We’ve all had that idea. The one that’s too crazy, too costly, or just too big. If only we had the money, if only we had the time. Before you know it, the dream stays just that: a dream.
This year we saw those sorts of ambitious projects pop up on Kickstarter. Whether the ideas were genuinely world-changing or just genuinely awesome, backers often came together to make them a reality.
Some made us feel like anything was possible. Launch a pop-up restaurant that changes every month. Discover a major new photographer. Create real-life portals. Make a 75-minute dance movie. Set a giant guitar on fire. Turn a cottage into a musical instrument. (And a skate ramp while we’re at it.) Find an undeveloped island on Craigslist and turn it into a Walden Pond artist residency. They made us feel like kids again, believing anything could happen.A thousand people got behind a tiny design firm’s idea to build a giant, public pool in New York’s famously icky East River. A budding aerospace engineer set out to make space flight accessible to people other than astronauts and Richard Branson. His pitch to send a satellite filled with tiny, personal spaceships into outer space opened: “Ever dreamed of owning your own spacecraft?”
Not all big ideas made their goals, but they were successful in other ways. A National Geographic photographer searched for a lost Da Vinci mural. An electrical engineer wanted to fill a football field with lightning. Proud Kentuckians launched a pitch for their state. These projects made a big impression regardless of funding.
But in an ambitious year the most ambitious of all was the Global Village Construction Set. This project promised nothing less than the easy DIY fabrication of the fifty basic machines needed to develop a small civilization. You read that right: a civilization. Now that’s dreaming big.