Saturday, October 10, 2009

Information for Re:Vision Dallas Interviews

I know I have at least a few readers who are closely following the progress of the Re:Vision Dallas progress. We are now in the process of scheduling interviews with each of the winning designers -- right now the interview with Little is scheduled for November 2 and with MOOV for November 9 and we're working to schedule an interview with the David Baker firm in that same time frame. Here's the information I sent out to each firm about the interview process:

Before addressing some specific questions about the interviews for the Re:Vision Dallas project (thanks to Mr. Louro for helping to focus me on the specifics), let me make some general comments. First, the Re:Vision Dallas design contest is completed and you have all won. Each of you has submitted a design that strongly impressed the Re:Vision jury and with which we have become even more impressed as we have studied it over the summer. The interviews in Dallas are best regarded as discussions between potential partners in the Re:Vision Dallas project. We want to meet you, make sure that we can work together and learn about your approach to solving the problems that will arise in building such an innovative project. For that reason, please don't feel the need to try to impress us with presentation material -- you have already impressed us.

We would prefer to meet and talk with the people who have been and will actually be doing the work. If someone participates in the interview, then we will expect them to participate in the work of the project, barring exigent circumstances. Please do not bring senior people, no matter how brilliant, to the interview unless they will also be doing substantive work on Re:Vision Dallas.

Most of the discussion will be nontechnical in nature, because with the help of The Real Estate Council of Dallas our technical review (at the level we deem appropriate) will be complete before the interviews. There will be no expectation that you are particularly versed in the economics of the project or in the Dallas market, but we will expect that you will be willing to think about the economic consequences of design choices. The Re:Vision Dallas project is intended to serve a broad and diverse population of residents. We do not believe that beautiful design and sustainable living should be reserved for a small elite.

At least three weeks prior to the interview, you will be presented with the topics that we expect to discuss. Those topics will be general in nature and we expect our discussion to range far and wide.

The days of November 2, 3 and 4, 2009 have been set aside for the interviews, but if those dates do not work for one or more of you, then we will find additional days to schedule an interview. You may request either a morning interview, to be followed by lunch, or an afternoon interview to be followed by dinner. In consideration of the distance that they must travel, I will give first choice of interview times to Atelier Data & MOOV. The interviews will not be a public event, but unless I receive an objection, I intend to allow a limited number of interested parties to observe the discussion.

Accommodations will be provided in downtown Dallas, close to both the Re:Vision Dallas and interview site. The Re:Vision Dallas site is a parking lot open to the public and you should feel free to visit it if you like. Please let us know if you wish us to review any additional background material, please provide it in advance of the interview. You may assume that the interviewers are familiar with the competition submission and any additional materials that you have furnished since that time.

Finally, at or before the time of the interview, we ask that you provide us with an estimate of your fees. Preferably the fee will be estimated in two parts: a fee to complete schematic design of the project after revisions agreed upon during our discussions, and, second, a fee estimate for the entire project.

A. Travel Logistics

1. Does the Competition production budget cover flight and accommodations expenses?

Yes, flight and accommodations will be paid.

1.1 If so, how many plane tickets will be available?

Travel and accommodations for two people will be paid.

2. Do you take care of the reservations?

Yes, once the dates for our meeting are agreed upon we will make the necessary reservations, checking with you to make sure that the times are satisfactory.

B. Meeting Arrangements

1. Who will be present at the interview meeting?

The interview will primarily be conducted by me (John P. Greenan, Esq., Executive Director of Central Dallas Community Development Corporation) and Brent A. Brown, our lead architectural consultant. We also expect two to four advisors from The Real Estate Council of Dallas to be present to provide technical assistance at each interview.

1.1 How and where do you think the meeting will take place?

We would like to schedule the interviews during the period from November 2-4, 2009. The interviews will take place at our offices on the third floor of CityWalk@Akard at 511 N. Akard, Dallas, Texas 75201.

1.2 Is it a closed door meeting or will there be some kind of an audience?

There will not be an audience present. We may allow a limited number of interested parties to observe the interview.

1.3 What complementary presentation elements would you like us to bring.

Please feel free to bring whatever materials you would like, you certainly will be given an opportunity to make a presentation if you wish. It might be best, however, to regard the interview as a discussion about how your design can become real and how it will fit into the City of Dallas.

1.4 Will we be presenting along with all the other contestants?

No, the interviews will be conducted separately. We will give each designer the option of interviewing in the morning or the afternoon, and hope that you will join us, with perhaps a few other friends, for a meal after the conclusion of the interview.

C. Technical Assistance

1. Are you still sending us any more objective questions about specific situations as you did with the structure theme or, from now on, you are just sending the topics in order for us to prepare the interview?

If our advisors from The Real Estate Council raise any specific issues, then we will pass them along to you. At present it appears that, setting economic issues aside for the moment, all the designs, suitably modified, are potentially buildable. Therefore, the discussion should be more general in nature.

2. As Architecture Project Team we can give you the overall explanations of all the combined themes, specialities and crossed strategies but, can we have specialists assisting us in order to give more detailed information about specific topics such as energy or landscape approach, by example?

Please feel free to have whatever assistance you think best available. Unless you are advised in advance about a specific issue, you should not expect a highly technical discussion. We will be more interested in your approach to problem solving than the answer to any specific problem. In other words, if we have questions about landscape plantings, then we will expect you to be prepared to describe how you will go about locating appropriate expertise and working with the appropriate parties to determine the most desirable landscape plants. We will not expect you to tell us the exact plants that will be specified. The same approach will hold for any topics that we don't specifically rise with you beforehand.

2.1 As we said, above, we have gathered a team of local American consultants and we have already started to integrate them as part of the technical discussion. Meanwhile, if we find it to be in the best interest of the interview, will it be possible to have them present at the meeting?

Within reason, you may have whomever you feel appropriate at the interview. Please remember that the conference room we will be using seats only ten persons around the conference table (although there is some additional room for observers) and we will be using approximately half the seats.

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