Is it really a competition when the winner is hand-picked?
A so-called competition to design a new business school building at the University of South Carolina ended in controversy when the donor hand-selected Rafael Vinoly Architects as the winner of the $4 million job, canceling all other bids on the project. Vinoly was seen as a finalist, but wasn't likely to win the job. Several firms say they spent more than $100,000 preparing a bid for this work and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education has guidelines that specifically state that a donor "may not retain any explicit or implicit control over the use of a gift after acceptance by the institution."
Were you bidding on this work? What do you think of how the process was handled?