About this project
UPDATE: AUTHORS, CONTENT, NEW REWARDS
WHAT IS IT?
The Real Review is a bi-monthly magazine about architecture and spatial practice. From housing shortages to the end of civic space, from mass-surveillance to looming environmental crises, the built environment frames how we live and work today, as well as determining our possible futures.
The Real Review brings you insightful, timely and engaging reviews from the world’s finest writers – from both within and outside architecture – that explore how the design of space shapes our daily lives.
We believe this subject to be of wide interest and concern, not just to architects, but for all of us.
Focussing on the review as a format, we will investigate both historical and contemporary concerns; whether that means shining a light on obscure, but important, architects of early modernism, or how Uber and Airbnb are changing relationships to the city.
Our editorial brief to contributors is to pursue strong opinions freely (even if we as editors don’t necessarily agree with them). The Real Review is about diversity, discussion and debate; it is about how spaces and design shape our behaviour and cultural values; it is about texts that involve the reader in the social function of architecture in a way that is personal and arresting.
This project comes from two friends with a long history of collaboration, Jack and Shumi – architectural editors and journalists in London with a combined editorial experience of more than a quarter century.
WHO ARE WE?
Last year we edited a best-selling book with Bedford Press on alternative forms of ownership (Real Estates: Life Without Debt); five years ago we founded a radical architecture publication called Fulcrum, which promoted young writers by pairing them with some of the best-known artists, architects, economists and scientists. Over its three-year life it attained a cult status, with over half a million PDFs downloaded from our site, and was exhibited widely (notably at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale).
The Real Review will be produced by an independent team of highly renowned editors, and is designed by one of the UK’s leading graphic design studios. It will be a printed object of exceptional quality. If successful, the first issue will ship December 2015. To viably produce 6 issues (on a shoestring), our target includes all content, design, printing and shipping to UK subscribers.
To make this happen, we need your help!
Risks and challenges
Before we decided to run this Kickstarter we carefully assessed the six major challenges involved in getting a publication to press: direction, commissioning, editorial, design, print production and publicity.
Direction, editorial and commissioning
One of the biggest costs of a magazine is the actual words. Many publications try to push down the word-rate and pay their authors little or nothing. We believe in well-paid journalism, but as we’re starting we will not have the cash-flow immediately. Our network of more than a hundred truly excellent, internationally féted architectural writers have agreed to accept IOUs to be paid after issue #3. The immensity of this goodwill signals how strongly our contributors believe in our project. We also have extensive experience ourselves in all of the fields above, through our work on titles like Architectural Review, Domus, PIN UP and CLOG (amongst others – including managing all publications for the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2012, the world’s biggest, oldest and most respected events in architectural culture).
We have established an exclusive media partnership with ArchDaily.com – the largest design website in the world, with over 9 million unique visitors per month. No money is changing hands, but ArchDaily believe powerfully in independent architectural publishing and have kindly agreed to support us: they have even agreed to help promote our Kickstarter campaign to their incredible readership. ArchDaily share with us a common belief in raising the quality and public exposure of architecture, of starting debates and challenging the status quo.
Design and print production
We are working with Britain’s foremost design studio, OK-RM, a collaborative practice engaged in partnerships with artists, curators, editors, architects, designers and institutions. They are committed to the Real Review for the long-run. As they say, “For us, design is a conversation. Our way of working often leads to ongoing relationships that track the evolution body of work.”
OK-RM have helped us to negotiate huge reductions on print and distribution with companies prepared to support the magazine (many charging us at cost).
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