Designers Wanted: Launching DUMBO Circuit Fitness Loop

The DUMBO Improvement District, in partnership with AIGA/NYNYC Parks and NYC Small Business Services, is seeking a qualified design team to create DUMBO Circuit, a pop-up 1-mile outdoor fitness loop activating eight park sites surrounding the BQE and Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Elements of the project may include wayfinding, signage, creative surface treatment, mapping, customized fitness equipment and/or web design. Project will be installed for one year (Summer 2014-2015).

“We want to give New York a free outdoor workout – in true DUMBO style,” said DUMBO Improvement District executive director Alexandria Sica. “We are excited to see what the design community creates. We want to activate these public spaces and create a real attraction for the tens of thousands of daily runners and cyclists heading home into Brooklyn over the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Let’s give new life to these public spaces created by Robert Moses highways and provide a great free workout at the same time.”

DUMBO Circuit project goals:

  • CREATIVE PLACEMAKING | Push the role of design in creative placemaking. Pilot an urban intervention that activates public space, engages a diverse audience and promotes fitness.
  • PUBLIC HEALTH | Create a free community gym that encourages New Yorkers to work out in a way that is fun, accessible, navigable and builds on the growing active design movement and recreation opportunities in NYC Parks.
  • COMMUNITY CONNECTIVITY | Change perception of BQE as neighborhood boundary. Encourage DUMBO residents and workers, along with neighbors in Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Vinegar Hill and soon-to-be-developed 1.2Msf Watchtower Properties tech campus, to sweat together.
  • ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | Drive traffic to local businesses by capturing a portion of the thousands of bicyclists and tourists streaming off the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.
  • NEIGHBORHOOD IDENTITY | Bolster DUMBO’s reputation as a hub for innovation and creativity. Respond to site-specific challenges presented by bridges and elevated infrastructure by transforming underutilized spaces into an inviting gateway.
  • VISIBILITY | Add a splash of color — and renewed sense of possibility — for high-profile sites adjacent to heavily trafficked tourist destinations.

To download the Request for Qualifications, click here. And here’s more information on existing site conditions.

RFQ submission deadline is April 18, 2014 by midnight. Project budget is $40,000 inclusive of design, production and installation. The DUMBO Improvement District will be hosting informational site walk-throughs on Wednesday, April 9 at 9:30am and Monday, April 14 at 5pm. Meet in front of the Shepard Fairey mural behind the F Train exit at York & Jay Street (when you exit the F Train at street level, take a left up Jay Street, then another almost immediate left into Bridge Park 2).

Questions? Please contact Kristin LaBuz at or 718-237-8700.


Sample Sites:


DUMBO Circuit is the latest project in the DUMBO Test Kitchen program – which gives creative companies the opportunity to innovate for the good of the community. This project is made possible with generous support from the NYC Department of Small Business Services Neighborhood Challenge award and the Double-R Foundation.