Voter Fraud Suspected in $300 House Design Competition

[Update: The jurors in the $300 House design competition have resolved the problem described below to my satisfaction. This came as a big surprise actually, and I’m so happy they took the appropriate action. The guilty person’s project was driven down to #87 last I checked, and my designs jumped back up to #7, 10 and #34.

It saddens me that people will stoop so low and do ‘whatever it takes’ to ‘win.’ What they’re really doing is skewing the process and potentially cheating the very people they say they want to help. It’s fraud. They’re liars. And for what? So they can win a few hundred dollars? We have to be mature enough to rise above what we want and focus on discovering and implementing the most practical solutions. I can honestly say I don’t care if I win. I want the best ideas to rise to the top and be put to good use. Let’s work together amicably toward that goal.]

Hi guys. I was going to let this slide, but the more I thought about it the more clear it became that something unscrupulous has occurred in the $300 House design competition. Here’s the message I left for the jurors:

“Attention jurors: Please be alert to potential voter fraud. All three of my designs dropped in unison about 20 points each in the last hour or so. Because this is statistically almost impossible, voter fraud (coordinated negative attack) is a real possibility. This occurred immediately after I posted my warning about papercrete needing more thorough testing on the Max Building system. I’m not saying they are responsible, but it is something to be aware of.”

How else can this be explained? All of my designs have been holding steady in the top 10-20. Think about it. How would you feel if you spent 100 hours or so and got attacked in this way?

Please note this isn’t about “winning.” I think we (designers of truly sustainable designs) have already won in the sense of getting our ideas out to a wide audience. But at the same time injustice is not something to take lightly. Upsetting the fair, democratic voting system in this way should be grounds for elimination from the contest if in fact the jurors obtain sufficient evidence.

So voting is getting vicious. Please vote if you haven’t already done so.

4 thoughts on “Voter Fraud Suspected in $300 House Design Competition”

  1. I just checked and see Owen’s 3 designs ranked 11,14 and 19th. I have to admit I honestly think this would have been better with no public votes at all – at least they could make it clear that the public ranking would have no impact on the juried results. The comments alone are enough and have been somewhat entertaining.

    Back to work here

    • My designs are up to #7, 10 and 14. I’m so glad the judges were able to resolve the issue. If the judges see this, thank you!

      Public voting probably helps draw more attention to the contest — more people, more comments, hopefully better results.

      Update: The voting system is seriously flawed. My Stone Dome (one of the most popular designs that could be a major breakthrough in housing) and the geopolymer CEB house is ranked next to the cardboard tube house that’s covered with milk cartons for protection ( Can you imagine anyone voting for the cardboard/milk carton house over my two designs? Not likely. So it’s almost certainly a result of negative attacks. It was an organized attack that knocked my ranking down 30 points or more over 1-2 days. Allowing negative attacks to knock out competitors devalues the contest and makes the whole process questionable.

  2. I have been up all night doing thesis job and have seen the MAX contribution jump from top to middle of first page over and over again. I think he is pushed down by the algorithm and its done manually or automatically. I think the contribution will be removed soon. But its a pain in the a** when this is done because it mess up the whole competition.


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