As we have seen with Minister For Planning Richard Wynne’s ‘Better Apartments’ report paper, listening and engaging with the consumer is a great way to give both the idea and the conception a communal importance.
An architect and developer in New York has done a similar thing. Karim Rashid, took to his Facebook page, and asked his 400k+ followers, to vote for the facade of the building.
Rashid provided four concepts (A, B, C, D) and let the vote take place on his Facebook page, to his fans.
“For being such a large city, NYC is really many small communities made up of very vocal and opinionated residents,” said Karim Rashid.
“Hearing public feedback can be difficult because are so mired in the past - they don’t want to embrace change,” Rashid said.
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The concepts, A, B, C, D of Karim Rashid's development - Concept C (third from left), ulitmately won the vote.
The reason behind gaining public input, and control, was not only to produce a publicity stunt, but also due to previous failures in getting public approval for some of his developments.
“I have had too many failures and learned that design is a collaboration. One must listen and work within that culture or nothing will go to market or get built.”
“It is a great opportunity to get feedback for my work and I believe we live in the age of ‘the empowerment of the individual’ where we all have a voice in the digital age,” Rashid concluded.
Public interest and public input not only creates a fluent cityscape, but also strengthens the relationship between those living in the community and developers. If the community had a sense of opinion, rather than those of Governments and councils, then the appreciation, acceptance and ultimate engagement in developments and apartment living would eventually come true - ‘Better Apartments ‘is the first step, but there are many more to come in the future…