Kickstart This! Notable Self-Initiated Projects By Architects

Architects have had to adapt to the dire economic climate to advance innovative and self-initiated projects, integrating crowdsourcing strategies.


Given the dour economic climate in recent years, work in the already precarious field of architecture has dropped precipitously, as clients grow more conservative (and fewer in number) and project budgets shrink. Architects have had to adapt to the situation, assuming the driver’s seat typically filled by clients to advance innovative and self-initiated projects. To get the word out, these designers have integrated crowdsourcing and crowdfunding strategies into their work processes. Sites like Kickstarter have proved incredibly effective in realizing designers’ abstract ideas and proposals, either through exhibitions and full-scale installations to working prototypes and components.

The +Pool and the Lowline are among the most successful of these campaigns, and they’re indicative of the way these projects have contributed to and help shaped the development of contemporary architectural production. Now, fanciful urban proposals or wacky architectural schemes don’t necessarily have to waste away on computer screens, but can, in some form or another, be brought to life and action. The Architecture + Self-Initiated Award will honor the best of these projects. Below are some examples:

LES/New York
Designed by James Ramsey and Dan Barasch
Learn more about this project here and here.


The Making of Imagining the Lowline from Brandt Graves on Vimeo.


Offices everywhere
Designed by kawamura-ganjavian
Learn more about this project here.


East River/New York
Designed by Playlab and Family
Learn more about this project here and here.


+Pool from GYLo on Vimeo.


Fresh Punches
Land of Tomorrow Gallery/Louisville
Designed by suckerPunch
Learn more about this project here and here.


Cosmic Quilt
New York Design Week 2012/Bonnaroo 2012
Designed by The Principals
Learn more about this project here and here.


Cosmic Quilt from The Principals on Vimeo.

Architizer is hosting the world’s definitive architectural awards program, with 50+ categories and 200+ jurors. As part of an ongoing series, we’re spotlighting projects that fit the “Plus” categories, which tap into topical and culturally relevant themes. Today, in an effort to show you examples of good candidates for the Plus awards, we present 10 “Architecture + Self-Initiated Projects.” To see a full list of categories and learn more about the awards, visit

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

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