Posted by: VPSN | March 27, 2013

Public realm design competitions in Surrey, Vancouver

Here’s a post for the creative folks out there, featuring two public space-related design competitions. You’ve probably heard about the Ironclad Challenge in Vancouver but now our friends in Surrey have gotten into the game as well – with a competition for a summertime pop-up park. Time to sharpen the pencils!

Surrey’s PARKit Design Challenge – Deadline May 17, 2013

The City of Surrey is calling for submissions in its PARKit Design Challenge, a competition for the design and installation of a summertime pop-up park in Surrey City Centre.

Individuals and groups are invited to submit their ideas for a creative sustainable outdoor public space capable of supporting mobile food vendors. The selected winner will receive up to $12,000 to fabricate and install their design. Honorariums will be awarded to second ($500) and third place teams ($250).

The PARKit site is located adjacent to Surrey Central SkyTrain station, in the North Surrey Recreation Centre parking lot. This area has become an important pedestrian hub, linking SFU Surrey and Central City Mall with the SkyTrain station and recreation centre.

“The PARKit Design Challenge is a wonderful way for the City to engage creative minds to help infuse life into concrete. The park will bring the community together and become a fun urban greenspace in our downtown core,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. 

PARKit Design Challenge entries are due May 17, with the winner announced on May 24.  The site is expected to be installed by mid-July, and will remain open through August.

The City originally developed PARKit as a pilot project to create temporary public park space, and to test the feasibility of mobile food trucks in City Centre.  The Program’s initial pilot site was activated in April and July, 2012, in the same location. The Design Challenge is the evolution of the PARKit concept. For more information visit

:: For more information or to register – email to

Ironclad Art Challenge:  Manhole Cover Design – Deadline April 15, 2013

Turn our streets into dynamic public art sites. Submit your manhole cover design and highlight the importance of our sewer system.

If you live, work, or study in Vancouver, submit your ideas for beautiful, artistically designed manhole covers that can remind us all that many of the choices we make – from how we care for our lawns and gardens, to where we wash our cars – have a direct impact on our ecosystem.

Details and dates for the Ironclad Art manhole cover design challenge

The Ironclad Art Challenge is a collaboration between the City’s public art program, and our engineering department.  The challenge is open to anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Vancouver.

Submission deadline

We will be accepting entries in the challenge until 15 April 2013 at 4:00 p.m.

Choosing the winners

A selection panel will choose two winners, who will see their artwork turned into sanitary and storm sewer manhole covers, and used on streets across Vancouver.

Each winner will also receive a $2,000 cash prize, and up to $500 for participation in the fabrication process.

All submitted designs are also eligible for a people’s choice award, chosen by visitors to the exhibition at Interurban Gallery.

Announcing the winners

We will announce the winners at an award ceremony on Saturday 1 June  at Interurban Gallery, 1 East Hastings Street, in Vancouver.

The event is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend. An exhibition of designs will be held at the gallery from 28 May to 8 June 2013.

:: For further information or to apply:

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