Richard: Kitchen Redesign, New Mexico

“This isn’t a typical review, because this isn’t a typical provider.  In plain English, this is how it works:  You put up a sum of money.  Their website suggests an amount based on things like the size and type of project you post, but you are free to put up any amount you want.  In addition, arcbazar gets a modest fee for acting as the middleman…  They provide a “wall” where you post whatever you want, like pictures, dimensions, etc.   Then anybody… can sign up, and based on what you submit, upload their submissions.  You pick a deadline for submissions, and afterward you decide which designs “win” the money.  That’s it in a nutshell.

… Like Facebook, this seems to be a concept that came from a creative mind in academia during a sleepless night.  It’s a work in progress and should work better as it matures.  The concept is really simple.  It’s to provide a place where anyone anywhere in the world can post an architectural design problem and anyone anywhere in the world can post their proposed solution.  In the mix is a financial carrot, and a contest approach with designers winning points. …  I personally think it’s a great concept and just one more example of how the Internet is changing the way we live… if you are looking for some creative minds to suggest designs neither you nor your local architect would ever had dreamed of and are willing the gamble some money to fuel the adventure, then you are going to enjoy the arcbazar experience.  My suggestion is go to their website and click on the “BROWSE” button at the top right of the screen.  There you can see different projects, how much prize money was offered and what different designers posted, as well as who came in first, second and third… One final observation.  There’s an element of risk in this.  You may get a lot of proposals you love or none at all.  It’s a gamble, plain and simple.
So here’s my story.  I put up $1,500 for a kitchen remodel, a little more than recommended by the website.  When the house was built it had some design issues that aren’t easy to solve.  The kitchen is just too small and it’s not a problem that’s easy to fix.  Thirty-One people signed up, and when the deadline arrived, I got 10 submittals.  Of those, 8 were useful…  Considering what the total cost of my kitchen remodel will be, this was definitely money well spent.  I will end up with a much better kitchen when I’m done.
Bottom Line:  Two Thumbs Up!!”

To view the competition please click here.

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