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2020 Call for Proposals

BSA Space, Boston’s only center for architecture and design, seeks curatorial proposals for its 2020 exhibition season. 

Spring 2020 
(February through end of April, exact dates TBD)
The spring 2020 exhibition will focus on measuring environmental sustainability in ways that move beyond the abstract. 
The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, July 31, 2018. 

Summer 2020 
(mid-May through mid-September, exact dates TBD)
The summer 2020 exhibition will focus on infrastructure—its impact on the day-to-day lives of urban dwellers and its role in creating an architecturally vibrant city and region.  

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

About
BSA Space features over 7,000 square feet of gallery space for creative explorations of the potential for design to engage community, inspire vision, and to provoke positive change. Home to the Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA) and the BSA Foundation (Foundation), BSA Space welcomes community members and design professionals. BSA Space produces exhibitions and programs exploring the aesthetic, economic, and social impact of architecture, design, and the built environment on Greater Boston and the wider world. Exhibitions at BSA Space are supported by the BSA Foundation. 

How proposals are selected
BSA Space favors provocative content that stimulates change in the way its visitors experience the built and natural environments. Submitted proposals will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Exhibitions Committee (the Committee), which is composed of museum professionals, Foundation board members, and community representatives. 

Proposals will be vetted against the BSA Foundation’s strategic agenda and must

  • Elevate public awareness and understanding of the power of design as it relates to urban conditions including climate change, environmental sustainability, urban planning, housing, plus social, economic, and cultural equity; 
  • Contain plans for an exhibition component that can be executed in the community;
  • Result in professionally curated content that includes a mixture of media types (2- and 3-dimensions).
     

​Specific criteria for 2020

Spring 2020 proposals should also address why materials matter to the sustainability dialog and suggest how this exhibition might lead to environmental impact. 

Summer 2020 proposals should address ways to engage the public in discovery around the monumental form and suggest how this exhibition might challenge attitudes about infrastructure and its role in the urban experience. 

Special care should be taken to indicate how the ideation expressed within proposals will manifest in 3D exhibits. 

How exhibitions are produced
Selected designers will work closely with BSA and Foundation staff to develop the exhibition, in accordance with BSA Foundation and AAM exhibition guidelines. Major exhibitions run 3-6 months, and are intended to mainly utilize the second floor gallery space. Guest curators will be given a budget of $30K-$70K, depending upon the specific needs of the proposal. Budget will include all exhibition expenses, including materials, fabrication, installation, curator fees, designer fees, and fees for any portion of this work contracted out. 

Audience
Exhibitions at BSA Space are spoken in a language that everyone can understand. BSA Space welcomes both public visitors and design and construction professionals. Exhibitions at BSA Space invite both audiences to expand their understanding of the power of design to affect multiple aspects of the built environment in Boston and beyond, and to build better communities. Exhibition content must appeal to visitors with diverse backgrounds and learning styles. 

Eligibility
This call is open to individuals, teams, or firms (note: proposal should not showcase the work of a single firm or individual). Applicants for this round of entries must have demonstrated experience curating a museum-quality exhibition. Applicants should not feel limited to architectural themes, as the committee will consider proposals that explore a wide variety of design and urban-related topics. BSA Space also considers traveling exhibitions that have formerly been exhibited at other venues.

Proposals should include the following, submitted in a single PDF: 

  1. A two-page description of your exhibition proposal. Descriptions must include:
    (a) Working title
    (b) Central narrative: a discussion of the central ideas that the exhibition will communicate to visitors. What is important, unusual, or distinctive about this project? Why is it important for the public to learn about the subject? How does the exhibition inspire through the power of design; support public interest in design; present ways to engage the public in innovation and design thinking; explore the use of design to address the issues of social, economic, and cultural inequity?
    (c) Interpretive format: what objects, images, exhibition components, and environments will be included? How will this exhibition make its important ideas clear to the public and address multiple styles of learning? 
    (d) Programming: three proposed programs that might accompany the exhibition
    (e) Impact: What aspects of this exhibition might provoke positive change?
  2. Sample introductory wall text (200 words)
  3. Up to five relevant renderings, sketches, potential images, or layouts that present the exhibition themes in a compelling way
  4. Portfolio of recent work and resume/CV (three pages maximum)
  5. Proposed budget (please use budget worksheet)

For a list of past exhibitions at BSA Space, click here.

The deadline for Spring 2020 submissions is Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 4:00 pm.

The deadline for Summer 2020 submissions is Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 4:00 pm.

Questions? Write exhibits@architects.org or call Pamela at 617-391-4001.