You’ve heard of Murphy’s Law: that if anything can go wrong it will go wrong? Well, this is the law of ASH, reflecting the sad times in which we live. It says that if you’re generous (or naive) enough not to charge for your work, people won’t value it, because the only value most people recognise these days is that of the market. The past four years of ASH have been an almost uninterrupted demonstration of this law, which we won’t go into here; but now’s your chance to show that there are other measurements of value than a price tag.
Since we set the blog up in October 2015 ASH has published over 200 articles, reports, presentations and case studies, as well as design proposals for 6 threatened housing estates, that together have been visited 190,000 times by 105,000 people from 195 countries across the world. This month we published The Costs of Estate Regeneration, which has since been visited nearly 700 times. In June we published The Tower: Rewriting Grenfell, which has been visited nearly 2,500 times. In April we published Central Hill: A Case Study in Estate Regeneration, which has been visited 1,300 times. Last September we published Mapping London’s Estate Regeneration Programme, which has been visited over 2,700 times. And last July we published The Truth about Grenfell Tower, which has been visited nearly 17,000 times. If every one of our readers had paid £1 every time they read an article we’d be rich – which we’re not asking to be. If they’d paid 10p every time they read an article they’d have paid us the equivalent of a part-time salary for our work. As it is, despite several fund-raisers to address our increasingly difficult financial situation, the total donations to ASH over the past two years amount to less than £1,500, and these donations have come from a mere 26 readers.
Being of an English disposition when it comes to money, we’re both extremely grateful and embarrassingly humbled by the generosity of those who have donated. However, we’re also aware that ASH is at a financial crossroads, and that the roughly £1,000 we’ve received this year is not much of a return from the 22,000 people that have visited the ASH blog since January 2018, let alone the more than 100,000 people who have read our work for free over the past four years.
Unless readers want their future analysis of London’s housing crisis from the likes of Dave Hill, the Guardian and the policy writers for the Labour Party, we ask that you please dig deep into your wallets and make a donation to ASH through the PayPal link below. Thank you for your help.
Architects for Social Housing is a Community Interest Company (no. 10383452). Although we do occasionally receive minimal fees for our design work, the majority of what we do is unpaid and we have no source of public funding. If you would like to support our work financially, you can make a donation through PayPal: