Creek Show 2017 Call for Ideas

Creek Show 2017 Call for Ideas are no longer being accepted. Check back soon for more info on Creek Show 2017!


The Waller Creek Conservancy’s Creek Show installation series invites architects, landscape architects, artists, and designers to submit ideas for light-based, site-specific installations to be sited within a four block area of Waller Creek. This local call will result in the realization of five of these submitted ideas, selected by a committee of local leaders from the design and art community. The completed installations will be open to the public for 10 days in November of 2017. Please visit to learn more about the transformation of Waller Creek.

Concept Brief

This competition seeks to support and celebrate outstanding design while sparking conversation about the future transformation of Waller Creek into a series of urban parks and trails. Now entering its fourth year, five light-based installations will inspire, delight, and engage the public, highlighting the potential of innovative, temporary, small-scale installations to bring attention to the Conservancy’s mission to transform Waller Creek. Designers from a variety of disciplines are encouraged to submit ideas, as each year’s mix of talent will include architects, landscape architects, and visual artists.

Project Goals

  • Engage the public through architecture, landscape architecture, art, and design.
  • Raise awareness of the work and mission of the Waller Creek Conservancy.
  • Highlight the talent of Austin-based designers.
  • Bring a section of Waller Creek to life for 10 nights, supporting the role of innovative temporary installations to have a positive cultural impact on the community.


Waller Creek in the downtown area is truly different from one block to the next. Some sections are channelized while others are in a more natural state; both the vegetation and the built environment varies as you walk the length of the creek. Creek Show takes place in the section between 5th St and 8th St, an area that includes sections of open trail along the water as well as pedestrian tunnels under downtown streets. Submissions may include a preferred site but placement is not guaranteed as all five selected installations must be considered and curated as a comprehensive exhibition.

Design Considerations & Requirements

  1. All installations must be original, site-specific, and take some aspect of the creek as their point of inspiration. Power in the creek is limited. We welcome innovative ways to power the installations and design teams are encouraged to think about this from the outset of their design process.
  2. The installations are subject to outdoor weather, including but not limited to wind and rain, and must be designed to sustain the elements.
  3. The level of the creek can rise rapidly during a rain event. All installations must be able to respond to this challenging condition. Finalists will consult with City of Austin staff to create a rain plan; this does not need to be completed at the time of submission but should be taken into consideration early on.
  4. Drilling into or otherwise disrupting the creek bed is prohibited.

Selection Criteria for Ideas

While this is a call for ideas, particular attention will be given to concepts that show an understanding of construction and site constraints. Successful projects will indicate a perception of fabrication possibilities, as well as a knowledge of material assemblies. Of particular interest will be high-spectacle concepts that propose using common materials in uncommon ways, minimizing waste and environmental impact.

Selection Process

All submissions will be considered by a selection committee who will evaluate the ideas based on their individual merit as well as how they work together with other proposed ideas to create a comprehensive exhibition. Select ideas may be asked to provide additional information or details before a final determination is reached.

Submission Requirements/Instructions

  1. Statement of Intent: Explain the project and describe the project’s formal, material, structural, and interactive features, and articulate their relationship to the site. Identify potential site location based on the four-block area of Waller Creek where Creek Show will occur. Identify how light will be used.
  2. Team Listing & Biographies: Individuals, collaborations, and organizations are all welcome. Provide a brief biography of each team member, including academic background, professional affiliations, recent projects, and any other relevant info.
  3. Visuals: Provide up to five images in JPG format. Images can include renderings, drawings, diagrams, or any visual image that visually shows the project.


The Call for Ideas is open to anyone based in Austin. Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged to apply. Student teams are encouraged to apply, and the possibility of a specific student installation may be part of Creek Show. The competition brief may be suitable for adoption as part of coursework by architecture, landscape architecture, design, or art instructors. Design teams must be in Austin for the duration of Creek Show and available for events such as opening night and an artist panel.

Selection Committee

To Be Announced


  • January 15-31 – Submissions accepted at
  • March – Finalists notified
  • April – Artists tour the site with WCC staff
  • May – Refined concepts due
  • Aug, Sept, Oct – Monthly planning meetings
  • Nov 9-18 – Creek Show 2017
  • Nov 19 – De-installation

* Subject to change


$20K total per installation = $5K honorarium + up to $15K labor & materials


If you have any questions, please contact Meredith Bossin at 512-541-3520 or