Meet Brickstarter, a Kickstarter for urbanism, architecture, and design.

The built world around us, while often adequate for our needs, could be a lot better. This is where design activism comes in: starting projects to fulfill ever-present community needs ranging from beautification to health. Examples of these projects run the gamut of scale, from the High Line in New York and UpGarden in Seattle to the neighborhood gardens and skate parks built on abandoned lots. Often, design activism fills a void left by developers and city governments which tend to focus on larger-scale interventions. It then falls to neighborhood and community groups to effect the changes they want to see, rather than simply asking for them.

However, there are many obstacles for the potential builder/maker/designer, including permits, intransigent bureaucratic culture and, of course, fundraising. The heavy lifting required to get past these impediments is usually enough to discourage all but the most determined designers; they can even stall something as simple as installing streetlights at parks.

In order to facilitate grass-roots design projects, Bryan Boyer and Dan Hill, Stratregic Design Leads at Sitra (The Finnish Innovation Fund), have started designing a new service called Brickstarter, based off of the more general project-helper Kickstarter. Brickstarter will provide a location for networks of design activists to coordinate their efforts. Project fans can help out with that omnipresent necessity, money, but can also donate time, labor, publicity, and support. Brickstarter is also slightly more rigorous than its namesake, incorporating time management strategies into its design: events are scheduled and a timeline is adhered to. It also keeps track of permits and other obstacles for the project. Right now, Brickstarter is still in prototyping and testing with an alpha launch coming later this year.

Images: Brickstarter, Sitra Finnish Innovation Fund via Wired Design.

This post originally appeared on Architizer.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A row of homes under the Montreal sun.

    Why Is the Homebuilding Industry Stuck in the 1940s?

    Embrace pre-fabricated, adaptable homes! Growing inequity, out-of-reach housing prices, and the speed of innovation in energy efficiency and technology demand it.

  2. Equity

    British People Feel Locked Out of London

    Britons who live outside the capital consider it too expensive and crowded for them to live there, a new report finds.

  3. A large adventure playground with towers and slides.

    A Short Guide to Tulsa’s New $465 Million Park

    If Volcanoville and Charlie’s Water Mountain aren’t enough for you, what about a boating pond and a skate park?

  4. Design

    Mexico City’s $150 Million Rebrand Faces Growing Pains

    Last week, incoming mayor Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo announced a competition to redesign the city’s young logo. The backlash has been swift.

  5. A shuttered factory in Muncie, Indiana

    The Toxic Legacy of Urban Industry

    A new book explores the unseen hazards left behind in post-industrial American cities.