Enabling User Stakeholders: Crowdsourcing in Crowdfunded Design Projects

By Michael Pape and Lorenzo Imbesi.

Published by The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice

Format Price
Published online: December 19, 2014 $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

“Crowdfunding” is an emergent method of financing entrepreneurial projects through relatively small donations from a large and often geographically dispersed group of individual stakeholders, collectively referred to as a “Crowd”. Reward-based crowdfunding specifically incentivizes contribution by offering non-pecuniary rewards in exchange for financial support, usually in the form of product preorders. “Crowdsourcing” refers to the mobilization of members of the general public to voluntarily perform tasks such as problem solving, evaluation, or creative thinking. This paper investigates the convergence of crowdsourcing and reward-based crowdfunding in design-driven projects. The aim of such a convergence is to affect a collaborative or co-design process between designers and crowds, enabling self-selected user-stakeholders to participate in the development of projects by leveraging both their finances and collective intelligence. The paper discusses the current state of participatory practice in crowdfunding via examples of design projects that have integrated participatory elements into their fundraising campaigns. The results provide a basis of current standards in participatory crowdfunding and point towards future work in understanding, evaluating, and implementing systems that facilitate crowd collaboration.

Keywords: Crowdfunding, Crowdsourcing, Co-design

The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, Volume 9, Issue 1, March, 2015, pp.1-8. Published online: December 19, 2014 (Article: Print (Spiral Bound)). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 261.294KB).

Michael Pape

Graduate Student, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Lorenzo Imbesi

Architect and Professor, Design, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy