Can Online Architecture Marketplace CoContest Save The Architect?
Got architecture and interior design skills and talent, but no network and acquisition skills? Here’s good news for you.
CoContest is a new online marketplace that connects architects and interior designers from all over the world with potential clients by enabling users to organize little design competitions. On the one hand this enables architects to get in touch with new clients, on the other hand it enables every house owner in the world to launch a contest based on their very own wishes and needs. CoContest crowdsources the overwhelming amount of global creativity and brings it to the masses.
How does it work? Everyone can create an account and launch a little competition on, say, a renovation of your bathroom, an extension of your living room or a complete restyling of your office. The only thing you need to do is upload your wishes, some pictures of the situation and schematic drawing, as well as set a ‘prize’ for the winning design. Architects can send in their solutions to your problem. As soon as the competition has ended, the different designs are gathered and the competition owner can choose a winner. The entry can be ranked from 1 to 10, which enables the competitors to build a portfolio.
Prizes at CoContest vary from €50 for little design tasks to over €1000 for complex projects. This means that architects with creative skills and loads of good ideas but without specific acquisition skills or a huge local network can earn some good money attending online competitions. Good news, right? Finding the good solution for someone’s project can even lead to extra projects.
In general, however, this development also changes the perception of the profession of architect or designer. The architect is no longer the almighty know-it-all who makes a client’s situation subject to his ideas and beliefs, but has to work according to the client’s wishes and needs. In general, this is a more profound trend in the design and architectural profession. The architect is no longer someone special, in case you still thought they were.
Many people want to renovate their houses. However, hiring an architect is often expensive and complicated, and many people have no idea how this all works. The architecture market is not that transparent, and inviting an architect to look at your project often means that you feel obliged to work with the architect and his proposed solutions. The design market has always been dominated by the suppliers while clients are often inexperienced, which could lead to higher prices. CoContest changes this relation and opens up the market.