February 28, 2019 / Gallery and Bookstore

Design Brief and Call for Entries: 2019 AIA and BAF Lecture Series and Design Competition – Edge: Harbor and City


T3XTURE Journal and the AIA Baltimore and BAF Lecture Series Committee announce a design competition in conjunction with the 2019 Lecture Series.
Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative has set a goal of a swimmable and fishable Inner Harbor. What could this look like? In addition to the spring lectures, a design competition related to the theme of the fourth issue of T3XTURE, Edge, invites architects and practitioners in related fields to submit design concepts that address the edge of the harbor and city.
The goals of the 2019 Lecture Series and parallel design competition are to stimulate a robust discourse among the design professions and the public, promote new and forward thinking design ideas and highlight work by local designers, and encourage allied organizations and diverse disciplines to participate and create a cross-disciplinary dialogue focusing on significant issues and solutions specific to Baltimore’s harbor and city edge.
The 2019 AIA Baltimore & BAF Lecture Series and Design Competition will culminate with an exhibition of selected submissions, and publication of exhibited work in T3XTURE Issue 4.


“What kind of built structure can be created that would figure into the complexion of the Baltimore harbor in an unprecedented way, at once constructive and imaginative? It would at once reflect the unique texture of the harbor and its history and contribute to its evolution in times to come. Such a structure would stand, or float, somewhere between land and sea, perhaps at their very edge or maybe in the midst of the harbor waters. Wherever it is located, and however it is constructed, it will enter into engagement with Land, Sea, and Edge: it will exist as a fourth member of this fateful triad, one that is designed for the very place in which it is set. It will itself be an edge, not of a solid and stolid thing, but of a uniquely configured edge-world…”

– Edward S. Casey

Teams are asked to propose a design solution to enhance the harbor and city edge in Baltimore. Designs will reflect on, illustrate, define, and/or re-define Edges. Teams are encouraged to consider the following prompts:
(1) If the harbor becomes swimmable and fishable, what could the harbor edge look like?
(2) How can design enhance the connection between the city and harbor?
(3) What responsibility do we have to the harbor edge?
(4) How can we address spatial equity and create a harbor accessible to all residents of Baltimore?
(5) How can design solutions address resiliency in Baltimore, considering expanding flood plains and rising sea levels?
(6) What is the harbor edge in Baltimore? Should it be hard? Soft? Permeable?
(7) How can design address community engagement and education with harbor clean-up and pollution prevention?
(8) How can design at the harbor and city edge engage the public while respecting the natural environment?

Key Dates

February 25, 2019 – Design Competition Announcement
March 20, 2019 – Spring Lecture: Edge of Edge
March 27, 2019 – Spring Lecture: Engaging the Edge
April 3, 2019 – Design Competition Registration Deadline (Late registration opens)
April 24, 2019 – Spring Lecture: The Intentional and Unintentional Edge
May 1, 2019 – Spring Lecture: The Edge of Experience
May 17, 2019 – Design Competition Q&A Deadline
May 24, 2019 – Design Competition Submission Deadline
June 14, 2019 – Submissions Reviewed and Selected Work Notification
Fall 2019 – Exhibition (venue and date to be determined)
Fall 2019 – T3XTURE publication to be released (date to be determined)

Registration and Fees

Late Registration Open through submission deadline
The design competition is open to any architecture or design firm in the state of Maryland. Firms may register multiple project teams. Teams must have discrete members. Only one submission per registered project team is allowed. 
Complete the Registration Form
Pay the Registration Fee (Paypal):
Late Registration: $150 | Students: FREE
All fees benefit the AIA Baltimore and BAF Spring Lecture Series. 

Submitting a Project

Deadline to Submit a Project: May 24, 2019. 
Entrants must be registered (above) to submit a project. After registering:
Step 1:  Download the Site Map and CAD file for the competition. Teams may select a site of their choosing within the bounds of the harbor edge shown on the provided site map.
Step 2: Create and send your digital submission. Here is what you’ll need:

  • A 250 word statement about your project in a Word Document format.
  • 4 single images representing your team’s design. Images should be high resolution (300 dpi) in jpeg format with a dimension of 8″ x 8″.
  • A combined pdf of the 250 word statement and all 4 images. (See recommendations below for suggestions on how to represent your design).
  • Upload Files to Dropbox. Files should be formatted like this. Note that files should not exceed 25 MB:
    • Statement: FirmName_Statement_LSDC19.doc
    • Image 1: FirmName_Image1_LSDC19.jpeg
    • Image 2: FirmName_Image2_LSDC19.jpeg
    • Image 3: FirmName_Image3_LSDC19.jpeg
    • Image 4: FirmName_Image4_LSDC19.jpeg
    • Combined PDF: FirmName_LSDC19.pdf

No late submissions will be accepted. All submissions must be original work, and produced specifically for this design brief. Re-submissions from another project or program will not be accepted. No video files are accepted. All information provided in writing must be in English. Only one submission per registered project team is allowed. Project team names and/or firm logos shall not be present on submitted images, names are to be listed in the statement document and in file names only. Teams who do not comply with the requirements will be disqualified from the exhibition and publication without refund.
Usage Terms
By entering the competition, entrants grant to the organizer (AIA Baltimore, BAF, and T3XTURE) an unrestricted, worldwide, irrevocable, and royalty-free license (but not the obligation) to use submitted work as follows: publicly display by any means and in any media in present and future, copy, translate and/or adapt, archive, and distribute in relation to the competition and competition publicity purposes without any further notice or remuneration to the entrant. 


(1) Teams are encouraged to be multidisciplinary. It is recommended that each team is made of architects, landscape architects, and planners.
(2) It is recommended that teams attend the 2019 AIA Baltimore / BAF Lecture Series & Design Competition events, as the topics discussed will inform the competition design process.
(3) Teams are encouraged to determine the best presentation graphics needed to explain their design proposal. The following list is a suggestion only. Teams can choose to use the entire list, a selection from it, or propose a completely different set that would explain their design in the most effective manner:

  • Diagrams of concepts
  • Primary sections and/or elevations
  • Enlarged sections and/or elevations highlighting key spaces or relationships
  • Axonometrics
  • Details of envelope, key materials, site or landscape
  • Perspectives, 3d views, renderings
  • Site plans
  • Photographs


Submitted work will be selected for the exhibition and publication and evaluated by a jury panel that will consist of 2019 Lecture Series speakers, Randy Sovich and Craig Purcell of T3XTURE, and members of the AIA Baltimore Lecture Series Committee.

Exhibition and Publication

Submitted work is not guaranteed to be included in the exhibition and publication. Teams with work selected for the exhibition and publication will be notified, and will be expected to deliver a 36” x 36” presentation board professionally laminated/mounted on foamcore by September 1, 2019. Selected teams will receive more information about the exhibition and publication after the notification date.


Who do I reach out to with questions?
Inquiries can be directed to EDGE@T3XTURE.COM until May 15.
I want to address the floodplain. Where can I see floodplain maps and projections about flooding and sea level rise at the Inner Harbor?
The Surging Seas: Risk Zone Map allows you to see flooding and sea level rise projections. Also take a look at the FEMA Flood Map for Baltimore.
Baltimore CityView also provides floodplain and contour maps.

References and Precedents

Cruz-Pierre, Azucena, and Donald A. Landes. Exploring the Work of Edward S. Casey: Giving Voice to                
Place, Memory, and Imagination. London: Bloomsbury, 2013.
Campo, Daniel. The Accidental Playground: Brooklyn Waterfront Narratives of the Undesigned and
Unplanned. New York: Fordham University Press, 2013.
Orff, Kate. Toward an Urban Ecology. NY, NY: Monacelli Press, 2016.


T3XTURE is a journal primarily operating in the world outside of the academy; a labor of love and opportunity to explore ideas in ways we cannot in commercial architectural practices.  T3XTURE grew out of a series of conversations and observations regarding the resurgent modernist architecture we are observing in the media and academia. In our opinion, modernism has become an historical style, a commodity without a connection to place.
Our interest, most concisely expressed by Kent Bloomer is, “…to examine in depth the crafting, perceiving, and comprehending of visual phenomenon in bowls, buildings, and cities…” 
In the first issue we began with the idea of texture, how it is perceived and its function. With the second issue we visited ornament, and in the third issue we discussed pattern, each connecting one to place and time. This brings us to the current issue, number four, and specifically edge. It will be a publication of the lecture series and parallel design work by local architects and designers.