Frequently Asked Questions
Stage 1 - Submission Clarification
1. If a cover page, section dividers, and a back page are included, will it be considered part of the 25-page limit?
Due to the flexibility that an application tracking and management system like Slideroom offers us, the Project Management team has agreed that the 25-page limit will only apply to the "Experience" section.
If necessary to the clarity of the submission, each "Experience" attachment will be allowed 1 cover page, 1 back page and 1-page section dividers between each project elaborated upon with this section. These pages will not be included as part of the 25-page limit. These pages cannot include any additional submission content not found elsewhere in this section or throughout the rest of the application. Please remember to limit the "Experience section" to describing no more than 5 projects completed by key individuals on the team. Though we expect to see complete projects, projects that are under construction or unrealized can also be a part of this submission.
The Cover Letter will still be treated as an attachment, and should still be limited to one page as indicated in the RFQ.
All other sections including Design Approach, Project Issues, Civic Participation, and Budget and Schedule will be entered as multi-line text responses within the online application form. Each of these sections are still limited to 500 words or less.
2. Can resumes be included as an appendix to this document? We are finding it difficult to include all of the resumes of key individuals while adhering to the 25 page maximum page count?
The Project Management Team has agreed to allow teams to add an appendix to their applications to contain resumes of key individuals. This appendix will not be considered part of the 25 page maximum page count.
3. Please confirm that the 25 page limit applies to the “Experience” section only.
The 25 page limit applies to the "Experience" section only. Please see the response to Question #1.
4. Is the direct involvement of a certified minority and women-owned business (M/WBE) required as part of the proposed team?
It is encouraged but not required. The intent of the process is to ensure that women and minorities are included in important design and decision-making aspects of the project. Each project team can decide if they meet this internally or through partnerships.
5. Are teams encouraged to identify local, professional partners for the initial RFQ submission? Or do the organizers prefer that they be identified during Stage 2 or Stage 3 of the design competition, once the goals of the DIA and other principal stakeholders are better known?
There is no requirement to have a local partner for the competition. All teams should be composed in Stage 1. At the same time, it is natural for teams to change composition throughout the process. Each project team can decide which partnerships make sense for their intent and approach.
6. For the Stage 1 submission, could you please clarify what project scopes should be identified at this time? (i.e.: civil engineering, sustainability consultant, etc…) Or is the Stage 1 submission focused only on the prime consultant’s (landscape architect / urban designer) qualifications?
As answered in the prior Question #5, all teams should be composed in Stage 1. At the same time, all team members do not need to be present at the Stage 2 presentations. Each project team can decide which team members are important to be present to highlight their intent and approach. Also as stated in the prior answer, it is natural for teams to change composition throughout the process. Each project team can decide which partnerships make sense for their intent and approach.
7. How extensive should the team be for Stage 1: only the lead landscape and/or urban design firm, or include consultants such as community engagement, sustainable engineer, etc…?
See the prior two questions #5 and #6 and their answers.
8. Will the consultants identified at Stage 2 be required to be present at the presentations in June?
See the answer to question #6.
9. Are you looking for only completed projects?
The RFQ process will identify people who can show experience in this type of work. Though we expect to see complete projects, projects that are under construction or unrealized can also be a part of the submission in Stage 1.
10. Is there a limit to the number of projects submitted?
Yes, we ask that submissions describe no more than 5 projects total within the 25 page limit.
11. Are you looking for a total of five (5) projects, or up to five (5) projects per individual team member?
We are looking for five (5) projects that best represent the work of the key individuals identified on the team. We would like to see that team members have direct experience or connection to the type of work we intend to undertake.
12. Can we change the order of the proposal? For example, move "Design Approach" ahead of "Experience"
Since the Project Management team has decided that the 25-page limit now only applies to the "Experience" section (please see Question #1), the order of the proposal is now fixed.
13. Do you expect to have a fee proposal included in the Budget and Schedule?
We do not think that there is enough information for a team to give a fee proposal and schedule at this point in Stage 1 and 2. We are looking for experience with strategies used to retain the quality of the design and meet budget and schedule.
14. Are artists required to be part of the primary team or can they be part of a larger proposed consultant team?
We feel this should be the decision of each submitting team depending on their individual intent and approach.
15. Stage I does not require drawings, but to select the teams for Stage 2, 20% is for Design Flair and Creative Ability?
We expect that this requirement will be primarily accomplished through the submitted sample projects and their narratives.
Stage 2 and 3 Specifics
16. Can you specify the amount of the stipend offered to teams participating in the third stage of the selection process? And how much of the travel expenses will be reimbursed in the later phases (since the participation in meetings is compulsory)?
The stipend has been set at $35,000 (USD) for each of the three invited teams.
No travel expenses above and beyond the stipend provided will be covered for any of the stages of the RFQ/Competition process.
17. The brief does not make any mention of awards, payments of fees, disbursements of production costs or ongoing involvement for phase 2 or phase 3. Can you please elaborate on this?
Besides the stipend discussed in Question #16, no other financial reward or reimbursement will be provided in Stage 2 or 3.
18. Can you provide any additional information about the submission requirements? (What will the Stage 3 deliverables include?)
Stage 1 and 2 form the RFQ portion of this process. Stage 2 requirements: the shortlisted +/-8 teams will make a presentation illustrating and providing more detail to the information provided in the RFQ. No drawings, models, or any other form of design solutions/thinking are required in Stage 2.
Stage 3 forms the competition portion of the process. Specific requirements will be given to the final three teams upon notification. They will include:
- Design and project narrative.
- Physical boards that illustrate design intentions, representation, overall district strategy, and three-dimensional representations of spaces in use.
- Physical model of the DIA portion of the project and its connection to adjacent institutions and spaces.
- Short video highlighting design strategy, project components and design uniqueness.
19. The Steering Committee appears to have broad representation by the larger group of stakeholders in the cultural district, but only the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), College for Creative Studies and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History are represented on the jury. How much input or participation will the larger group of stakeholders have over the course of the competition? Will the selected firms be encouraged to meet with the full group of stakeholders and potentially other community representatives later in the process?
The Steering Committee has voted and selected the Jury and entrusted them with the decision-making process. At the same time, the selected teams will have specific and organized points in both Stage 2 and 3 to interact with the Steering Committee and other community stakeholders to help enrich and add depth to their design solutions.
20. Can you give any indication of the project budget, either in total or with regard to expected consultant fees?
The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) estimate the total budget for this project is within the range of 50-100 Million (USD) to cover all project costs, including consultant fees, permitting, and construction.
21. Are you able to share the anticipated construction budget for the project?
Please see Question #20.
22. Is there an anticipated construction start for the project?
At this time, there is no anticipated date for construction.
23. Is funding secured for the project?
Though funding is not yet secured, the DIA and MDI have a strong history of developing projects with significant budget requirements. The competition project team views the RFQ/Competition as continuing the momentum, which is occurring around the Midtown and Downtown districts and has already received strong interest from donors and foundations.
24. Will the winner of this competition be retained to realize the design?
There is every expectation that negotiations will begin with the team selected by the Competition Jury.
25. Is it correct to assume that the project site is defined by the map on page 36 of the RFQ? Are you able to share the total area of the project site?
The project site is defined by the map included in the RFQ.
26. Has a detailed program been developed? Or will this be a part of the design competition task?
The three teams selected to participate in the competition Stage 3 will receive a design program, which will include the information developed through the initial phase of community engagement, as well as specific programmatic needs, and events to accommodate. Each project team is invited to develop and envision future opportunities and programs that engage and entice future visitors to the DIA and the Cultural District.
Civic Engagement Specifics
27. Are the teams a part of the community engagement with the other surrounding stakeholders? At what point is that information available to the teams?
The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) are undergoing community engagement activities that will produce a document that will be given to each of the three invited teams as part of the design program. In addition, each team will have specific and organized points in both Stage 2 and 3 to interact with the Steering Committee and other district and community stakeholders to help enrich and add depth to their design solutions.
28. How will community engagement conducted thus far connect with the shortlisted teams’ strategy and approach?
MDI and DIA are undergoing community engagement activities that will produce a document that will be given to each of the three (3) invited teams as part of the design program. The information gathered within this document will be collected from a series of focus groups with stakeholder institutions and other organizations located across the tri-county area (Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland); meetings with Detroit residents, arts and cultural organizations, and other professional organizations; surveys with visitors to the institutions and major events in the area; as well as from roaming interviews, walking tours, and other opportunities.
29. Who are the community partners at each institution identified in the brief?
The community partners at each institution are represented on the Steering Committee, as listed in the brief, as well as sit on 6 different working committees that will help execute the project. We ask competitors to refrain from reaching out on their own to our Steering Committee during this process.
30. Who is the local civic participatory process consultant that has been identified by Midtown Detroit, Inc.
The Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture has been retained to work along side MDI and the DIA throughout the engagement process during the RFQ/Competition process.