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.
Self and Bose are now in the process of developing the design of the publication alongside collaborators OK-RM, preparing to edit their first set of articles, and booking their first print slot. Nevertheless, "meeting your primary targets doesn’t always mean the mission is over. For us," Self says, "it’s just the beginning." Their initial target of $24,994 (£15,990) was based on the production of six issues of the Real Review for which 80% of writers would accept an 'IOU' agreement (or offer to forego payment altogether). As such, every additional pound, euro and dollar will go towards payment for contributors. "Every Kickstarter pledge is a vote for independent journalism, and for our mission to open up a conversation about architecture beyond the profession," says Bose.
With the target reached, they are now able to contemplate more ambitious additions such as special issues, artist collaborations or simply look to raising the quality of the publication without increasing the subscription price. They believe that another two thirds on top of their initial target will provide the project with a degree of long-term security. Their commitment to maintain total cost transparency means that each issue will provide a breakdown of how much money was spent on content, production and postage "so that subscribers can see where their subscription is going to."
REAL is a charitable foundation and research platform based in London. Its dedication to spatial equality encompasses the financing and construction of architecture, its terms of ownership and its contribution to standards of living.