“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.”
– David Alston, author
About ten years ago, to share new ideas and architectural projects, architects and firms used to print their designs in magazines, to contact any firm it was generally through these magazines or by word of mouth. People were not very aware of the latest design development, and the community was quite secluded from the common people who might not have prior knowledge of design. After the social media boom, people can now easily access information about the latest architectural news and trends. The community has grown, and it has become more acceptable for people to share their thoughts; the growth of social media has had a significant effect on almost every aspect of the world; architecture is no other exception.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tiktok and Reddit list a few social media sites that reach a large global audience; architects these days have started using these media outlets, each with its advantages.
Online promotions, campaigns have brought architectural firms closer to their potential clients. The communication gap between design and people is bridged, resulting in newer opportunities and endless possibilities. Younger generations are the most likely to use social media for entertainment and communication with their friends. That is not the case at all. Social media is utilized by people of all ages and demographics, including businesses. This non-traditional way of communication has now become the most common way to communicate and showcase work.
The growth has led to newer careers in architecture. Architectural Journalism and Photography are quite popular fields these days, but apparently, they had no market almost ten years ago, thanks to the age of digital media. Architects always strive to learn and expand their knowledge; various online courses are marketed and are available on social media, making learning accessible to students and working professionals, making the community grow closer as the barriers of distance and countries cease. And just because digital media might have taken over print media, magazines have ceased to exist like they did 15 years ago. Digital magazines websites act like an architectural community hub making magazines accessible worldwide, unlike in the past when this was restricted due to geological locations or was too expensive.
Finding jobs and internships has always been difficult; previously, people had to refer to employment agencies or rely on word of mouth. Especially in design, it was hard to contact and collaborate with experts from other parts of the world. Social media has undoubtedly made it easier to reach out; a single post about recruitment can bring various prospective employees in one place. Access to multiple portfolios digitally has made it easier for people to share them with others, also contributing towards saving paper. Looking into one’s Instagram or Linkedln In, firms can easily find professionals suitable for the job. Social media brings up real experiences of people bringing the information from the world to your fingertips, not just on a professional level, but when looking for colleges, new courses, and people’s opinions. Social media serves as a venue for scholarly discourse among people who are interested in having an understanding of creative thinking processes. It has the potential to become an integral element of both the design process and studio activities.
Architectural competitions date back over 2,500 years; in 448 B.C, it resulted in the construction of the Acropolis in Athens. Following World War II, Europe, particularly France, regarded architecture contests as an excellent way to encourage architectural innovation and revitalize formerly occupied regions. Historically, architecture contests were less prevalent in Asia, with Japan as the first to adopt the technique fully. Ever since many countries started organizing competitions open to many firms, they were still hard to get into as they were less in number. The Social Media wave made competitions easier as now people could register and send their entries online. Many competitions are now conducted online, making more students, firms, and new graduates participate.
In general, social media has brought the architectural community closer and has made communication effective producing newer creative job opportunities worldwide, making remote working possible and collaborations more straightforward. Architecture has always adapted to change over time; while it will take time for older firms and designers to be accustomed to social media, the journey has just started. With about 4.8 billion active social media users as of 2021, with the projection of a triple amount of a current number of users in 2030, the digital media platform will become simpler to understand and much more accessible than before. Social Media has started building positive changes in the architectural world, although it cannot be the centre of the profession as it is just a helping tool. Whatever is the future of social media, architecture has always been a field that adapts, transitions, and evolves with time, making it timeless and the ultimate winner.
- Online sources
Influencer Marketing Hub. (2020). 55 Inspiring Social Media Quotes from Top Social Media Influencers. [online] Available at: https://influencermarketinghub.com/social-media-quotes/.
The Architect’s Newspaper. (2018). How are image-sharing apps affecting architecture and design? [online] Available at: https://www.archpaper.com/2018/03/practice-publicly-sharing-images-architectural-impact/ [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].
Chu, J. (2015). Bjarke Ingels On The Future Of Architecture. [online] Fast Company. Available at: https://www.fastcompany.com/3041276/bjarke-ingels-on-the-future-of-architecture [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].
Michael Myers. (2011). The impact of social media on architecture. [online] Available at: https://www.cruc.es/the-impact-of-social-media-on-architecture/ [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].
- Images/visual mediums
IMAGE 1 : Unsplash (n.d.). Photo by Merakist on Unsplash. [online] unsplash.com. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/CNbRsQj8mHQ?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].
IMAGE 2 : Unsplash (n.d.). Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash. [online] unsplash.com. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/SYTO3xs06fU?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].
IMAGE 3 : Unsplash (n.d.). Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash. [online] unsplash.com. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/gcsNOsPEXfs?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink [Accessed 9 Sep. 2021].