Brickstarter the book

Now available for download as PDF (33mb) and purchase via print on demand.

Brickstarter the book contains 80 dense pages filled with the research presented here, refined and reformatted, as well as entirely new essays and illustrations. This book is a primer for people working on problems at the intersection of crowdfunding/sourcing, social media, urban planning and decision-making. So in other words, it’s about contemporary cities and how we might create new platforms to enable more effective debate about the future of our shared spaces.

Book mockup

This project evolved out of the Brickstarter blog, including the research, sketching, and prototyping we engaged in over the cource of 2012. The Brickstarter book, however, would not have been possible without the confident and persistent editorial voice of Rory Hyde, who we were able to convince to take on this project despite the fact that he was also in the middle of an intercontinental move. We were also lucky to work with Bitcaves, a Dutch graphic design duo who manifested Brickstarter as a colorful, playful publication.

In parallel to working on the book, we also built a rough clickable mockup of two pages that would be part of Brickstarter with the help of Siili.fi. This is now available for download as a package (of HTML, CSS, and Javascript) for people who want to hack. Fair warning: it may not work consistently on all browsers. It may not work at all! That being said, Safari should yield fairly consistent performance.

Back to the book. Here’s what it looks like:


Joseph Grima, Editor in Chief of Domus and curator of the Istanbul Design Biennial contributed the foreword. Our Sitra colleagues Jukka Noponen and Karoliina Auvinen provide a Finnish perspective.


We’ve written a completely new introduction.


The interviews were updated.


Maija summarized the fact cards, visually highlighting an opportunity for any forward-thinking governments who want to act in this space…


Two photoessays are included, each depicting an episode of difficult democratic decision-making.


We explain the prototypes.


And the conclusion… well that you’ll have to download the PDF to find out about. Hope you like it.

nb. As of this post, Sitra has completed its work on Brickstarter and by publishing this book we transfer the rights to you, the community. Project creators Bryan Boyer and Dan Hill have both stepped down from their positions at Sitra and will be exploring these ideas and potentials through other venues.

Wired, The Guardian, USA Today, the Economist, and many others have taken note of this project: the demand for Brickstarter exists. Now it’s yours to take forward, to build, to reassemble!

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