National Parks Now

Sponsors: Van Alen Institute and the National Park Service (NPS)

Type: open, RfQ

Fee: None

Language: English

Eligibility: Multidisciplinary teams will be selected from an international open Request for Qualifications process. Teams are strongly encouraged to include expertise in fields such as architecture and landscape architecture, graphic and interactive design, exhibition and film production, history, preservation, communications, and the social and environmental sciences. Team leads must be early career professionals with professional degrees obtained within the last ten years, and teams are encouraged to apply with an academic partner that could incorporate the challenges of the competition into studios, independent studies, or other education programs.


30 October 2014 – Deadline for Submissions of RfQ


Four teams—one from each park site—will receive a stipend of $15,000

At the conclusion of this phase, one team will be selected to receive an additional $10,000 to create a prototype for one of their strategies, which will be implemented at their site in summer of 2015.

Design Challenge:

As the National Park Service prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2016, the competition highlights four parks in the Northeast Region as case studies for attracting diverse audiences, telling new stories, and engaging the next generation of visitors at a time of fast-evolving technologies, regional contexts, and audience expectations:

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (Oyster Bay, NY), the estate of President Theodore Roosevelt


• Glen Cummings, Partner, MTWTF
• Fred Dust, Partner, IDEO
• Mark Hansen, Director, Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Columbia
University School of Journalism
• David van der Leer, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute
• Setha Low, Professor, Ph.D. programs in Anthropology, Geography, and
Environmental Psychology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
• William Morrish, Dean, Parsons School of Constructed Environments
• Kate Orff, Partner, SCAPE / Landscape Architecture
• Hunter Tura, President and CEO, Bruce Mau Design
• Linda Cook, Superintendent, Weir Farm National Historic Site
• Shaun Eyring, Chief, Resource Planning and Compliance, Northeast Region,
National Park Service
• Barbara Pollarine, Chief, Interpretation, Education, and Partnership
Development, Northeast Region, National Park Service

For more information, go to: for a complete RFQ, including details on the submission process.