I'm A Kickstarter

Edited by: Enrico Mancini enrico.mancini@positive-magazine.com

Where: the internet

Who: Kickstarter

Proofreading: Bianca Baroni



Maybe you already knew about all of the hype that’s been around crowdfunding web platforms during the last couple of years.

I’ve to tell first, the idea of enabling creative practitioners to find new streams of start-up capital for their small/medium projects is as simple as brilliant.

But the question is: does architecture fit into these pair of trousers?


+pool designers – Kickstarter

This question has been raised by Alexandra Lange, author for Design Observer blog, in an intriguing article called “Against Kickstarter Urbanism”.

Her wise assertion pointed to spotlight in those corners and angles that are hidden by the “not too slick, not too amateur” videos posted by the kickstarters.


ZUS Rotterdam – partially crowdfunded

She argued that web sites like Kickstarter work perfectly for little industial design gizmos, like smartwatches, bikes, and everything that might be hipster-friendly. But if you use crowdfunding for projects that implicate a far more complex and a far less photogenic process, your house of cards will fall quickly.


ZUS Rotterdam – partially crowdfunded

It is a matter of fact that catching renderings, with beautiful people walking down an renewed subway line, with trees and green all around (there are more trees in the last three years’ architectural renderings than in the entire rain forest), will sell more than a flat proposal for a bench or a ping-pong table. But is the LowLine proposal feasible? And even if it is, is it the best we can have there?


LowLine – Kickstarter

Probably the question we should ask ourselves is not just about architecture. We live in a stage of our social-consciousness in which there are movements and forces pushing for a more equal democracy, a “democracy from below”. The relief valve of these powers has become the internet, Facebook, Twitter and so on. But still, it seems as if we’re not able to channel it in the right rooms.

 The Occupy movement has spread worldwide, but until most of its followers will be at home in front of a pc monitor, it will be only a “static” movement and its most revolutionary act will be hacking the emails of some white collars downtown.


Occupy protesters

You can change positively people’s mind through the medium of a computer by making them believe that something commonly considered impossible is truly possible.

But that’s just the first step, it could work with small tasks and things, but it will fail miserably with bigger issues.

 The second step is to make people turn their computers off, and make them go “to your community board meeting. Participate in participatory budgeting. Stop starting at that gizmo and look at what your local park needs.” as Alexandra Lange said.

 That’s the path Brickstarter is taking, an evolving platform developed by a project team at Sitra, whose aim is to make people join the entire process of designing and building a piece of city.

The problem is how to include all of those in the community that are offline.


Probably I fell a little bit off topic, but the comparison between Kickstarter’s efforts to enable people to achieve what they think is right, starting down up, is strong if we think of what is happening in our streets today.

 People is demonstrating the urge of a social expression with no delegate or representative of any kind, asking for a social platform that enable them to achieve what they think is right, starting down up.

That’s why I think I could be a Kickstarter.

Enrico Mancini

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Edited by: Eugenia Gotti – Architecture Department Editor –

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