How One Designer's Facebook Fans Helped Him Choose a Building Design
Another new apartment building will be breaking ground on New York City's Thompson Street in SoHo, and this time, the general public had an opportunity to vote on how it would look.
Karim Rashid, the designer noted for his funky, colorful furniture and innovative interiors, posted a poll (since deleted) on his Facebook page, giving his 421,000 plus fans the opportunity to vote on their favorite design for the seven-story structure.
"I have had too many failures and have learned that design is a collaboration,” he said in an interview with Dezeen. "One must listen and work within that culture or nothing will go to market or get built."
Rashid and the developer, Mavrix Group, had selected the four street-facing facades from an original list of 10. But rather than sit through painful—and lengthy—focus groups to narrow down the final four, Rashid wanted to hear from a larger demographic. “I believe we live in the age of 'the empowerment of the individual' where we all have a voice in the digital age," he said. You can see the four options below.
Facebook users didn't have the final say; Rashid and the Mavrix Group ultimately picked option A, based on its popularity as well as its technical aspects and the cost to build.
It’s unlikely that the Facebook poll will prevent all the outrage that follows whenever anything new hits the streets of New York City—and Rashid knows that he's not entirely in the clear.
"For being such a large city, NYC is really many small communities made up of very vocal, opinionated residents," he said. "Hearing public feedback can be difficult because people are so mired in the past—they don't want to embrace change."
The building—which will have just seven apartments—is set to be completed by 2017.