We are all familiar with the "utopian" towns of the 20th Century. Basildon, Essex, was one of the largest of those New Towns. It was founded in 1949, when Lewis Silkin, the Minister of town and country planning at the time, ambitiously predicted that "Basildon will become a city which people from all over the world will want to visit. It will be a place where all classes of community can meet freely together on equal terms and enjoy common cultural recreational facilities." Nearly seventy years later, Basildon is left with a struggling local economy, splintered communities, and a fraction of the art and culture than what was originally hoped for. "New Town Utopia" is a documentary film that confronts this concrete reality with a question: “What happened when we built Utopia?”
This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Citizen Bridge, NYC's First Floating Bridge, Reaches Kickstarter Goal."
Governors Island is a small, pedestrian-only island to the south of Manhattan and to the west of Brooklyn. It’s just across from Red Hook, the Brooklyn neighborhood known to many a Manhattanite as the home of New York’s only Ikea. To get there, you have to take the East River Ferry—that’s the only option. No subway, no bus, no rail. But it wasn’t always that way.
Nancy Nowacek is a Red Hook-based artist whose vision, since 2012, has been to create an alternative way to reach this backyard of New York City. She has always had a close relationship with the waterfront, but many, she suggests, do not. “It’s really hard to get to the water’s edge from most points inland,” she says. “It’s not a part of the New York that the kids in my building...live in, nor many others who live a few miles away geographically, but experientially are a world away.”
Khoja Obi Garm is a Soviet sanatorium nestled high in the mountains of Tajikistan – a place known for its curative, radon-rich waters. When Maryam Omidi, a former journalist, visited in 2015 she was "blown away" by both the architecture and landscape: a enormous concrete, Brutalist block at the peak of a snow-capped mountain. She has since launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop a book of photographs exploring "the best sanatoriums" across the former Soviet Union.
As part of the current "sharing economy" revolution, coworking facilities have transformed the creative marketplace. Since 2005, when the first coworking space was founded in San Francisco, the popularity of working in a shared environment has taken off. Today, hundreds of coworking facilities exist in cities of varying sizes across the world, supporting small businesses ranging from app developers to furniture makers to recording studios. But how have they grown so quickly? It’s all in the community. WeWork, which owns a number of coworking spaces worldwide, sums it up as “a place you join as an individual, ‘me,’ but where you become part of a greater ‘we.'”
Tomorrow the Kickstarter campaign launched by the Real Estate Architecture Laboratory (REAL), which surpassed its funding target earlier this month, will come to an end. The Real Review, an independent bi-monthly magazine led by Jack Self and Shumi Bose which intends to "revive the review as a writing form" to a general readership within the architectural sphere, is slated for launch in early 2016. In an interview with ArchDaily, the editors stated that "the original crowdfunding target of $24,994 (or £15,990) was set at the [basic] cost of print." Having since surpassed their first goal by almost £10,000 to date, every new donation or subscription adds to the financial feasibility and longevity of the project. Following the announcement that Self, Bose and Finn Williams will be curating the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, a new reward was added to their campaign.
Last month a Kickstarter campaign launched by the Real Estate Architecture Laboratory (REAL) reached its funding target: the Real Review, an independent bi-monthly magazine which intends to "revive the review as a writing form" to a general readership within the architectural sphere, will soon be a reality. ArchDaily sat down with editors Jack Self and Shumi Bose to discuss how the project came into being and what this—the flagship publication of REAL—will look like when its first issue is published in early 2016.
A Kickstarter campaign recently launched by Jack Self and Shumi Bose of the Real Estate Architecture Laboratory (REAL) has reached its funding target in only twenty days. Produced by an independent team of editors and designers, this bi-monthly magazine intends to "revive the review as a writing form" to a general readership within the architectural sphere and its orbital subjects, with a particular focus on politics and economics. Their campaign has so far seen considerable support from the architectural community and beyond — testament to their 'no-ads policy' and dedication to paying their contributors.
In a statement to those who have pledged so far, the editors have said that "the Real Review will happen, and it is directly and completely due to your commitment, your vision and your generosity. We can’t thank you enough for getting us here!" They are now looking to surpass this crowdfunded milestone, with Kickstarter remaining the only way to subscribe.
New-Territories/ M4 has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund MMYST, a hybrid architecture project that combines a hotel with a manufactured habitat for Swiftlets, a bird native to Thailand. Located in Krabi, the building will be used almost exclusively by backers of the project and will be set for removal in 10 years. In order to be realized, the project requires $200,000 in funding before October 25, 2015. Read more about this experimental project after the break.
Over time, people have found many different ways to fund the construction of a building. Museums for example have long benefited from the support of deep-pocketed patrons, with The Broad Museum, a permanent public home for the renowned contemporary art collection of philanthropists Edythe and Eli Broad, being the newest example in a long history of such practices. However in our ever-more-connected world - and against a backdrop of reduced government support for creative endeavors - the onus of funding seems to be shifting once again, away from the individual and towards the crowd.
As crowdfunding makes strides in all realms of innovative enterprise, including architecture, we wanted to hear from our readers about what they thought of this new opportunity for a publicly held stake in what has historically been the realm of singular, well-heeled organizations in the form of the state or private capital. Writing about the history and current trajectories of public funding, alongside a more pointed discussion of BIG’s Kickstarter for “the world’s first steam ring generator,” we posed the question: does public funding have a place in architecture, and if so, is there a line that should be drawn?
Read on for some of the best replies.
The Real Estate Architecture Laboratory (REAL) have today announced a Kickstarter campaign in preparation for the launch of their flagship publication, the Real Review. Produced by an independent team of editors and designers, this bi-monthly magazine intends to "revive the review as a writing form" to a general readership within the architectural sphere and its orbital subjects.
The Real Review will be "a printed object of exceptional quality, featuring engaging texts by leading international commentators," alongside providing "a highly visible platform for emerging writers." Confirmed authors at this time include, among others, Assemble, Pier Vittorio Aureli (Dogma, AA), Reinier de Graaf (OMA), Sam Jacob (Sam Jacob Studio), and a rostra of journalists including the Financial Times' architecture critic Edwin Heathcote.
After a sale of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives in 2013, Frank Lloyd Wright's model of The San Francisco Call Building, originally residing at Taliesin and later, Hillside Home School, was moved to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The Organic Architecture and Design Archives, Inc. (OAD) believes that this model - a striking 8-foot tall replica built originally for the 1940 MoMA Exhibition - was "an integral part of the design of Taliesin."
In 1885, with only $3,000 in the bank, the "American Committee" in charge of building a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty ceased work, after both president Grover Cleveland and the US Congress declined to provide funds for the project. The project was saved by a certain Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, who used his newspaper to spark a $100,000 fundraising campaign with the promise that everyone who donated would have their name printed the paper.
The base of the Statue of Liberty is perhaps the first ever example of crowdfunding in architecture as we might recognize it today, with a popular media campaign and some form of minor reward. But in recent years, crowdfunding has taken on a whole new complexion. Last week, we asked our readers to tell us their thoughts about a specific example of crowdfunding in architecture: BIG's attempt to raise funds for the prototyping of the steam ring generator on their waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen. But there are many more examples of fundraising in architecture, and each of them deserves attention.
Update: The Kickstarter campaign launched by BIG to fund the development of their steam ring generator reached its goal of $15,000 in less than a week after it was launched. As of today (24th August) the campaign total stands just short of $25,000, with 19 days still to go.
BIG has launched a Kickstarter campaign, aiming to fund the ongoing research and prototyping of the "steam ring generator" designed to crown the firm's Waste-to-Energy power plant in Copenhagen. The campaign was announced on Friday and picked up a lot of steam (pun intended) in the design press - but at ArchDaily we were hesitant to publish news of the campaign because, in short, it led us into a minefield of questions about the role of invention, public engagement, and money in architecture.
Of course, BIG are far from the first to attempt to crowdfund an architectural project. Previous projects however have generally focused on otherwise-unfundable proposals for the public good, barely-sane moonshots or complex investment structures which depending on your viewpoint may or may not even count as crowdfunding. BIG are perhaps the first example of an established architectural firm attempting to crowdfund the design of a project that is already half-built, causing some people - ArchDaily staff included - to ask: "Why wasn't this money included in the project's budget?"
WORKac has begun crowd-funding for the 3rd Edition of their book, “49 Cities”. As the title implies, the book follows examples of urbanism throughout several centuries, from the ideal Roman city to the 21st century visions of utopia. 49 Cities looks at sustainability beyond the notion of the “Green Building”, serving as a catalyst and fertilizer for discussion and ideas on the design of the City of Tomorrow. Going out of print in 2010, demand for the book has continued, and it may now finally be available once again thanks to partnerships by WORKac with Inventory Press and Project Projects.
Architect David Craig and Dublin Design Studio have launched a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter for Scriba - a stylus designed with the input of hundreds of illustrators, designers, architects, animators, artists, mobile workers and tablet users that aims to make sketching for architects and designers more natural than ever.
A competition proposal by Alexander Culler and Danny Travis, placed second in Blank Space's recent Fairy Tales competition, is now the subject of a Kickstarter campaign asking whether there is "a way to use architectural drawing to tell a story that was easy enough for everyone to understand?" The team behind the Beautifully Banal comic-zine are now seeking to transform their competition entry into a full-scale publication in order to "combine the intricacies of architectural drawing types with a form of story telling that allows those outside of the field to gain a new appreciation for the buildings and structures that occupy the world."
The New York Lowline, a project which was first announced in 2011 and was rekindled last year, have now launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to make their dream of using solar technology to "transform an historic trolley terminal into the world's first underground park" closer to a reality. Their proposal, which seeks to unlock the potential of underused subterranean urban spaces, would see the creation of a living, green public space built beneath the streets of New York City. They are currently seeking funding to build a long-term solar device testing laboratory and public exhibition in order to test and present their designs.
Izaskun Chinchilla Architects have made their recycled, upcycled, and bicycled “Organic Growth Pavilion” a reality on New York’s Governors Island. One of two winners of the “City of Dreams” pavilion competition (hosted by AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee and the Structural Engineers Association of New York), Izaskun Chinchilla Architects carried out a kickstarter campaign to fund the pavilion’s construction.