Making It real
My story in attempting to bring a new housing type that improves affordability, livability & community resilience
(Please note that this article is one in a series and it may make references to previous articles)
From the onset of this journey, I wanted to find a solution that not only made it easier for people to own a home but would hopefully improve their lives beyond the basic concept of a roof. In considering the complexity surrounding housing, I knew that traditional mechanisms or ideas would not suffice and I would need to explore technological advancements and alternative approaches in how we might design and construct a home. Innovation was always going to be at the core of this journey, but I never thought it would lead to four distinct areas. They were to:
The highly recognised urban studies theorist, Richard Florida, is known for his description of a cohort that he predicted would surpass the traditional demographic profiles of blue and white colour. He coined this new breed of the urban dweller, the creative class; A group who were primed to think differently and would design a new path for society. Much of this would evolve from Silicon Valley, where it led to the establishment of a binary fueled economy that has time and time again shown its potential to disrupt any industry. Its reach of disruption seemed only limited by imagination. Even though creativity would explode in all things digital, it would eventually be responsible for devaluing traditional skills in a blink of an eye. Think of travel agents, retailers and general administrators. Yet even though computers were not able to replicate human creatively or ingenuity, it did allow for crowdsourcing where the power of millions of minds was accessible at a fraction of the cost. Crowdsourcing platforms popped up all over the place, including in the protected sphere of design. Platforms like 99 designs and Archbazar were placing more control of creatively in the hands of the person in need of the inspiration, or in my case, the need for solving a problem. The internet had levelled the commodity of creatively, and I needed some inspiration. As touched on in the last article, I was ready for an alternative design approaches and would ask the world of designers through the Arcbazar website to help me find a design solution. So how does Archabazr work?
Archbazar is simply a platform that has preregistered designers from around the world with varying degrees of skills and expertise. You establish a design competition by supplying a brief of what you are after with any supporting information that you believe the designers need to understand the context of your challenge. You set the timeframe and the prize money eventual is distributed to the three best submissions which are determined by you. The first place attracts 70% of the price money, second 20% and 3 rd 10%. If your needing support to decide which deserves the first prize, you can invite friends and family to rate submission and provide commentary. The quality of the information received typically depends on the prizemoney you set. However, the examples I had reviewed before deciding to go down this path demonstrated the design output easily surpassed the prize money required. The examples supplied in this blog show some of the quality from the submissions received; however, the images alone do not do the website justice as to how much designer material each submitter supplies. It’s simply unbelievable to what length some designers go to. The only way to discover what is possible is to check the website for yourself.
After researching several crowdsourcing design options, I was satisfied that Archbazar suited me best and signed up. I then proceeded to write the brief, attached the necessary documents and after paying my prize money, I sat back with a surprising sense of excitement and anticipation. It wasn’t long before I received notification that a designer from Romania, Thailand, India and California had reviewed or downloaded my pack of documents. Even though I had no idea if they would submit, the simple knowledge of them just looking at it was like a dopamine hit probably akin to receiving news that tomorrow will be 23 degrees and sunny. (That means a lot when you live in Melbourne, and it’s the middle of August). The website provides a world atlas where it places a pin on the location from where the interested designer was from and this only increased the mystery as to who was this person that I have indirectly invited into my world to help me out? This new form of global collaboration was unexpectedly exciting. But that was nothing like what I would feel when the submissions would come it, and boy was that a roller coaster. Why? Check out the next post.
Over 25 years experience in both the private and public sectors o f property
A lover of technology and design that is practical, beautiful and improves the way we live not as a individuals but as a thriving community.