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Competition: Beam Camp 2020, USA

Iceberg project by Lucie Bulot and Dylan Collins

Beam Camp in New Hampshire, USA, has launched its annual international competition to design a series of $12,500 temporary installations

The two-stage contest seeks ‘unique, ambitious and spectacular’ proposals for artistic structures to be constructed by the summer youth camp’s 20 staff and 100 participants.

The project aims to teach young people at the specialist camp about design, planning and construction, with the majority of components for each installation prepared on site and assembled in under 50 hours. Last summer’s winning scheme was the Project Iceberg floating diving platform (pictured) designed by Lucie Bulot and Dylan Collins and constructed from 1,400 colour-changing recycled plastic tiles.

In its brief, the camp says: ‘An intergalactic salvage station struck by a meteor, a solar-powered cinematic riff on a French film from 1902, a two-storey arboreal kaleidoscope: every year, Beam Camp solicits proposals for unique and spectacular large-scale projects that serve as the centrepiece for a 25-day session of camp, during which they are built and brought to life by 100 campers and staff.

‘Beam Camp is a collaborative building and design summer camp in Strafford, New Hampshire, that works with kids aged 10-17 to make the seemingly impossible possible. Our project team works with the winning designers to translate their designs into the camp context. Precision of craft, skill, and imaginative thinking are paramount in our projects and the work of our staff and campers.’

The annual summer camp in rural Strafford was launched 12 years ago by the New York-based Beam Centre, which promotes youth development through collaboration and creation. Accredited by the American Camp Association, the holiday camp focuses on developing hands-on skills and learning through fine arts, manual arts, technology and teamwork.

The 43ha facility is home to many past installations including several on land and water. Structures are demounted in the winter and reassembled each summer. Applicants chosen for 2018’s summer installations included Evan Ross Murphy from Wisconsin – who created a concrete temple with artistic features – and Michael Garnett and Cathrin Walczyk of Studio MiCat whose installation Bread and Brawn saw participants chopping wood and kneading dough for a purpose-built bread oven.

Proposals must include a detailed breakdown of construction steps and instructions for using the tools and materials available on the site. Facilities available at Beam Camp include wood and metal workshops with welding, moulding and casting tools; textile, dye and sewing stations; a ceramic studio; a technology lab; audio equipment and a food garden with commercial kitchen.

Participating teams must designate a project master who will be available to guide campers via Skype during the project’s delivery between February and June next year. Submissions must include the project title and short description, all diagrams and images with an extended description and background information about the team members with contact details.

The winners, set to be announced on 30 January, will each receive a US$3,000 stipend. Attendance at the camp is not mandatory for winning teams but travel expenses may be covered if required.

The deadline for submissions is 6 January.

How to apply

View the competition website for more information

Contact details

Beam Camp NH
55 Boy Scout Road
NH 03884

Email: contact@beamcamp.org
Tel: +1 718 855 7600

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