||This article may be confusing or unclear to readers. In particular, it is based solely on a few websites which claim to be a form of crowdsourcing, but it is highly questionable whether providing a choice of expert designs can really be called crowdsourcing. The websites themselves are ambivalent on that point.. (April 2014)|
Throughout history, architects have often been chosen by setting up an architectural competition and awarding the commission on the basis of the most favoured design. With the advent of the internet, a similar process has been set up by a number of businesses offering small-scale competitions for mainly domestic projects. Like an architectural competition, contributors must register but their designs are judged anonymously, and only the winning design is paid a fee.
An unprecedented business model for crowdsourcing architectural design was launched by Cambridge, MA based high-tech company Arcbazar in 2010. It builds on traditional architectural competitions and provides an online competition platform for small-to-medium scale architecture, landscape, interior design and remodeling projects; and, builds on the triumvirate of clients, designers and contractors. It connects clients with designers through architectural competitions, and links contractors with construction projects.
Crowdsourcing architecture has been heavily criticized by professional architects and architectural guilds. Dwell, America's leading home and architecture magazine, called the launch of arcbazar "the worst thing to happen to architecture since the internet started." This statement caused many heated debates among architectural bloggers worldwide. The Architects' Journal Great Britain's leading professional architecture magazine wrote an article on the disruptive business model: "Architecture crowd-sourcing website criticized: Architects have slammed a threatening new crowd-sourcing website in the US which promises to reduce clients' costs."
- 99designs, a similar online crowdsourcing platform for logo design.
- Innocentive, a crowdsourcing service in science.
- CoContest, crowdsourcing platform for interior design.
- Crowdsourcing Architecture and Home Remodeling Projects Arcbazar.
- Crowdsourcing Design: The End of Architecture, or a New Beginning? By Michael Crosbie at ArchNewsNow.com, April 8, 2014.
- Structures for Creativity: The crowdsourcing of design by Jeffrey V. Nickerson, Yasuaki Sakamoto, and Lixiu Yu.
- The New World of Building Design By Aarni Heiskanen at AEC business, February 18, 2013.
- Designers, clients forge ties on web By Marie Szaniszlo at the Boston Herald, June 11, 2012.
- Architecture for the crowd by the crowd Interview by Eric Blatterberg at crowdsourcing.org, October 21, 2011.
- Architecture crowd-sourcing website criticised Article by Merlin Fulcher in the Architects' Journal, September 29, 2011.
- Moving Architecture Online Public interview at Venture Café, Cambridge, MA, June 21, 2011.
- Crowdsourced Architecture? by ID/Lab -wayfinding, wayshowing, placemaking, legibility, and human behaviour in navigation, January 18, 2011
- Shepherding the Crowd: An Approach to More Creative Crowd Work by Steven Dow and Scott Klemmer
- Is crowdsourcing changing the who, what, where, and how of creative work? by Mira Dontcheva and Elizabeth Gerber
- Structures for Creativity: The crowdsourcing of design by Jeffrey V. Nickerson, Yasuaki Sakamoto, and Lixiu Yu