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Competition: Beam Camp Spectacular Projects 2019, USA

Bread and Brawn by Studio MiCat

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

Open to architects, engineers, designers, sculptors and artists, 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 schemes included Bread and Brawn by Michael Garnett and Cathrin Walczyk of London-based Studio MiCat which saw participants chopping wood and kneading dough for a purpose-built bread oven (pictured).

According to the brief: ‘An intergalactic salvage station struck by a meteor, a solar-powered cinematic riff on a French film from 1902, a 2-story 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, NH that works with kids aged 10-17 to make the seemingly impossible possible. Our award-winning program has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, NPR, and designboom, and offers young people the opportunity to cultivate hands-on skills while exploring innovative thinking, design, problem-solving and the creative process.’

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.

Open to participants aged 10 to 17, 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 last summer’s installations also included Evan Ross Murphy from Wisconsin, who created a concrete temple with artistic features.

Site plan

Site plan

Proposals for the latest commission 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, featuring 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
Strafford
NH 03884
USA

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