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"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

  • 1.  "CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-10-2014 15:10
    This message has been cross posted to the following Discussion Forums: Project Delivery and Committee on Design .
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    Is "crowdsourcing" design a threat to the profession? Or a new chapter? Take a look:

    http://bit.ly/1kwkNbz

    What do you think?

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    Michael Crosbie FAIA
    Editor-in-Chief
    Faith & Form
    Essex CT
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  • 2.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-11-2014 18:41
    I appreciate your full disclosure, but I'm afraid you may be a little  too close to Mr. As for  objectivity.  Regarding your response to all the  negative criticisms of crowdsourcing, i.e. that this bad stuff is already happening anyway.... two (or more!) wrongs  don't make  a right (or a  Wright for that matter).  It's just one  more example  of the  inmates trying to run the asylum, something all too common in the 21st century. If we devalue  the  importance of education, training, professionalism, ethics, et al, where are we?  In the handbasket, on our way!

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    Eugene Ely AIA, LEED AP

    San Jose, CA
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  • 3.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-11-2014 20:00
    I still have a few questions about crowdsourcing architecture:

    1. If the design request comes from a jurisdiction in which I am licensed to practice architecture and I respond, am I providing architectural services without a contract, which would be in violation of the professional practice act in some jurisdictions? (I know that conceptual design is considered an "architectural service" in some jurisdictions in which I am licensed.)
    2. If I am not licensed to practice architecture in the jurisdiction from which the design request comes and the project is not exempt from professional licensing laws in that jurisdiction and I respond, am I providing services without a license, which would be in violation of the professional practice act in some jurisdictions? (I know that conceptual design is considered an "architectural service" in some jurisdictions in which I am licensed.)
    3. Are all respondents held to the same legal standard of care, whether or not they are licensed to practice architecture in the jurisdiction from which the request comes? (Won't courts be more inclined to levy greater judgments against licensed architects than against individuals who are not licensed to practice architecture for the same errors and omissions given the standard of care to which architects are held?) Therefore, if the playing field is not level, why are the designs presented anonymously and with the same potential reward for disproportionate risk?
    4. If no significant public relations advantage is expected as a result of winning (or even just participating in) a crowdsourcing competition, is crowdsourcing really "no worse than a design competition" since it lacks (arguably) the most critical element to making design competitions viable?
    5. Who owns the design once it's been posted on a crowdsourcing architecture site?
    6. If crowdsourcing architecture's greatest advantage to architects is believed to be the expansion of the market for architectural services, are there any statistics showing that it is accomplishing that? (A handful of $250 fees doesn't seem to me to be a significant expansion of the market. Nor does it seem to expand the market if a large portion of the competition winners are not licensed architects.)

    In response to the argument that "...architects in conventional practice would never pursue such modest projects by clients who would otherwise not seek out design services." Having spent several years trying to build a non-conventional practice myself by seeking out just such modest projects, I have concluded for myself that that market segment isn't worth pursuing as a career nor as a spare-time-killer. There may yet be a way to bring this market segment into the fold, but I haven't found it yet and crowdsourcing seems to be working against discovering a way, not with it.

    I am also suspicious of the assertion that "...the public for the most part does not have a ready opportunity to seek and benefit from the work of architects..." With the rise of LinkedIn, Facebook, Houzz, AIA.org and other sites that can put potential clients in touch with architects, I believe the public currently has as ready an opportunity as ever to seek and benefit from the work of architects. What is lacking is the widespread belief that the work of architects has value equal to or in excess of the cost. Making our services next-to-free does nothing to enhance the public belief in the value of our work and the potential next-to-free fees only disguise the true cost of providing those services. Crowdsourcing architecture may not be de-valuing architecture on its own, but it seems to be exploiting the negative trend, rather than helping us to reverse it.

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    Sean Catherall AIA
    Architect
    Herriman UT
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  • 4.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-11-2014 21:02

    Sounds an AWFUL lot like design by committee, and we all know how that turns out.
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    Charles Graham AIA
    Architect
    O'Neal, Inc.
    Greenville SC
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  • 5.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-11-2014 21:24

    This reaction to the 'crowdsourcing' is getting phenomenal to those who want to have tight reins on the design market. basically an architect does is to provide building permits to meet the codes and the wishes of client.  this roundabout way by the general public does provide good impact on better designs on small projects. these do it yourself project without permit is healthy way to get public to excercise their body and mind after working long hours at desk. i have no objection to having internet as a tool. i welcome those renegades especially that i had been trying for years to work with this style which is looked down by 'educated' people - steampunk. it is a breakthrough for me and design community at last. yes it is a new chapter to making new history.
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    Michael Gallagher
    Principal
    Gardenia Victoria, LLC
    Baltimore MD
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  • 6.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-14-2014 21:33
    As difficult as it is to read, the best I can make of this post is that the writer has no concept of the requirements for building design, since he considers the purpose of the Architect is to obtain a building permit.

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    Charles Graham AIA
    Architect
    O'Neal, Inc.
    Greenville SC
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  • 7.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-15-2014 17:39
    Yes, it's as difficult to read as it is for me to accept the fact that only three percent of building starts in this country involve and architect. I'm not sure that crowd-sourcing really affects the market for serious project design.  The "horse designed by committee" paradigm quickly comes to the fore for any thoughtful client. Most building projects represent a substantial investment for the client/owner, most of whom would be hesitant to rely on virtual resources with no accountability and no investment in the success of the work. 

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    Timothy Norton
    Design Principal
    Jacobs GBNA
    Dallas, Texas
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  • 8.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-15-2014 17:49
    What the article describes is not "crowdsourcing" in the same way that people are raising capital via the internet for projects through crowdsourcing. Try designing a church--that's crowdsourced design. I've looked at this Arcbazar website and all the designs proposed are highly conceptual, mostly offered by designers outside the US. This is also not a business model. So what if someone can spit out "designs" and maybe earn $200 for a week's work. It's not business, and it's not architecture.

    People who are serious about obtaining design services for their home, a public building or space, or their business, want a relationship, not anonymous designs.

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    David W. Clarke AIA, Senior Architect
    Williams Design Group, Inc., Las Cruces, NM





  • 9.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-12-2014 12:53

    I'd like to suggest that everyone interested in this discussion read the definition of tacit knowledge in Wikipedia.

    You can prove you have acquired explicit knowledge but tacit knowledge is a matter of opinion. It is like knowing how to interpret facial expression. You can do it but you can't define how. This makes you believe you're qualified to practice. In fact, hubris can make you believe you're the best.

    To summarize Wikipedia, observation, discussion, and experience create tacit knowledge over time. (These are the "crit" sessions we conduct from the very beginning. They represent knowledge verbally passed from one generation to another.) Eventually, this may produce explicit knowledge that is a hard won but partial substitute, in my opinion.

    The argument over tacit knowledge qualifications can only be judged by the patient. Medicine has already been through the random results produced. Fortunately, it pursued explicit knowledge while engaging in a running debate with opinion. This is the knowledge that can be used to consistently repeat success.

    There is far more involved than a building permit. This argument is a distraction produced by an over-simplification of the effort to acquire tacit and explicit architectural knowledge. The effort is over-simplified when the scope is reduced to a sketch, a presentation, a form, an appearance, or a building permit; and the running argument can be lost when it becomes a battle over opinion.

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    Walter Hosack
    Author
    Walter M. Hosack
    Dublin OH
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  • 10.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-15-2014 21:32
    My answer is short and sweet. Anything that increases the public's interactions with architects is a good thing. Crowdsourcing isn't going away. The choice is to either embrace it or get run over by it. ------------------------------------------- Larry Barr AIA Quinn Evans Architects- DC Washington DC -------------------------------------------


  • 11.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-16-2014 17:03

    We've all been run over by opinion too often. It's time to build a stronger foundation.

    The future of shelter will involve the correlation of symbiotic complexity. Logical correlation of disparate knowledge is the strength of architectural contribution. It can easily be run over in the pursuit of fine art, but credibility is the real casualty when one is compromised by the other.

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    Walter Hosack
    Author
    Walter M. Hosack
    Dublin OH
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  • 12.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-15-2014 11:04
    The building permit comment has puzzled me. A building permit is what it boils down to, if the project gets that far; but what's missing is an understanding of the logic, options, and decisions that must be correlated to get there. Correlation requires logic and I'm afraid it's been replaced by superficial criticism.

    Design that depends on tacit knowledge is more vulnerable to attack from the shamans of the world. Building codes attempt to provide a foundation of logic to defend the decisions taken. 
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    Walter Hosack
    Author
    Walter M. Hosack
    Dublin OH
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  • 13.  RE:"CROWDSOURCING" DESIGN

    Posted 04-16-2014 18:51
    I was on board for non profit organization. even i explained thoroughly on the role of architect and the process involved. naturally questions and ideas revolve around on the "can do". i did explain in allegorial way where do it yourself handyman took 2 days to do toilet work by going to home depot and get free consultation from retired contractors there. the real plumber took half hour to repair the toilet. the design process is expensive either way and the quality is assured by professionals while the non professional has 'confidence' but no assurance. 

    internet has uploaded numerous solutions which provide better resource than in past. many times the anxious home owner bought the blueprints online and went to get the permit. they found missing drawings as usual. they tried to get some cheap consultant fee to stamp those drawings. thus the permit offices now are more stringent and very specific with requirements. - list of drawings plus architect's stamp. I for one strongly advise against those 'blueprints' and accept my design proposal. often i get the brunt of blame of shooting down their dream house therefore, i had to go thru unnecessary grueling process to fix the damages done by that crowdsourcing. of course i was totally against it for a great while.  

    however, somehow i toyed with the idea of crowdsourcing so they will feel included as part of design process. they loved it and recommended me. now steampunk is becoming latest fad that restaurants and office buildings (local 2-3 story) are catching on. i can envision on how crowdsourcing possibly create a positive impact on designs where architects and people freely exchange ideas for better tomorrow.



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    Michael Gallagher
    Principal
    Gardenia Victoria, LLC
    Baltimore MD
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