Crowdsourcing architecture

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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.[1]

Business Models[edit]

Arcbazar Model: The triumvirate of clients, designers and contractors.

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."[2] This statement caused many heated debates among architectural bloggers worldwide.[3] 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."[4]

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