The process of publishing one’s architectural work involves three main stakeholders – the author, the publisher and the viewers or readers. Architecture is a physical and visual medium, and publishing might seem like an ancillary aspect. Some factors, however, make publishing a key vehicle for pushing the architectural agenda. This is a discussion on why it is desirable in the least and important at best to share one’s work if the opportunity knocks.
Mass media and Publications
Media in all its forms is known for its impact on society and ability to shape collective opinions. It is an all-encompassing platform to communicate, spread news, discuss issues and shape mentalities. However, when it comes to architecture, the consumption of media related to architecture is composed of direct stakeholders of the industry.
It is important to note here that while there has been a huge and visible shift toward digital magazines of architectural content since the mid-2000s, the readership of architectural content has been declining in a few cases like the Spanish mag2G and the British newspaper Building design (Architecture Foundation, n.d.). However, it is evident that the platforms to share architectural content are in a wide range and therefore the opportunities to do so have also increased. We still cannot discount two important factors, the credibility of the content published and the readership of the same.
The Perks of publishing
A difference between architectural magazines and other publications, journals, and magazines is the visual appeal and design. It is a reflection of the field itself as a medium of art. As a unique platform for emerging architects and students to learn from and explore to develop one’s knowledge it also stimulates architectural creativity through the visuals of various structures.
There are different stakeholders when it comes to creating and consuming published content. They range from students, and architects to builders and real estate players. The platforms host various topics from innovation to historic and retrospective perspectives. We will now be discussing the various stakeholders and their benefits.
The party creates new ideas and architectural work based on their knowledge of various research material and their creativity. While this allows them to express themselves and learn from it, it also provides them with a community of readers and writers in their field. By extending their professional networks, they develop their social capital, and if their work is credible, it can help them establish long-lasting clout for their name and work. Not only does publishing open doors for new opportunities and collaboration, but it also increases their chances to learn from their experiences and gain a thorough knowledge on the subject of their interest.
The editing table holds the most responsibility for shaping opinions and ideals for the field. It is the most ethically rewarding position if done with utmost sincerity and passion. This, however, needs to be sustained through enough funds. While the publisher holds the most risk, they also reap the most benefits concerning earning goodwill, name and sponsorships. They will be a major player on the field and will get to decide what is and is not in vogue as the field is a design based one.
They are the ones supporting the publications monetarily and hence have a hand in deciding what gets published. Most of them are builders, consultants, vendors, and real estate firms who gain traction through their ads.
There is a hidden opportunity here. The relationship between the publishers and the sponsors could prove to be one of the most symbiotic and beneficial to the field of architecture. The sponsors could benefit from being in direct contact with the most innovative solutions in the construction field, while the publications could benefit from having bigger and better readerships.
For example, publishing content on architectural solutions for the climate crisis would encourage the sponsors (builders) to invest in such designs that ultimately push the profession leaps and bounds forward.
Readers gain knowledge and expand their networks. However, there is an additional benefit of inviting more diverse and varied readers into the field of architecture. This ultimately increases the number of different voices thereby bringing in fresh talents and more creative solutions.
Despite the many benefits of publishing one’s work, these benefits are only realized when the publishing platform’s settings are ideal. As stated above, participation and intent need to be authentic and sincere. One of the major challenges for the publishing industry is the financial burden. Bringing in a larger readership represents a second challenge. A possible reason could be the intense gatekeeping and selective stakeholders in the publishing world. Architectural content needs to reach the masses to bring awareness and attract more people into the industry. Publishing one’s architectural work is hugely important in today’s day and age. However, the structure of publishing and the types of stakeholders needs to be wider and more diverse to usher in the true benefits of the function in question.
- What is the REAL future of architectural publishing? [WWW Document], n.d. . Architecture Foundation. URL https://www.architecturefoundation.org.uk/programme/2015/what-is-the-real-future-of-architectural-publishing (accessed 4.20.22).
List of Images:
- Image 1 Galloway, A., 2014. 25 Free Architecture Books You Can Read Online. ArchDaily.
- Image 2 Stouhi, D., 2021. The Architectural Photography Awards 2021 Announces its Shortlist. ArchDaily.