Crowdfunding: Transformed Truck To Take Art & Architecture on the Road

“What better way to spread the gospel of design than to liberate it from its brick-and-mortar foundations and take it on the road?” This is the idea behind Circus for Construction - a competition-winning proposal to transform a semi-truck into a traveling exhibition space for art and architecture. If the project reaches its Kickstarter fundraising goal, it will be visiting Provincetown, Providence, Ithaca, Buffalo, Portland, and Boston this coming fall. 

Luftwerk Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Transform Mies’ Farnsworth House into Visual Spectacular

© Luftwerk

The creative minds behind Luftwerk have turned to Kickstarter to crowdfund a project that would transform Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House into an immersive light show. Similar to their at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater residence in 2011, artistic duo Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero plan to illuminate the “structural minimalism and transparency” of the house in a way that would offer a new perspective of the modern masterpiece. 

Check out a video of the proposed light show and Luftwerk’s work at Fallingwater, after the break…

A New Way to ‘Make Architecture Happen’

The Legson Kayira Community center and Primary School. Image © Architecture For a Change via www.makearchitecturehappen.com

In recent years, crowdfunding websites have taken the world by storm. Sites like Kickstarter have been used to fund , films, products, and even been used to fund architecture projects, with success for projects like +Pool in New York and the Luchtsingel in Rotterdam. However, one drawback which prevents such ‘kickstarter urbanism’ from taking off more is the way the platform constrains the design of the projects: in both instances, construction elements are offered as rewards for the backers, who get to mark their contribution by having their name inscribed on the project itself. In response to this, other crowdfunding sites specifically tailored for designers have used different models for raising money. Spacehive works by leveraging the interest of local people in an urban project, doing away with the rewards system in favor of the implicit reward of improved public space.

But now, a new site called “Make Architecture Happen” is attempting to bridge the gap, providing a way to draw funds from a worldwide audience without compromising on design freedom. Read more about the site, and see some of our favorite projects from its launch, after the break.

“Death in Venice” to Showcase Architecture’s Relationship with Mortality

Death in Venice will focus partially on the changing design of hospitals, places that many people die in every year. Image Courtesy of The Wellcome Library

This year’s Venice Architecture Biennale focuses on the fundamentals of architecture, and the theme of “absorbing modernity.” Official exhibitions will highlight the basics of modern building, but one exhibition (unaffiliated with the official biennale) will take a unique approach to the term. Architects Alison Killing and Ania Molenda will devote their to the most fundamental quality of all: death.

Titled Death in Venice, this presentation will focus on how architecture has facilitated the act of dying during the past 100 years. All of the funding for the exhibition materials has been provided by the Fund for Creative Industries NL, but to transport the show to Venice, Killing and Molenda have started a Kickstarter campaign.

Kickstart the Latest Edition of ‘City of Darkness’: The Authoritative Text on Kowloon Walled City

20 years ago, Greg Girard and Ian Lambot published “City of Darkness“, a book which documented life inside the notorious Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong during its peak in the late 1980s. When the high-rise slum was cleared and demolished soon after in 1993, this collection of photographs, interviews and essays became a eulogy of sorts, becoming one of the key texts on the most densely populated place the world has ever seen.

Two decades later, Girard and Lambot have revisited the book – and to fund this new edition, they have turned to Kickstarter.

Read on after the break to find out what’s new in this edition and how you can help fund the book.

A Collection of Striking Soviet Bus Stop Designs

Pitsunda, Abkhazia. Image Courtesy of herwigphoto.com

Over a decade ago on a cycling trip across Europe, photographer Christopher Herwig stumbled upon a curious phenomenon that would become his obsession for years: bus stops. Curiously for a regime usually associated – both architecturally and otherwise – with uniformity and with sameness, the bus stops built by the Soviet Republic display remarkable diversity and creativity. Herwig made it his mission to photograph as many of these remarkable structures as possible, travelling through Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia; Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and KazakhstanUkraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Abkhazia.

Now complete, Herwig has launched a Kickstarter to turn this remarkable collection of photographs into a limited edition book, which he describes as “the most mind-blowing collection of creative bus stop design from the Soviet era ever assembled.” Check out some of the images after the break.

How We Can Code Democracy Into the Design Process

A scheme to paint a whole in , successfully funded via Kickstarter in October. Image Courtesy of Favela Painting’s Kickstarter Page

In this interview with Grasp Magazine Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, explains his belief that in order to develop solutions to the complex problems found in cities, the only successful approach is from the bottom-up. In order to make this possible, he says, we need to democratize the design process by encouraging and empowering more people to engage in design, by operating with ‘codes’ rather than ‘blueprints’ which invite further contribution. Platforms like Kickstarter are one way that this process is already in motion. You can read the full article here.

Kickstarter: REM

Screen Shot from Casa De Musica Porto. Image © Tomas Koolhaas

UPDATE: REM’s campaign was successfully funded! 

There are only three days left for you to help fund the most highly-anticipated documentary film about the legendary Rem Koolhaas: REM. Directed by the architect’s son, Tomas Koolhaas, the film will explore an unprecedented perspective on what gives Koolhaas’ work function and purpose: how it is used by people. Learn more and donate to Koolhaas’ campaign here on Kickstarter.  

Four Architectural Innovations Make Time’s Top 25 Inventions For 2013

The Infinity Tower by . Image Courtesy of fastcodesign.com

Last week Time Magazine released their list of the top 25 inventions of 2013. The list covers both fun and life-changing new ideas, covering everything from the Cronut to the Artificial Pancreas – but there are also four architectural innovations that made the prestigious list. Find out more about them after the break.

NYIT Students Turn Plastic Bottles Into Disaster Relief

Last week’s devastating typhoon in the Philippines has reminded designers of the ongoing challenge of creating safe, temporary shelters when natural disasters hit. Crates of food and water are some of the first types of aid delivered to these ravaged areas; so what if these resources could be designed to also provide shelter and minimize waste? The New York Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture asked just that question and came up with a solution: SodaBIB, a new type of shipping pallet that would allow commonly used plastic bottles to be used for shelter.

A Kickstarter Campaign to Paint Entire Favela in Rio de Janeiro

Painting: Rio Cruzeiro, realized in 2008. Image Courtesy of Painting’s Page

Dutch duo Haas and Hahn gained fame in 2005 for painting a few houses of Rio Janeiro’s favelas in a palate of bright hues. Now they’re back again, this time with a Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds to paint the rest of the favela in the hopes of further transforming this crime-ridden community.

The Never-Before-Seen Interviews from Helvetica/Objectified/Urbanized

In his three-part documentary series, composed of the films Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized, Gary Hustwit explored the effect that design has on our everyday life. However, in the process of making these documentaries, he only used about 3% of the interview footage he collected. Now he has launched a kickstarter campaign to fund a book that will make his 100 hours of interview footage available in its entirety. Click here to back his project and make this book a reality.

Kickstarter Campaign to Activate Vacant Storefronts in New York City

‘Play’. Image Courtesy of Architecture Commons

In an attempt to activate a vacant storefront in ’s Lower East Side, the miLES Storefront Transformer – a 6ft cube designed to “program any storefront” – is a versatile, movable set of furnishing and amenities designed by Architecture Commons. Seven individual pop-up interventions, curated by a collection of creative minds, would inhabit empty shops between November 4th and December 22nd 2013 if their Kickstarter campaign is successful.

Kickstarter: London Skyline Reimagined as Chess Set

© Courtesy of Skyline Chess

Imagine your city skyline as a chessboard battleground; which landmark would declare itself as the almighty king and who serve as its faithful pawn? Well, according to British designers Ian Flood and Chris Prosser, ’s Canary Wharf, Renzo Piano’s Shard and Norman Foster’s Gherkin would all deserve high ranks while the ubiquitous London terraced house fulfilled the role of the pawn.

After replacing their own standard chess set with 3D-printed models of their city’s landmarks, Flood and Prosser have established the campaign “Skyline Chess” with the hopes of expanding their idea beyond London’s skyline. If the campaign is successful, architectural enthusiasts worldwide will have the opportunity to select any of the world’s most iconic cities (Shanghai vs. Paris?) for an ultimate duel of chess.

Learn more about the campaign here on the Kickstarter.

Marina Abramovic Launches Kickstarter to Build OMA-Designed Performance Center

Marina Abramovic, one of the most seminal performance artists of our time, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the transformation of an abandoned New York theater into an interdisciplinary performance and education center: Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI).

The institute, designed by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas of , will be dedicated to the presentation and preservation of long durational work. Visitors will spend a minimum of six hours partaking in the Abramovic Method, a method that helps participants “develop skills for observing long durational performances through a series of exercises and environments designed to increase awareness of their physical and mental experience in the moment.” Needless to say, MAI will be unlike any other institute in existence.

A virtual tour of OMA’s design and more information after the break…

+ POOL Hits Goal, Becomes Largest Civic Project Ever Kickstarted

Courtesy of , PlayLab

+ , the project (initiated by a duo of young architects) to float a public swimming pool in New York’s Hudson River, has reached its latest kickstarter goal - making it the largest civic project to ever be crowdfunded online. As Architizer’s Karen Wong reports, it’s a remarkable gamechanger for architects (a profession where success often comes well into one’s golden years) as well as public space in general: “It’s a resounding demonstration of the public’s belief in young architects to rethink public space and manifest the untapped capital of waterways to benefit the common good.” Read the full article here

LOST UTOPIAS: Photographer Jade Doskow’s Kickstarter Campaign

Montreal 1967 World’s Fair, “Man and His World,” Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome With Solar Experimental House, 2012. Image © Jade Doskow

UPDATE: Kickstarter goal met! Since 2007, Jade Doskow has been photographing the remains of World’s Fair Sites: once iconic spots that displayed the ambitions/ideals of their eras, now, often forgotten and left to decay. Now, for the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair in (in just a few weeks time), Doskow has a new goal: to shoot all the iconic North American fair sites – from Seattle’s Space Needle to San Francisco’s Treasure Island. To do so, she’s launched a Kickstarter campaign: LOST UTOPIAS. See more of Doskow’s stunning images, and find out how to support her Kickstarter campaign, after the break…

+ Pool Launches ‘Tile by Tile’ Kickstarter Campaign

© Family, PlayLab

+ Pool, the ambitious project to float a public swimming pool in New York’s East River, has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund “Tile by Tile,” what will be the largest crowdfunded civic project to date. Those who back the pool will be rewarded by having their name engraved on one of the pool’s 70,000 tiles.

+ Pool will filter the river water to give users a clean, safe yet natural environment to swim in and provide space for all types of “swimmers, bathers and hanger-outers” in each of its four sections. The current campaign’s primary aim is to fund an in-situ floating test lab which will, for the first time, prove the feasibility of filtering river water by testing various potential filtration systems.

Read more about the + Pool and the growing trend towards after the break…