is a project of Society for Cultural Exchange ("SCE") and is administered solely by SCE. Prize award money is a cash payment from SCE to the winning designer and is not related to costs of detailed design or construction of the work. There is no guarantee of any of the submitted designs being constructed.

Entry to the Competition is prohibited by Competition judges, their domestic partners, immediate relations, and direct employees. The terms "judge" and "juror" are interchangeable in the context of the Competition. Both terms refer to those individuals listed in the design brief document as jurors.

No participant may reveal the identity of any design or communicate with any member of the Jury or 2012 Competition partner organizations or supporters ("Partners"). By submitting a proposal, each competitor automatically affirms compliance with the competition requirements, rules and guidelines and agrees that any violation will result in immediate disqualification from consideration.

Entry to the Competition is prohibited by any employee, volunteer, or board member of Society for Cultural Exchange or the Land Art Generator Initiative or Partners.

Subject to any limitation herein, any design and intellectual property undergirding a submitted entry ("Submission") remains the property of the participant or participating team ("Entrant") and may be used for their own purposes. Entrants are solely responsible for protecting the intellectual property of a Submission.

SCE shall treat a Submission as being eligible, under U.S. Copyright law, to be entered in this Competition, and that Entrant has the right to submit the Submission.

By entering the Competition and without more, each Entrant grants to SCE and the Land Art Generator Initiative an unlimited and irrevocable license to copy any Submission as well as to use the Submission in any way that SCE deems appropriate, including educational, commercial, or any other use. More thoroughly, without further authorization or any compensation owed to or due any Entrant, Entrant grants and authorizes, and SCE shall retain, a perpetual, non-exclusive royalty-free license to use any Submission, or any revision, alteration, change, or similar thereof, at the discretion of SCE, for any purpose, including displaying any Submission by any means anywhere in the world or beyond, including in any media which may include displaying a Submission on an Internet website, in a book, and for publication for resale and in museums worldwide, including museums in the United States and Canada, the term of which shall be the entire life of any copyright. Accordingly, Entrant waives any right to the SCE's exploitation of Entrant’s Submission in any way. Unless otherwise provided, Entrant retains all rights to their Submission, provided however that SCE may modify, change, alter, or amend the format of the Submission.

The Entrant shall be credited either by collective (team or design firm) name or by individual name(s) at their discretion in all publications and exhibits following the jury decision. By submitting a design, the Entrant agrees to provide SCE with the right of first refusal to the exclusive use of the design for the purpose of exhibition, publishing and promotion.

Though SCE shall make commercially reasonable efforts to display appropriate and customary credit lines on any Submission displayed or otherwise featured following the jury decision, SCE shall have no affirmative duty to do so. Thus, Entrant waives any “moral rights” associated therein.

Should Entrant be unwilling or otherwise unable to enter into any license, or provide any authorization, permission and release, or otherwise cannot accept or receive the prize for any reason, or, if in the discretion of SCE, Entrant is not eligible to receive a prize, the Entrant with the next highest score may be chosen from the remaining Entrants until one who is able to meet all requirements can be selected.

Entrant may not sell, resell, assign or transfer any of their rights in their Submissions, or participation in the Competition, and any act deemed so by SCE will result in a disqualification.

Upon request, any Winner agrees to and shall participate to the best of their ability in any publicity and promotional activity surrounding the Competition.

The Entrant agrees to allow SCE to use the submitted design in discussions and negotiations with developers, planners, funders and municipalities in an effort to have the design detailed and constructed.

In the event that SCE exercises the option to use the rights for production (detailed engineering and construction of the winning design) on an exclusive basis and without time limitations, Land Art Generator Initiative shall enter into an agreement with the Entrant and with the owner/developer of the constructed work, the terms of which shall be determined entirely by those agreements.

SCE reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Competition for any reason, including those causes beyond SCE's control that could corrupt the administration, security or proper participation in the Competition.

SCE assumes no responsibility for technical or other conditions that prevent the receipt or the judging of a Submission from any Entrant.

The Submission and the design therein must be kept confidential by the Entrant until the results of the Competition are announced publicly.

Submissions that have already been made public, are found to plagiarize any existing design, that may harm public safety, or that are found to infringe on the intellectual property rights of others will be disqualified.

Noncompliant Submissions shall be disqualified. SCE is under no obligation to notify the Entrant of a Submission’s disqualification.

If any award-winning Submissions are found to fall under any of these categories later, the award will be cancelled and the prize money withdrawn.


There are no restrictions on team size and/or makeup. It is recommended (but not mandatory) that the team be comprised of interdisciplinary members so as to arrive at the most well conceived result. An ideal team might consist of an artist, an architect, a landscape architect, an electrical engineer, and a renewable energy scientist.

As an international design competition, the Competition is open worldwide to any member of the public and to students. An Entrant may either make a Submission individually or as a team (“Entrant”). Each team shall identify one team member as its Point of Contact (“Point of Contact”) during the upload process.

SCE shall direct any Competition-related communications to the Point of Contact. Any awarded prize funds shall be distributed to the Point of Contact of the winning Entrant.

A team (Entrant) may be composed of a group of otherwise unaffiliated individuals and/or represent an existing organization, firm or agency.

There are no age restrictions, however high school students and those age 19 and under are encouraged to participate in the "FOR HIGH SCHOOLS" version of the Competition.

Unless awarded a prize pursuant to the rules herein, no Entrant shall receive or be entitled to receive any payment or monies as a result of a Submission or for granting SCE any right herein or associated with the Competition.


All Submissions shall be vetted for eligibility and strict adherence with all Competition Rules and Criteria as defined herein or in any associated Competition Brief (or similar).

Qualifying Submissions shall advanced to a review by the Competition administrative team (SCE and project partners) to be shortlisted. Shortlisted Submissions shall advance to review by a jury convened by SCE for the awarding of the First and Second Place Prizes. Accordingly, SCE will identify any winner, runner-up, and mentions of the Competition (“Winner”). SCE reserves the right to change any rubric related to or in identifying any Winner. Determination of the FOR HIGH SCHOOLS prize ($1,000USD) shall be made by the Competition administrative team (SCE and project partners).

Jury review shall be preceded by a month-long shortlisting process in coordination with Partners and informed by community events and public feedback. The shortlisting process shall proceed at the discretion of SCE. Entrants will not be notified of their status with regard to shortlisting.

Jurors shall have no access to the identity of the Entrant but shall refer to the Submissions by their unique 8-character identification code.

The Jury shall identify through their deliberation a First and a Second place winner. First Place will receive $15,000USD in prize award money. Second Place will receive $4,000USD in prize award money.

Determination of the FOR HIGH SCHOOLS prize ($1,000USD) shall be made by the Competition administrative team (SCE).


By, through, or concerning any Submission, or any revision, alteration, change, or similar thereof, any use thereof, or through participation in the Competition in any way whatsoever, Entrant agrees to release, indemnify, defend, and hold harmless any Party from any liability, any claim for damages, and/or suit for or by reason of said Submission.

As a further condition of entering this Competition, Entrant acknowledges and agrees and therefore covenants not to sue or make any claim against any Party related to an Entrant’s Submission, or any use thereof, and therefore: a. Under no circumstances shall or can the Entrant be entitled to any award for any loss or any damages, which include attorneys’ fees, thereby precluding Entrant from any punitive, treble, multiplied, incidental, consequential, and any other damages. b. Any dispute, claim and cause of action arising out of or connected with this Competition, or any prizes awarded or potentially awarded therein, shall be resolved without resort to any form of action or class action. c. Should an Entrant choose to bring a claim against SCE, or any Party and should any provision herein or a part of a provision thereof not survive legal judgment, Entrant must submit to binding arbitration of SCE's choosing. Should the Entrant fail to prevail on its claim in any forum, the Entrant shall pay SCE's or any Party’s reasonable attorneys’ fees and its costs.

Nothing herein will constitute a waiver for any cause of action that SCE or any Party may take against an Entrant.