The Influence of Social Media in Architecture
Social media has become a ubiquitous presence in modern-day society, with approximately 1.4 billion Instagram users (EarthWeb, 2022). Today, social media and marketing seem to be interchangeable concepts, as users are bombarded with ads for products that they may have previously searched for or even mentioned to friends. While this blog won't delve into the mysterious algorithms that populate our feeds with ads, it will explore the broader implications of social media's influence on marketing, particularly within the architecture industry. In today's rapidly changing digital landscape, social media has become a crucial tool for architects to showcase their designs, market their work, and connect with a wider audience.
Social media has significantly impacted the way architects approach their designs. For example, UNStudio is now analyzing occupants' Instagram posts to gain insights on how they are using and appropriating space, which are oftentimes different to what they had initially expected ("Building images," 2019). For instance, “selfie walls” have become common features of offices, cafés, and museums. What was originally designed to be a workspace, a coffee stop, or a place to house valuable works of art, has now become a place that has the capacity to be your next profile photo, a space to film your newest dance moves, or participate in the newest trending hashtag. It’s clear that social media has changed the way that people interact with and perceive the built environment.
Not to mention, social media also provides architects with access to the latest design trends and the opportunity to receive feedback on their work from clients, peers, and the public thanks to the ability to repost and comment. While the feedback architects receive can be helpful, it's important to consider potential downsides. When you post a video or a photo, it is now subject to the whim of the public. This includes the opinions from a range of people including experts, amateurs, and trolls (online bullies). As such, architects must exercise caution when using social media to share their work and be prepared to deal with negative comments or criticism.
It's clear that social media has had a significant impact on the architecture industry. From the way architects approach their designs, to the marketing and promotion of their work, social media has become a crucial tool for staying connected with a wider audience and staying informed about the latest design trends. As with any technology, there are potential drawbacks to consider, such as the public feedback architects receive on their work. However, it's clear that social media is here to stay and architects who embrace it stand to benefit from the numerous opportunities it provides. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how architects continue to integrate social media into their work and the new and innovative ways they find to use it.
Written by Ejay Brady
ArchDaily. (2019, March 21). Building images: A video on how social media is changing architecture. ArchDaily. https://www.archdaily.com/916205/building-images-a-video-on-how-social-media-is-changing-architecture
EarthWeb. (2022, January 5). How Many People Use Instagram? EarthWeb. https://earthweb.com/how-many-people-use-instagram/
Petersen, A. (2017, November 9). The Architecture of Social Media. Architect Magazine. https://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/the-architecture-of-social-media_o