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pinterest architect

In addition to excesses such as fake news, conspiracy thinkers and election manipulations, social media offers advantages as well. Many architects and designers work with Pinterest, for example, a digital pinboard on which you can collect inspiring images by type, material or graphics. These images are mostly from professional photographers and picked from international architecture websites such as ArchDaily and Dezeen.

Architects and designers have been inspired by (international) colleagues since time immemorial and interesting interactions have arisen from this. Frank Lloyd Wright, for example, was inspired by the spatial experience of Japanese architecture, which he translated into his very American prairie houses with "open corners" and flowing spaces. These subsequently influenced, for example, Rietveld and Mies van der Rohe. Mies then "re-imported" his insights into modern building to the US when he became a professor in Chicago. In this way, mutual inspiration leads to innovation.

However, the danger of inspiration purely on the basis of photos is that the spatial component and local context of buildings are generally completely absent on them. Although the pictures are often hip, trendy and carefully lighted and framed, in a certain way they are often poor and wafer-thin.

I like to visit buildings all over the world and, if possible, look at them both inside and out. In this way, you experience the total of context, spatiality and materials at all levels. That greatly enriches your toolbox of spatial, conceptual and material design solutions. As a result, you can arrive at original solutions in your own designs, based on the specific characteristics of your project. A lot of design inspiration can also be found elsewhere by the way; for example in scientific innovations, art or evolutionary natural forms.

So you shouldn't rely too much on the sexy architectural photography on your digital pin board. Better than becoming a Pinterest designer of collage architecture, you have to be active and fill your toolbox. Then maybe your buildings will soon generate a lot of tags on social media.

Ronald Schleurholts, architect partner cepezed

Coobouw November 10th 2020