Brickstarter

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 toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  2. Equity

    The Story Behind the Housing Meme That Swept the Internet

    How a popular meme about neoliberal capitalism and fast-casual architecture owned itself.

  3. Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina
    Photos

    A Highway to Progress, Foiled By Old Values

    A Carolinian drives along a familiar road to make sense of what exists in between the South’s most regressive and progressive narratives.

  4. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  5. Transportation

    Europe's Intercity Bus Juggernaut Is Rolling Into the U.S.

    Flixbus is like the Uber of long-haul road travel. Could it reboot the American coach business?