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Can Crowdfunding Work for Architecture?

Is crowdfunding the answer to giving stalled architecture projects a much-needed…kickstart? A report issued this week by the American Institute of Architects takes a closer look, highlighting crowdfunded projects such as Colombia’s 66-story BD Bacatá building and the “I Make Rotterdam” bridge-building project.

According to massolution, which compiled the white paper for the AIA, crowdfunding generated around $1.5 billion in 2011, of which almost half was raised via donation-based crowdfunding (distinct from Kickstarter-style reward-based crowdfunding, in which donors receive something tangible in return). In addition to its potential as a financing tool for beleaguered developers and architects, crowdfunding can provide architects with a way to work with local communities to discuss, develop, and implement design ideas–or simply to generate support for “passion projects” that may be tough to fund through conventional avenues, notes the report. The Italian government is all over this idea–to raise cash to fund the Italian pavilion at the this year’s Venice Biennale.

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