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Championing the future of design for all.

April 3–31 2014
Past Event
April 3–31 2014


April 3–31 2014


AIGA/NY Announces the Launch of DUMBO Circuit Fitness Loop
A participatory design project developed by DUMBO Business Improvement District in partnership with AIGA/NY and NYC Parks

New York, NY, April 3, 2014 – AIGA/NY is pleased to announce the expansion of its Special Initiatives with Dumbo Circuit, a new participatory design project, a pop-up 1-mile outdoor fitness loop activating park space in the neighborhood of DUMBO. Initiated by DUMBO Business Improvement District (BID), and funded by a SBS Neighborhood Challenge grant program, the Circuit offers a creative way to activate open space, improve public health and connect DUMBO to neighboring communities. Building on NYC’s Active Design Guidelines, DUMBO Circuit taps into the potential for designers to address public health epidemics like obesity, diabetes and heart disease caused in part by physical inactivity. “We want to give New York a free outdoor workout – in true DUMBO style. We are excited to see how the design community tackles this challenge and know that AIGA/NY’s expertise in creative placemaking will bring a new level of innovation and engagement to DUMBO Circuit,” says Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO BID.

Through this special project AIGA/NY continue to explore the potential of design in defining and expanding creative placemaking to positively transform communities, and expand on the current Design/Relief initiative, which will conclude in a couple months. “As AIGA enters its centennial year, the New York chapter is thrilled to celebrate design’s influence in society through community efforts such as DUMBO Circuit, and establish AIGA/NY as a go-to platform for graphic designers interested in working in the public realm,” says Glen Cummings, Vice-President of AIGA/NY.

AIGA/NY will oversee the design program and act as advisor/creative director, in collaboration with DUMBO BID and its partners, NYC Parks and NYC Small Business Services. The AIGA/NY team is composed of program director, Laetitia Wolff, supported by a project board, which includes Glen Cummings, Manuel Miranda, Agnieszka Gasparska, Josh Smith and Steff Geissbuhler who will offer their expertise to facilitate the creative process.

We are seeking a qualified design team to create DUMBO Circuit, a pop-up 1-mile outdoor fitness loop activating eight different park sites surrounding the BQE and Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Elements of the project may include wayfinding, signage, creative surface treatment, mapping, customized fitness equipment and/or web design. Project will be installed for one year (Summer 2014-2015).

Interested designers are invited to enter a competitive RFQ process; submission deadline for DUMBO Circuit is April 18. For more information, visit

•CREATIVE PLACEMAKING | Push the role of design in creative placemaking. Pilot an urban intervention that activates public space, engages a diverse audience and promotes fitness.

•PUBLIC HEALTH | Create a free community gym that encourages New Yorkers to work out in a way that is fun, accessible, navigable and builds on the growing active design movement and recreation opportunities in NYC Parks.

•COMMUNITY CONNECTIVITY | Change perception of BQE as neighborhood boundary. Encourage DUMBO residents, workers, along with neighbors in Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Vinegar Hill and 1.2Msf Watchtower Properties tech campus, to sweat together.

•ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Drive traffic to local businesses by capturing a portion of the thousands of bicyclists and tourists streaming off the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.

•NEIGHBORHOOD IDENTITY | Bolster DUMBO’s reputation as a hub for innovation and creativity. Respond to site-specific challenges presented by bridges and elevated infrastructure by transforming underutilized spaces into an inviting gateway.

•VISIBILITY | Add a splash of color, and renewed sense of possibility, for high-profile sites adjacent to heavily trafficked tourist destinations.

FRIDAY APRIL 18, 2014: RFQ submission deadline.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 9, at 9:30am first site walk-through
MONDAY APRIL 14, at 5pm: next informational site walk-through
Event info and signup here

The above video is what we saw, learned and heard from our last visit in DUMBO.

Site maps, and additional information is available here:
Project budget is $40,000 inclusive of design, production and installation.

About AIGA/NY Special Initiatives

About DUMBO Improvement District
Founded in 2006, the Dumbo Improvement District is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and promoting DUMBO, Brooklyn. The Improvement District showcases DUMBO as a world-class destination, advocating on behalf of DUMBO’s businesses, property owners and residents and providing advocacy, street beautification, neighborhood marketing and public space programming.

About NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation seeks to maintain a clean and safe parks system, providing the public with a greener city and a wide variety of recreational opportunities. NYC Parks is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land — 14 % of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets.

Contact: Laetitia Wolff
Program Director
(212) 710-3156