Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science RFQ

-1The Miami Science Museum is a well-known and beloved cultural entity aiming to make a difference in people’s lives by inspiring them to appreciate the impact that science and technology can have on every facet of the world. For over 60 years, Miami Science Museum’s award-winning educational programs, family-focused exhibits, historic planetarium, and rehabilitative Wildlife Center and Clinic have enriched locals and tourists alike. Billed as the “museum of the people”, the Museum’s strength lies in its legacy with the community as an attraction and educational entity. In recent years, the Museum has also capitalized on new media and has developed virtual portals and a strong presence on social media in order to give audiences additional opportunities to connect with and become more personally vested in its future.

Overview of the Program

The Miami Science Museum is currently proceeding with its design for a new 250,000 sf science museum in Museum Park in Miami, Florida. The site is approximately four acres, immediately adjacent to a four-acre parcel that will house the new Perez Art Museum Miami. Both buildings and their grounds are within the approximately 28-acre Museum Park in downtown Miami, and the two new institutions will sit atop a new joint parking structure with a plaza linking the two museums.

Key components of the new Miami Science Museum include a 35,000 sf aquarium, a planetarium, and approximately 30,000 sf of indoor and outdoor science exhibits. The aquarium is planned to be one of the iconic elements of the Museum, visible from the exterior, and spanning all the floors of the Museum. The planetarium, one of the centerpieces of the current Museum, will expand its technology and its programs. It is strongly desired to have the flexible museum exhibits both indoor and outdoor to take advantage of the climate, and the possibilities that outdoor exhibits bring to the site and the museum experience. A highly sustainable building is planned, including LEED rating, to reduce energy costs, and to act as a showcase for the latest energy management and control technology.

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is requesting qualifications from artists for interior and exterior artwork to be commissioned for the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science currently under construction.

This RFQ is open to all professional artists. Applicants must be practicing visual artists.
Applications from architects, landscape architects or other design professionals will not be considered unless included as part of an artist-led team. Applications will be accepted online only through CaFÉ at:

Submitted applications will be judged on a competitive basis from which up to five finalists may be selected for each location. Finalists invited to propose may be interviewed. Finalists will be provided with detailed plans and paid to develop detailed design proposals. Finalists may be considered for more than one location and/or site. It will be up to the art selection committee to choose the final sites and the best possible artwork for each site.

TOTAL ART BUDGET: The overall budget is $2,400,000 (for approximately three projects.)
The total budget may be divided to commission one or more interior or exterior artworks. The selected artists’ budgets will include all costs of design, engineering, fabrication, permitting installation, artwork transportation, special handling fees, special lighting (if any), photographic documentation, travel and other reimbursements, liability, and automobile insurance, and an identifying plaque made to Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science standards and specifications. State laws related to public construction, including licensing, insurance, bonding, and payment of prevailing wage rates, may apply.
Finalists will be apprised of this information.

Intent, Goals, and Themes

The Museum is seeking to commission art that supports the mission, goals and themes of the new Museum, recognizing the power of art to inspire wonder and prompt reflection about the world we live in. This emotional and creative reaction can in turn become the seedbed for motivating science inquiry.

The intent of the artwork is to enhance the aesthetic of the building, using art to create an additional element of approachability, reflecting our intent to be a welcoming threshold for all visitors. At the same time it is to attract attention, underscoring the iconic nature of the building.

The goals of the artwork are to:

  • Provoke questions, awe, or conversation arising from a heightened awareness inspired by the art and of a phenomenon or quality that relates to science;
  • Provide/provoke new perspectives about physical phenomena (e.g., zooming in or out) or new perspectives on aspects of our lives that are underpinned by science;
  • Serve as a platform for voices to be heard – for visitors to engage, connect with others, take action, express their thoughts and feelings;
  • Serve as a threshold into exploration/understanding of an underlying science concept;
  • Underscore the dynamic quality of the overall building and program, by being responsive to the dynamic qualities of the environment, both the elements (sun, wind, water) and the ever-varying human dimension added by the flow of visitors.

The themes for the artwork should interpret the overarching themes of the Museum program. People, Planet, and Prosperity are top-line crosscutting themes for the new Museum that serve to define the program, organize the main gallery spaces, and set up measurable parameters for success. The new Museum will position itself as a catalyst for social change, contributing to social, economic and environmental well being through a broad and varied program. This will range from threshold experiences into science and technology, to more in-depth learning and capacity building, as well as opportunities to connect with others and get involved in projects that benefit the individual, the environment and the community.

The following are suggestive of the range of topics that might be explored through the public artworks:

People: cultural diversity, social interaction, community; health/wellness; communication, connection; the uniqueness of Miami, the things that make Miami Miami (that make us so Miami); the transience of the community, but also Miami as a hub, way station or gateway; Miami as a place where juxtapositions are the norm, where the odd and unusual are welcomed and celebrated, where conceptual collisions are encouraged .

Planet: echoing the main themes of the Living Core aquarium component, this heading is an umbrella for themes that explore the physical and living world; the intricacy and complexity of nature, of life; diversity, interconnectivity and interdependency; evolution, geologic time, change over time; the properties of energy, water, wind and light.

Prosperity: themes that relate to the scientific underpinnings of Miami’s industries (biotech, health, film/entertainment, agriculture, tourism, finance, transportation); mathematical principles, patterns, algorithms, artificial intelligence; new materials and their properties; things that are electric, digital, robotic.

Desirable attributes that cut across these areas include:

  • Works of art that invite and permit interactivity are desirable, including physical as well as digital interactivity;
  • Works of art that are responsive to and expressive of visitor sentiment, thought, and contribution – i.e., participatory;
  • Works of art that are kinetic, dynamic;
  • Works of art that are actually alive, responsive to the elements;
  • Works of art that are cognizant of the green sensibilities of this LEED-certified building;
  • Works of art that are contemporary and ‘of the moment’, while at the same time of enduring significance.


The museum is open to receiving proposals for all areas of the building, including the following:

  1. Energy Playground: Vertical Wall (approximately 5,255 square feet)
  2. Wall A (Donor wall) (approximately 6,195 square feet)
  3. Wall B (Café Exterior) (approximately 3,389 square feet)
  4. Walls C-D (Flanking Planetarium exterior) (approximately 8,768 square feet)
  5. Subterranean Parking Pedestrian Ramp (approximately 4,210 square feet)
  6. Interstitial Overhead spaces Atrium (approximately 6,308 sq. ft. The height of that space is about 65’ from the bottom of the canopy support beams to the plaza deck.)

Note: Each artwork/location will cover partial areas of these sections.



The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science Art Selection Committee will review applications and contact finalists prior to May 31, 2013 Exterior art will be installed prior to May 31, 2015 or as soon as artwork is complete and installation can be coordinated with project manager and Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science staff.

Note: Dates subject to change.


Any modifications to interior or exterior architectural components will be at the expense of the artist and coordinated and approved through the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science project manager. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science project manager will help facilitate the logistics of installing the proposed art works.

Artwork should work well with existing architectural elements. Arrangement or composition of artwork should interact with the design of existing finishes.
Areas of circulation and public access around artwork should be ADA compliant.

If exterior artwork is selected, the selected artist will coordinate with the project manager. Florida Hurricane season begins in June and usually ends in Late October. Artwork must be designed so that rain and heavy winds do not affect the artwork and its finish.


The installed artwork must be permanent and designed to last the life of the building. Artwork of all media will be considered. Viewers may touch the artwork if it is installed in an accessible location, therefore artwork must also endure substantial public use. Public safety is of great importance in this facility. Routine maintenance and display considerations must be minimal. Replacement features if required, must be commercially available in Florida.


The criteria for selection will include:

  • Quality, appropriateness, and originality of the artist’s past work as evidenced by the digital images, the letter of interest and resume
  • Durability, maintenance requirements, and safety considerations related to past commissions
  • Past projects and references that attest to qualifications and ability to complete the work on time and in coordination with a firm construction timeline
  • Ability to work with contractors and consultants, design architect, engineers and others on the design team



Two Days in Copenhagen

We’ve arrive back in the apartment after our second day in Copenhagen. I will refrain from saying we’re here for Cop15, because, while I’m interested in what’s going on in there, I’m really here to see the creative responses collected in this place at this time. That isn’t to say we didn’t go to the Bella Center, we did, but it’s not our primary goal.

I had the opportunity to check in with Martin Rosengaard of while Miranda was delayed in London, as well as get a very helpful and personal tour of the city on bike by our host (and sterling scenographer) Sara Vilslev, a friend from the 2007 Prague Quadrennial.

On Sunday we headed to the Bright Green Expo at the Forum. It is the concurrent trade show for green tech during COP15. There was a promise of the inclusion of cultural programming, so it seemed like a good place to start. The Cultural programming really consisted of a DJ/VJ set for about an hour by CPH:DOX remixing Cities on Speed. We moved on pretty quickly: green-tech (good or green-washing) is green-tech. We’re into it, but it’s better covered elsewhere.


We then continued on to view the CO2 Cube floating by the Tycho Brahe Planetarium. After the artist renderings  was surprised to see it’s construction was of shipping containers and that it had media on 2 of 4 sides. They were recalibrating the video, but we got some footage you can see from posts yesterday. We only strayed away for a little while so that we could wander towards the Downtown Hopenhagen Live area until we spoke with Deanne LeRue of the Meridian Health Foundation and Millennium Art and Steve Mason of Obscrua Digital.

Afterwards we returned for some quality time with the work at Hopenhagen Live. This green glowing cluster of portable exhibition rooms showcased policy, the integration of sustainable solutions into the city scape and some creative interpretations highlighting everyday relationships to the environment. A favorite was The Apartment, seen in a quick video here:


We wandered to the Polar Ice Bear to check it’s melt status, slowed by the freezing temperatures we’ve dipped into. After dinner we headed over to the CO2 Cube Reception, which was a high class affair, no pictures, but we did catch some night footage of the cube.

We did miss the demonstrations going south, which you’ll likely know resulted in hundreds of arrests. We did hear the helicopters and sirens as Police sprung into action, preemptively arresting people after a group of anarchists started egging them on. Tensions are a little high now, though the majority of all demonstrations have been peaceful.

With everything going on, we felt it was important to offer some guidance around town. So, to help others better find the arts activities occurring in Copenhagen, I spent the rest of the night trying to get everything onto our events calendar and created a google map for those who want to find their way around, guided by Eco-Arts.

Monday is now wrapping up and the center of the city, all the way to the Bella Center is policed to within an inch of it’s life. However, we both leave (though I return just 24 hours later) on Tuesday, so Monday became about trying to see everything that was open (like many cities, cultural institutions in Copenhagen are closed on Mondays).


We began by heading to the wrong address for the Poulsen Gallery. But, once we found our mistake, we were able to make it to the installation of Ghost Forest in Thorvaldsens Plads, right around the corner from the real Poulsen Gallery. It’s quite breath-taking, especially with a proper background in the process of getting these stumps here. But, even as we seemed to be some of a few onlookers, there was a constant police presence here and along the canal.


LED at 7 meters high, where the sea will rise here if Greenland's ice sheet melts.

The Poulsen Gallery has been turned over to The Colonel (said phonetically and not as one who serves fried chicken or in the military), the identity of french artist Thierry Geoffroy, as his HQ for a number of evolving projects during COP15. This is serving as the headquarters for the Yes Men and their SurvivaBalls (registered trademark), a series of Critical Runs, Facebook projects, and whatever else they come up with while here. It’s advised to check in with them regularly. Upon my return, I’ll likely head back over to try and talk to some of them about what they are doing. We were lucky to be invited to a semi-junket event, which we’ll get to in a moment.

With the short daylight moments dwindling, we walked to the Bella Center, hoping to find the path set by Glowing Climate, which we were able to find some of as we got closer.

It should be remarked that the Bella Center is not in the center of Copenhagen. It is, from our lodgings, 8.4km or 5.2 miles. From the center of town it is 5.9km or 3.7 miles.

While we didn’t see much until right up to the Bella Center, as the lights from 7m began to appear overhead.  Once we were there the walk was worth it. The Pulse of the Earth is a fantastically creepy piece and really lends to the night time, what I’d venture to call semi-apocalyptic scene that is the entrance to the barricaded center. This is entirely appropriate, COP15 itself is semi-apocalyptic. Between the pulsing red lights of the installation, the cold an huddled hopeful observers lined up at the fences, scores of police,‘s and Climate Action Network‘s Jumbotron showing the award for fossil of the day, press, vegans dressed in animal costumes pass out bags for converts and the ground littered with pamphlets (really now), it was all a bit amazing to see.


As the talks let out, we hopped the metro back into town. We had diner and made it to the Poulsen Gallery event, were we saw a demonstration of the SurviaBall (still a registered trademark), were treated to a song from the Red Suited Climate Debt Agents (accompanied by the green suited Mr. Green from Oxfam), and milled about the gallery while that day’s talks were remixed for ambiance.

We made out way home, finding that it too was lined with the flashing red markers from 7m, just as the reports of clashes between activists and police in Christiania started to make it into our news feed. I had planned to visit Christiania upon returning from the sojourn to London, but that’s now differently colored. Word on the street was that the police had left the area, to some great extent, alone, as to focus on the Bella Center and downtown. As I write, it is being evacuated and those in cafés are being told to leave or be arrested.

It’s getting colder here in Copenhagen, but tensions are starting to boil over.

Tomorrow we both head to London. Miranda will continue to head on home, but I will be there for the Future Arcola launch event at City Hall. I will also , finally, meet William Shaw of the RSA in person, after missing him by hours in Copenhagen.

More recap soon. When I return the museums and exhibition halls will be open, while parts of town are shut down. And I’m curious as to see how we move around the city when Obama arrives on Friday.

P.S. It was the Yes Men