REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP): Public Exhibition during Eastern Market After Dark at AIA Detroit Celebration of Architecture

Deadline to Submit: July 9th, 2018

AIA Detroit, a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects
440 Burroughs Street, Suite 524 Detroit, MI 48202
May 29th, 2018


AIA Detroit (AIAD) is currently accepting proposals for a set of public-facing exhibitions to be featured at the 2018 AIAD Celebration of Architecture (CoA) on Thursday, September 20th, and at additional installations to follow. The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to solicit concepts from various allied trade associations and nonprofit organizations wishing to educate, engage, and inform the public on the important work carried out by the many unique and interconnected entities that contribute to the built environment in southeast Michigan. Concepts will be evaluated by AIAD, and selections for the limited number of available exhibit slots will be curated based on the quality and relevance of the submissions received.

About the Event and Exhibition

The AIA Detroit Celebration of Architecture has become the largest gathering of AEC and Design professionals in the State of Michigan, regularly attracting over 1,000 industry professionals, and 3,000+ members of the general public in attendance for Design Core Detroit’s Eastern Market After Dark . The intention behind colocating AIAD’s annual Honor Awards presentation with the Detroit Design Festival has always been to leverage the opportunity to engage a broad public audience with the organizations, commercial partners, architects and allied professionals.

To that end, and capitalizing on the momentum building behind the UNESCO Detroit City of Design Action Plan developed by Design Core Detroit, AIAD has decided this year to host a series of public galleries featuring not only the recipients of our own Project and Professional awards, but also exhibits from a wide range of allied trade associations and nonprofits doing truly remarkable work in the city. AIAD recognizes that the City of Detroit and southeast Michigan are in a period of growth, renewal, and reinvention, and that such a landscape presents our industry with a unique opportunity to become more collaborative, mutually supportive, and engaged with the general public than ever before.

The hope is that this event serves as only the first in a long series of collaborative, industrywide engagements, culminating in a new, independent organization, and an affiliated permanent physical space within the City, dedicated to hosting public programming on the importance of the built environment and those who shape it.


● Tuesday, 5/29: RFP Issued to an invited group of allied organizations
● Monday, 7/9: RFP Responses due back to AIAD; Proposals need not include the final exhibit graphics/images, only a summary of the exhibit concept
● Monday, 7/23: Proposals selected for exhibition will be announced; it is the intent of AIAD to accept as many proposals as can reasonably be included at the event; AIAD may defer exhibits from exhibiting at the Celebration of Architecture, but invite participation in future exhibits and/or digital galleries.
● Monday, 8/6: Exhibiting organizations’ final graphics/images due to AIAD for formatting, processing, and printing; submission materials include final exhibit board, organization’s logo, and the logos of any exhibit sponsors
● Thursday, 9/20: AIA Detroit Celebration of Architecture at Eastern Market After Dark, 5:30 10: 00pm, Eastern Market Shed 3, Detroit


This Request for Proposal represents the requirements for an open and competitive process. Proposals will be accepted through 11:59pm EST on July 9th, 2018. Any proposals received after this date and time will not be reviewed. All proposals must be signed by an official agent or representative of the organization submitting the proposal. While it is not strictly mandated that the submitting organization be an IRS 501(C)6 or 501(C)3 organization, strong preference will be given to nonprofit entities deemed to be well-aligned with the stated mission of this exhibition.

Proposals must include the organization name and contact information, and a written description (no more than 500 words) of the proposed exhibit, and may optionally include a mockup or preliminary version of the final exhibit graphic/image. This written proposal and optional mockup are due to AIAD no later than 11:59pm EST on Monday, July 9th. There is no cost to submit a proposal.

Proposals should be submitted to Written descriptions should be in an attached text document (.docx or .pdf), and optional graphics should be no more than 10MB.


Final exhibits will be submitted as a single 48”wide by 96”tall graphic (.pdf, .ai, .eps, .jpg, .png, or .tiff), which AIAD staff will embed within a larger exhibit template (See Appendix for current conceptual template). The template will include separate frames for an exhibit description, organization logo, and any exhibit sponsor logos, as well as information about AIAD, the Celebration of Architecture , and any Gallery Sponsor(s) (Identified by AIAD). Final materials (48”x96” Exhibit Board, Final Written Description, Organization/Sponsor Logo(s)) are due to AIAD no later than 11:59pm EST on Monday, July 23rd.

To help offset exhibit production costs, each exhibiting organization is asked to identify a sponsor for (or selfsponsor) their exhibit in the amount of $500, payable to AIA Detroit. Exhibit Sponsors will receive brand recognition on their sponsored exhibit alongside the exhibiting organization, as well as in overall exhibit signage, and in CoA promotional materials, including the AIAD website, and the CoA Program. If any exhibiting organization is unable to identify a sponsor, AIAD will work with the organization to identify and engage an appropriate sponsor for the exhibit.


AIAD will evaluate all proposals based on the following criteria. To ensure consideration for this Request for Proposal, your proposal should be complete and include all of the following criteria:

Organizational Relevance: Proposals will be evaluated on the submitting organizations’ relevance to the broader goals of communicating to the public the value and importance of the built environment, and educating them on the roles of the many distinct professions involved in its development, execution, maintenance and use.

Exhibit Content: Proposals will be evaluated on the content of the proposed exhibit in relation to the overall exhibition. AIAD-led exhibits will include the 2018 AIA Detroit Honor Awards, the 2018 Commerce Design Detroit awards, and exhibits from AIAD Committees. While there are no explicit limitations on the content to be proposed, it is expected that proposals will feature organizations’ award programs, existing exhibits/installations, and/or other relevant programming packaged for public appreciation, education, and engagement.

Logistical Constraints: Under ideal conditions, AIAD would seek to exhibit all qualifying proposals. However, the physical and time constraints of mounting and demounting this exhibition may prevent the inclusion of every submission (the CoA is held in an active farmers market facility, and as such all exhibit materials along with all event staging, furniture, signage, etc.must be clear of the building by 11:59pm EST the night of the event to accommodate overnight commercial market activities).

Requests for additional information should be directed to AIA Detroit Managing Director Charlie Klecha at Proposals must be submitted by Monday, July 9th, to