Mountain View, CA Seeks Public Art Near Google Cam...

Mountain View, CA Seeks Public Art Near Google Cam...


 Mountain View, CA, Unknown

Burning Man Project is pleased to announce an opportunity for artists to create artwork for the City of Mountain View’s Charleston East public plaza — site of the City’s new public park and Google’s new Charleston East campus.

Budget:  $500,000 (2 at $250,000 each)

Eligibility: Professional artists, artist teams, designers, architects, landscape architects, and place-keeping experts

Deadline:  May 29, 2018

*NOTEThis project requires uncompensated creation of a preliminary design as part of the application process.  Please review the full Request for Qualifications at for details.


Charleston East Plaza is currently under construction and due to be completed in early/mid 2020. Burning Man Project is collaborating on the process of community engagement, along with selecting, creating and installing the artworks, as part of its ongoing efforts to promote opportunities for artists to create art and share it with the world.

The project is an exterior art installation that serves as an activation point for the Charleston East plaza site, for the Mountain View community and for the Google campus.  Situated at the southeast corner of the campus, Charleston East plaza will serve as a place where the City of Mountain View and Google may host events, performances, and gatherings that bring the community together. Seen as a place to serve the community and generate opportunities for play, Charleston East Plaza is a part of a contiguous set of parks and wetlands that serve the bayshore area.


The artwork should possess the following design attributes:

  • Dynamic
  • Interactive
  • Delightful and surprising
  • Inspires curiosity
  • Fun and approachable
  • Offers interesting lighting at night
  • Memorable
  • Doesn’t conflict with or overshadow the building architecture

Other important considerations:

Artwork Details / Requirements:  footprint must not exceed 23’4” feet in diameter; artwork will be situated on a paved surface or within landscape

Materials:  Seeking both “tech-based interactives” and “noble materials.” Artworks that employ technology – such as digital sensors, computer-controlled lights and images, or robotics – to encourage viewer interaction and involvement with the piece, are encouraged.  Artworks made from high quality natural materials that are likely to be hand crafted, such as metal, stone, and wood, are also sought.

Infrastructure:  Artwork must include base and/or anchoring element designed to install on a flat surface and anchor into the ground.  Artwork design and budget should include any intrinsic lighting. Lighting plan will need to address environmental impact on local bird estuary (details to come at proposal stage).  Electrical power and wifi will be available at the artwork sites.  Any other special infrastructure needs should be called out in the proposal.

Healthy Materials:  All materials in the artwork must be free of Red List ingredients.  Helpful starting points for identifying these “healthy materials” include: Declare Database, Cradle2Cradle Database, HPD Repository.  Salvaged and recycled materials (as long as they are not primarily made of Red List ingredients) are encouraged.


The Artwork should be designed for the designated locations on the Charleston East plaza. Please review the Location Map in the full RFQ for specific details.


The budget for each Plaza Artwork in this call is $250,000 (two artists will each be awarded $250,000 to complete their projects). Artists, designers, architects or teams invited to submit a full proposal will be required to provide a detailed budget including the cost of labor, materials and logistics for the creation, execution, and installation of the artwork as described above. In some instances, installation assistance may be provided by Google (please articulate any specific requests you may have for equipment or installation support outside of the stated budget parameters).


  • May 1, 2018: SUBMISSIONS OPEN . 12:00AM Pacific Time. Burning Man Project available to respond to questions during submission period.
  • May 29, 2018: SUBMISSIONS CLOSE . 11:59PM Pacific Time.
  • June 26, 2018: Semi-Finalists selected. Artists notified and invited to submit full proposals.
  • July 24, 2018: Full proposals due. 11:59PM Pacific Time.
  • October 25, 2018: Finalists selected. Artists notified and invited to present proposals.
  • Late November, 2018: Finalist presentations. Artists to submit a graphic presentation and maquette, interviews conducted in person or via Skype.
  • Late 2018 or early 2019: Selected artists announced.


Artworks will be selected based upon the following criteria:

An artistic vision that:

  • Delivers on the design attributes noted above (dynamic, interactive, fun, etc.)
  • Encourages use of the plaza as a gathering place for the Mountain View community
  • Displays sensitivity to community residents and businesses

Evidence of previous works of the highest caliber and effective execution:  demonstrated ability to complete work within a specified timeframe and budget


The selection process will consist of four stages:

  1. Concept Statements: In response to this call, artists are invited to submit Concept Statements
  2. Full Proposals (Semi-Finalists):  A small group of artists whose Concept Statements fit the project intent and stated criteria, and are consistent with the messages we glean from our community engagement work, will be invited to submit full proposals.  Full proposals to include: detailed project description, renderings, detailed budget, materials list (must meet healthy materials requirements), timeline with key milestones and critical path items, plan for community involvement (if relevant), evidence of a secured build location and build team, proof of personal liability insurance, and references.
  3. Interviews / Presentations (Finalists):  The proposals will be reviewed (using a range of stakeholder inputs) and the field narrowed to six Finalists who will be invited for an interview. Finalists will be given funding support to prepare a digital presentation of the proposed project, a maquette or 3D rendering, and fabrication drawings. Finalists will be provided with consultation support and preparation assistance by volunteer professionals within the Burning Man community. Such assistance could include support in creating the 3D rendering in AutoCad, opportunity to practice presentation and get feedback, and engineering response (no official engineering opinions, stamped drawings, or draftsmanship included). This is optional for the artist, subject to the availability of volunteers, and will be provided by experts who are not involved in the selection process. Finalists will be interviewed in person at Google headquarters in Sunnyvale, or by Skype (accommodation for an in-person interview in San Francisco may be possible).
  4. Selected Artists Announced:  Two artists will each be awarded $250,000 to complete their projects. Artist woodshedding in the first half of 2019 to include test models, review of stamped engineering drawings, review of site specifications and design refinement. Art fabrication to take place in the second half of 2019.  Installation by March 2020.

NOTE: Artists will not be reimbursed for the cost of initial proposals, only for Finalist presentations. Digital documents should be on 8.5 x 11 paper layout.


This is an online application process through Submittable.  Applicants will be asked to submit the following:

  • Concept Statement:  What is your concept of the artwork to be created? Why will people like it? How is it playful and interactive? How will it demonstrate the design attributes noted above?
  • Design Sketch: Show your conceptual idea graphically (full rendering not required at this stage)
  • Statement of Qualifications:  Resume(s) or CV(s) of the artist and primary team members
  • Work Samples: Images and descriptions of relevant previous work

QUESTIONS?  Consult the FAQ first, and if you still have questions, contact

About Burning Man Project

Burning Man Project, a nonprofit organization, produces the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, and works year-round to extend and facilitate the culture that has grown from the event into the larger world. Burning Man Project provides inspiration, connection, education, and grants to a creative ecosystem of builders, makers, artists, and community leaders. Its work spans six interconnected program areas: Art, Education, Civic Involvement, Culture, Philosophical Center, and Social Enterprise. An ever-growing global network supports and furthers these efforts in 44 U.S. states and 37 countries around the world. The vision of the Burning Man organization is to bring experiences to people in grand, awe-inspiring and joyful ways that lift the human spirit, address social problems and inspire a sense of culture, community and personal engagement.