Art Alliance Austin launches international architecture competition

Art Alliance Austin recently launched their third annual Temporary Outdoor Gallery Space (TOGS 3) ideas competition. Past TOGS competitions were open exclusively to architects and interior designers; this year, TOGS 3 will be open to national and international professionals and students in the fields of architecture, urban design, interior design and landscape architecture.


TOGS was created in partnership with Art Alliance Austin, AIA Austin and the Austin Foundation for Architecture in order to challenge the visual and conceptual boundaries of the outdoor gallery space, and to transform the open-air art fair experience into one that not only showcases fine art, but also introduces the element of architecture to the public. TOGS strives to promote emerging professionals in the architecture community and showcase their work in an urban context. 


Following the successes of TOGS 1 and 2, TOGS 3 will continue to generate innovative proposals for a temporary outdoor structure that will function simultaneously as an exhibition space and as an architectural exhibition. 


“Architecture and fine visual art have always had an important and significant interrelationship,” said Deborah Berke, FAIA, a professor of architecture at Yale University and one of the jurors of TOGS 2. For Berke, the competition was a valuable exercise in accessibility, in bringing architecture to the “public realm” and “using it to help people, whether they know about art or not, engage in the fine arts. That will be better for everybody. It will be better for the artists, the architects, and the community.”


While the Jury for TOGS 3 is in formation, past competition jurors include Goil Amornvivat, co-founder of Tug Studio and a designer on TLC’s Trading Spaces; Deborah Berke, FAIA, Professor of Architecture at Yale University and founder of Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, LLP; Dana Friis-Hansen, Executive Director of the Austin Museum of Art; and Louise Harpman, Assoc. AIA, Professor of Architecture, the University of Texas at Austin and co-founder of Specht Harpman.


Registration for the TOGS 3 competition opens today. The Call for Entries may be found at The proposed spaces should operate much like a gallery and must work within the confines of a 10′ x 10′ x 12′ or 10′ x 20′ x 12′ structure. Design proposals must identify how the space will be installed, provide illustrations clarifying how the TOGS reinvent the outdoor exhibition space and how various art mediums can be displayed. While not a requirement, designs are encouraged to incorporate sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions.


A Grand Prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the winning design. A second- and third-place winner will be chosen and awarded $500 and $250, respectively. All three winners will be announced and exhibited at Art City Austin, the city’s largest and longest-running outdoor art fair, from April 24-25, 2010. Following a feasibility study, the first-place winner will be invited to collaborate with a professional team to realize a TOGS 3 prototype. The prototype and jury’s selection will be exhibited at Art City Austin and will be available for exhibitions internationally.


TOGS 2 yielded 200 registrations from more than 25 countries. Juan Alfonso Galan from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, (currently living and practicing in London) won first place with his “Clip On Gallery.” Galan’s proposal is currently undergoing a feasibility study. TOGS 1 winner, “A Little Room,” by Any Wynne and Mark Leveno, recently had its fourth exhibition during the East Austin Studio Tour in Austin, Texas.


Student applicants must be in their final year of an accredited undergraduate or graduate architecture, interior design, landscape architecture or urban design program. Student applicants in their final year of a four-year architecture program must be attending an institution with an accredited architecture graduate program.


A two-person professional or student design team collaboration (of the above mentioned programs) is permitted. Professionals must have completed their education within the past ten years to be eligible. In a two-person professiona
l team, one member of the team must meet the 10-year eligibility requirement.


The online registration deadline is March 26, 2010, and the submission deadline is April 5, 2010. Each individual/team (maximum 2 people) must register via the Art Alliance Austin website at – where full competition details are also available.