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Thanks to all those who registered and made submissions to our competition. We received entries from various part of the USA and Europe. After much deliberation the judges awarded 1st and 2nd place to those who best meet the requirements of a challenging brief.

AFH New Haven will now work with the winners and the Parks department of New Haven to develop a prototype.

1st Place - THINK task chair donated by BKM/Steelcase
Sean Evelich & Josh Sikora
University of Bridgeport, CT

2nd Place - Emu Cross armchair and ottoman donated by Coalesse
Chung Raeha
University of Bridgeport, CT

Ted Esselstyn
City Bench, Higganum CT

All submissions can be downloaded from the ParkFEST Entry folder on the following page:


The goal of this competition is to design new prototypes for urban park furniture including a picnic table, trashcan, and bicycle rack that are either separate elements or a single hybrid design element. These prototypes are intended to be installed along the waterfront of Long Wharf Park in the City of New Haven, CT for use by persons patronizing the food trucks that frequent that park. The designs are considered a test for the city and if ultimately successful, could be built and used throughout the city park system. Designs shall be sustainable, affordable, durable, and easy to construct.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees is responsible for the stewardship of the City of New Haven’s parkland, as well as planning and facilitating recreational programs and activities throughout the city. A portion of their budget goes towards the maintenance and replacement of existing park furniture, such as tables, trashcans, and bicycle racks.

Parks Department design guidelines set out standards for such furniture and so by replacing these standards, one is essentially redesigning said furniture throughout the city for years to come.

Long Wharf is a neighborhood in the City of New Haven created from landfill in the 1960s as part of the construction of Interstate 95. Prior to this, it was part of New Haven Harbor and an integral part of New Haven’s industrial waterfront. Today it is cutoff from surrounding neighborhoods by highways, railroads, and large segregated land use parcels. Long Wharf Park is the only public infrastructure that begins to connect the area back into the surrounding neighborhoods and thus join the waterfront to the urban life of the city. As such it is one of the most important and most underutilized pieces of land operated by the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Trees.

For the last ten years nearly a dozen food trucks have congregated along Long Wharf Drive between the park and I-95. Selling mostly tacos and burritos, these trucks operate seven days a week from the late morning until the early evening. In 2010 as part of widening of I-95 and replacement of the Q Bridge, two parking lots were built specifically for the food trucks in order to provide a safer place outside of the construction zone for them to do business. Most customers arrive by car and eat inside their cars. Many leave garbage behind thus creating a problem for city staff. Some customers walk or ride bicycles to the site, yet, more would do so if the environment was more conducive to people and outdoor recreation. Currently no furniture for the vendors or their customers exists in the area. Tables, trashcans, and bicycle rack would be of great benefit to all associated parties: vendors, customers, and the city. A master plan is currently under development for Long Wharf Park which includes furniture but it will take years to complete. By choosing this site as the place to install the competition prototype, it is fulfilling a current functional need until the master plan can be fully developed and provides the perfect location to monitor the success of a new design.

The Challenge
The challenge of this competition is to design new prototypical urban park furniture. The elements of design shall include: (1) a table with seating for at least four adults, (2) a trashcan holder to hold a standard 10 gallon trashcan, and (3) a bicycle rack with the ability to secure at least one bicycle. This can be included into a single hybrid design element or a series of separate yet related elements. It should be assumed that all labor will be volunteers, so designs should be straightforward and simple to construct. Teams are encouraged to explore reclaimed and salvaged materials such as wood and metals – or other sustainable yet unique elements such as tires, or even oyster shells as New Haven Harbor has a long history in oyster farming. The target material budget is set at $300.

The competition is open to all. There are no restrictions on team size or number of entries per team, although each entry will require a separate registration and entry fee.

All teams must register by the official registration date. The registration fee is a $10 donation to Architecture for Humanity per entry and is payable through PayPal. The registration fee shall be waivered for all high school participants.

Submission Requirements
1. A maximum of 4 - 1080 X 720 pixel .jpg files in a landscape format. These images may include any combination of concept sketches, plans/sections/elevations, perspectives and photographs of models. The submission should clearly depict the element or elements and provide enough information (dimensions, materials) so that these elements could be constructed. These images will be projected for judging. Images should be named with your 3 letter initials of your choosing, followed by the number of the image (eg Mary Ann Smith's submission could be MAS-01, MAS-02, MAS-03, MAS-04).
2. A list of materials to be incorporated onto one of the .jpg files.
3. Estimated budget to be incorporated onto one of the .jpg files.
4. A written description of the design of no more than 300 words clarifying the concept and design strategies to be incorporated onto one of the .jpg files.
5. Email submissions to before midnight EST 10/8/2011.

The winning entry will have the choice to receive either an Emu Cross armchair and ottoman donated by Coalesse or a THINK task chair donated by BKM/Steelcase with the runner-up to receive the alternate prize. (Either chair can be delivered anywhere within the United States. Unfortunately no alternative prize will be available for international entries.) The jury will, at their discretion, award citations for additional entries of high merit.

All submissions are non-returnable and all registration fees are non-refundable. Awards decisions are at the discretion of Architecture for Humanity New Haven and the jury. The winning design may be refined for construction after the winner is announced. AFH retains the right to use any and all submitted work for press, publication, exhibition purposes, and the design & construction of infrastructure in New Haven. Copyright to the work is retained by the original author teams.

August 6, 2011: Registration opens.
August 20, 2011: Question period opens.
September 3, 2011: Question period closed.
September 10, 2011: Answers posted.
October 8, 2011: Registration closing date extended.
October 8, 2011: Submission Due.
October 24, 2011: Winner Announced

Karyn Gilvarg
Karyn Gilvarg, AIA is the Executive Director of New Haven's City Plan Department, a position she has held for nearly 17 years. She facilitates the physical development of the City and encourages the development of sustainable land use, economic and social policy. As director she is responsible for the Comprehensive Plan of Development, as well as other area-specific development plans. She is a graduate of Cooper Union and received a Master of Architecture from Yale University. Prior to working for the City of New Haven, she was a partner at the architecture firm Glivarg/Epstein Design.

David Moser
David Moser, ASLA has worked as the landscape architect for the City of New Haven for the past 13 years. He oversees the planning, design and construction of park improvements and also assists in site plan reviews for the City Plan Department. David is a licensed landscape architect and has been practicing for the past 35 years. He is a graduate of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Kent Bloomer
Kent Bloomer is the principal and founder of the Bloomer Studio, and has served as its chief designer since 1965. He is also a Professor of Architecture at Yale University. He received an MFA in sculpture from Yale University after studying physics and architecture at MIT, and has over forty years of experience as sculptor, practicing designer, and professor. Bloomer is the author of two books: Body, Memory and Architecture and The Nature of Ornament. His sculpture has been exhibited by numerous museums and galleries, through out the country and has lectured and served as a visiting critic at many universities, including UT-Austin, Harvard, McGill, and Columbia.

Patrick McCauley
Patrick McCauley, a Connecticut native received his BS Industrial Design from the University of Bridgeport in 1986. He is currently the Master Model Maker and Industrial Designer for Centerbrook Architects, where he is responsible for creating detailed presentation models as well as fabricating furniture, lighting, and diverse architectural specialties.

Prior to joining Centerbrook, Patrick owned and operated Patrick McCauley Design, a design and prototype consultancy. He has also worked in exhibition design, theatrical prop design, toy and juvenile product design, stonework and masonry, and, most recently, nautical model-making. His 74-inch, 1/12 scale replica of the historic powerboat “Aphrodite” is now on permanent display at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Patrick has also been an instructor at the University of Bridgeport, Industrial Design Department and he currently leads a workshop on Handcraft and Making for the architectural staff at Centerbrook.

Jose Corona
Jose Corona is the owner and operator of the Nexcalli Taco Truck, a regular fixture at Long Wharf, New Haven for the last 4 years. Nexcalli serves affordable authentic Mexican tacos garnished with their own home made salsas which attract patrons from as far afield as New York and Boston.

Jose has previously worked in a number of restaurants in the New Haven areas and 3 years ago opened the Nexcalli food store in North Haven, CT.


Long Wharf Drive
New Haven
United States


Project Details

PROJECT LEAD: Geoff Lawson
LOCATION: Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, United States
START DATE: January 28, 2011
PROJECT TYPE: Landscapes/Parks/Outdoor Spaces