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Davidson Rafailidis Wins 2013 IDEAS CITY StreetFest Competition
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 |

The submission "MirrorMirror" by Buffalo-based architecture practice Davidson Rafailidis has been selected by Storefront for Art and Architecture and the New Museum as the winning entry of the 2013 IDEAS CITY StreetFest Tenting Competition. The international biennial competition, begun in 2011, initiates the design, management, and construction of innovative temporary outdoor structures that create new ways for people to gather and engage in urban public activities.

View this competition brief:

Exterior rendering of Davidson Rafailidis'

Click above image to view slideshow
Exterior rendering of Davidson Rafailidis' "MirrorMirror" tents (Image: Davidson Rafailidis)

“MirrorMirror” will premiere at the IDEAS CITY StreetFest on Saturday, May 4, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. , around New York's Bowery neighborhood. The “MirrorMirror” tents will be located along the stretch of block in front of the New Museum (Bowery at Prince Street) and will host projects within. After debuting at StreetFest, the “MirrorMirror” tents will become products available in the marketplace. The inaugural winning design from 2011—“The Worms,” by emerging NYC–based designers Family and PlayLab—will also be in use at StreetFest.

The IDEAS CITY Festival (May 1–4) includes conferences, workshops, an innovative StreetFest, and more than one hundred independent projects and public events. Scores of inventors, small business owners, artists, ecologists, and activists will share their products and concepts demonstrating the value of Untapped Capital —the Festival’s current theme.

Interior rendering (Image: Davidson Rafailidis)

Click above image to view slideshow
Interior rendering (Image: Davidson Rafailidis)

The competition received more than eighty submissions from across the globe. “MirrorMirror” was selected by a jury of five individuals in the art and architecture fields. Jury members included Cristobal Correa, Associate Principal, Buro Happold Consulting Engineers; Eva Franch i Gilabert, Director and Chief Curator, Storefront for Art and Architecture; Michael Manfredi, Principal, Weiss/Manfredi; Mary Miss, artist and author of City as Living Laboratory; and Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, New Museum.

“‘MirrorMirror’ is a disruptive act in the perception of the city: it constructs serendipitous encounters through its mirrored, inclined walls. It shelters the activities any street tent does, but it does so by generating a network of gazes, encounters, and surprises where the citizen becomes self-conscious of its participation and construction of a collective act. Disorienting we said? Disruptive indeed,” said Eva Franch i Gilabert, Storefront Director, of the design and her participation in the jury.

During the StreetFest, Storefront will host an online exhibition of all submissions to the StreetFest Tenting Competition on storefrontnews.org and on Storefront’s Facebook page at facebook.com/storefront, which will allow visitors the opportunity to search, comment, and share their favorite designs. StreetFest goers can also vote for their favorite design for a “StreetGoers Choice” award by “liking” their favorite designs. Visitors can post pictures and follow the project: #streetfest @storefrontnyc @ideascity


“MirrorMirror” is a base unit covering twelve feet by sixteen feet. The design includes a simple forty-five- degree-angled gable roof made from mirroring panels. A single unit will house small programs. When combined, the units create a large barn-like structure that will be host to larger StreetFest gatherings. The design utilizes aluminum frames with Mylar mirror foil that are often used as glassless mirrors in dance studios. The material’s modification for use as a construction material is innovative and in line with the goals of the IDEAS CITY Festival and its theme, Untapped Capital.


The structure will be fabricated in Buffalo, NY, at the Essex Art Center and assembled onsite.

Practice: Davidson Rafailidis, Buffalo, New York
Project team: Georg Rafailidis (lead), Stephanie Davidson
Project staff: Jia Ma, Aleksandr Marchuk
Fabrication and assembly: Spielman Fabrication LLC, Jon Spielman
Structural engineer design phase: Matthias Michel, Imagine Structure, Frankfurt, Germany
Structural engineer realization: Peter Grace, State University of New York at Buffalo
Fabrication support by students of the University at Buffalo: Zakaria Boucetta, John Costello, Chris Ortloff, James Rice, Matthew Rosen
Mirror panels: LiteMirror—Shatterproof Glassless Mirrors, Lighter and Brighter than Plate Glass, litemirror. com, Irvington, New York

Featured Competitions:
Register: Feb 12 / Submit: Feb 19
Register/Submit: Mar 31
Register: Feb 14 / Submit: Feb 15
Register/Submit: Feb 29
Register/Submit: Apr 1
Register: Mar 4 / Submit: Mar 30
Register/Submit: Apr 4
Register/Submit: May 11
Register/Submit: Feb 22
Register/Submit: Mar 15
Register/Submit: Apr 29
Register: Apr 23 / Submit: May 8

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