Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Station North Bike Rack Competition

A rendering for a proposed urban bike parking area. Wouldn't it be cool if all new parking garages in the city were required to include some kind of exterior or first-level bike parking?

I've been asked to help judge a competition for new bike racks in the Station North Arts & Entertainment district in Baltimore. The official RFP came out yesterday and it's a great opportunity for designers—winners get money to fabricate their racks. I'm pasting the RFP below. Anyone can submit proposals, you don't have to be from Baltimore.

Station North Bike Rack Project
Call for Entries

DEADLINE: Friday, November 7, 2008

Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. announces the Station North Bike Rack Project. Eight (8) uniquely designed bike racks will be created and installed throughout the Station North Arts & Entertainment District to enhance the area with these sculptural installations, while simultaneously promoting bicycling within the city of Baltimore.

Design submissions will be reviewed by an independent panel of jurors. Those invited to be on that panel include: Matthew Bracken, former President of Independent Fabrication; Elizabeth Evitts Dickson, writer for Metropolis and Architect magazines; Irene Hoffman, Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, Ledelle Moe, Artist and Chair of Sculpture, Maryland Institute College of Art and John Ruppert, Artist and Chairman of the Department of Art at the University of Maryland. They will be joined by Station North Bike Rack Project committee members Doug Bothner and Fred Scharmen of Ziger/Snead Architects, Gary Kachadourian from the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, and Monika Graves, board member of Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc.

The Station North Bike Rack Project is being underwritten by the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund.

Design submissions must be on a 30”x30” board and include a visual and written description of the design (material to be used, how it will be secured, and any other pertinent information to aid the panel.) A one paragraph biography of the designer, artist or team should also be included on the back of the submission.

Designers may create a single design, multiple designs, or a series or “family” of designs. Each unique design must be submitted on a separate 30”x30” board.

All submissions will be displayed in an exhibit tentatively scheduled at the Windup Space Bar and Arts Venue (10 West North Avenue) on Friday, November 21, 2008.

Design submissions will be returned, if requested, at artist’s expense.

This competition is open to the entire art and design community, including architects, artists, bicycle designers, engineers, landscape architects, planners, urban designers, industrial designers, and manufacturers, etc. Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. encourages multi-disciplinary teams to participate. At least 50% of the eight (8) designs chosen will be by designers located in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area.

The chosen designers and artists will be expected to fabricate their own designs as described, or have them fabricated by a qualified person. The designer should include his/her qualifications to execute the design or explain how they would have the design executed and by whom.


Designs must be original designs, durable, easy to maintain, and safe to pedestrians and cyclists. They must allow for the bicycle frame and at least one wheel to be secured to the rack and must work with commonly available locks and chains.

The locations of where the Bike Racks will be installed are yet to be determined. Site specific designs may be submitted, but there is no guarantee that the design, if chosen, will be placed at the desired location.

The designers of the chosen designs will be notified on or before November 21. The designers will be expected to fabricate the designs by March 1, 2009. The Bike Racks will be installed between March 1 and 15. An official “ribbon cutting” will be held on Friday, March 20, 2009.

Eight finalists and four alternate proposals will be selected by the panel.

Pursuant to discussions with city officials, designers, artists or teams may be asked to redesign or alter parts of their designs to address issues of practicality and safety. If any of the finalists can not be approved after design revisions, one of the alternate proposals may be selected to replace them.

Designers will receive a $4,000 honorarium for each design that is selected. This honorarium includes the cost of fabricating the winning design. Designers will not be reimbursed for any costs associated with the creation of the Bike Racks beyond the agreed upon $4,000. $2,000 will be paid upon selection and acceptance of design and the signing of a contract; the remaining $2,000 will be paid upon receipt of the completed Bike Rack.

The Bike Racks will become the property of Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc.

It is possible that the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore may select one or more of the chosen designs for replication and placement throughout downtown Baltimore. If so, the designer will be compensated for the use of his/her design for such purposes.

Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc. reserves the right to reproduce images of the selected designs and completed racks for printed or internet publicity, catalogue, map or marketing purposes.

Design submission should be delivered to:
Station North Bike Rack Project
Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc.
113 West North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201

For further information, contact David Bielenberg at 410-962-7075 or