Request for Proposals (RFP)

Arizona State University’s “Emerge 2014: The Future of Me” 


Inaugurated in 2012 at Arizona State University as an annual event, “Emerge: The Carnival of the Future” brings engineers, artists, scientists, storytellers, ethicists and designers together to imagine, create, write and make the future of the human species and the environments we share. At Emerge we don’t just think and talk about what’s next. We build it.  We collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to craft tangible visions of potential futures, and explore the consequences, disruptions and unexpected opportunities of technological, social, environmental and cultural transformation. 


“Emerge 2014: The Future of Me” is seeking proposals for spectacular, thought-provoking projects for display during two evening-long public celebrations: the first in the Phoenix Metro area on Friday, March 7, 2014 and a second in Southern California, later in March 2014. Projects could include, but are not limited to, physical and digital installations, engineered constructions, interactive pieces, performance art, scientific extravaganzas, sculpture, video art, games and dance. Several projects will be awarded funding up to $10,000 and invited to exhibit at both Emerge 2014 events. Submissions should cross disciplinary boundaries to engage across the sciences, arts, humanities and engineering, and are encouraged to address one of the areas of special interest listed below. Jump to top


The triumph of the empowered individual has never been more central to our society. We live in a world of personalized medicine and Google Now, a world where online learning platforms, individualized search terms and focused marketing allow us to precisely tailor our lived realities to our preferences. Individuals have never had so much power to shape the world around them. Globetrotting entrepreneurs run businesses out of their smartphones, activists build digital coalitions of millions to leapfrog traditional political channels, makers use 3D printers and consumer electronics to reinvent manufacturing, Bill Gates decides to eradicate polio and tiny groups of passionate bibliophiles transform self-published e-books like Fifty Shades of Grey into mainstream cultural phenomena. At the same time, individuals have become nothing more than tiny motes in networked systems that are global in scope and staggering in complexity. The idea of individual human agency seems fanciful in a world of Big Data and ubiquitous surveillance, where systems monitor, analyze and streamline our behavior in ways that are too complicated to understand, let alone bring under human control. And even as the sanctity of the individual gives way to the power of the network, these systems, in their growing sophistication, move ever closer to something similar to cognition, threatening the stable ground on which individual human identity is premised. Crisis points in the global economy, the scandals over leaks of classified government information, and the growing shadow wars waged by drones and in cyberspace reflect the incredible challenges these systems pose to those who seek to control them, whether for public benefit or private gain. ASU’s Emerge 2014 challenges engineers, artists, scientists, designers, storytellers, ethicists, humanists, makers and futurists to explore questions of individuality, autonomy and freedom, as well as control, automation and facelessness. Are we on the verge of the triumph of the individual? Are we building a future dominated by systems, where self-determination is only a memory? Or, inevitably, is something much more complicated afoot? And if so, where might it be taking us? Join us and explore The Future of Me. Jump to top



Priority Deadline: September 15, 2013, but we will continue to accept submissions thereafter

 selection criteria:

Eligibility and Application Requirements

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Selection process:

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee drawn from across ASU’s community of artists, humanists, scientists, engineers, and others.


Each project selected for inclusion in Emerge 2014 will be awarded between $5,000 – $10,000 in funding to execute and display their project. Details about disbursement of funds will be arranged through a conversation between the grantor and grantee.

Areas of Special Interest

Additional opportunities will be available throughout the remainder of 2013, so be sure to check http://emergeasu.wpengine.com frequently for updates! For further information, contact the Emerge Organizers. Jump to top [formidable id=7 title=”true”]