Just add water: architecture startups!

RFQs without the Q…
June 28, 2013, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Startup

A few days ago, a friend contacted me with an interest in collaborating on an open competition. The site is about 3 miles from my apartment and is sponsored by the local government. The RFQ had an interesting program with conceptual depth, a diverse jury and actual financial resources to fund the project into fruition.  It calls for a two-phase competition with an initial open call followed by a short-listed charrette.  My friend, who currently resides in Portugal, has a strong portfolio having just completed a huge project  in Mexico City of the same program.  My portfolio could easily fill in several of the other blanks required by the RFQ and our combined efforts would have been a balanced team that had projects of similar scope/size/program/local presence/etc.  We both were super excited about the potential of working together and like everyone else starting out, hoping for a shot at the short list.

The further we got into the 63-page brief (that no longer seemed so ‘brief’), the more we realized the strong emphasis on local architects.  While I’m physically here, I’m not established as a local yet.  Nor was my portfolio the strongest in this program.   We can all spin our past projects, but it was starting to feel like the Q was missing in my RFQ.

My friend kept insisting we pursue the project, but I’m wondering how many competitions are just chalked up as more “marketing material” than actual business pursuits?