As we venture further into the digital age, architects worldwide are discovering new ways to connect with their audience, share their work, and gain inspiration. One such medium is Instagram.
With over a billion monthly active users, Instagram has transformed from a simple photo-sharing app into a crucial tool for various professions, including architecture. This article aims to highlight the significance of Instagram for architects and how it can be harnessed effectively for professional growth, networking, and learning.
Understanding it’s relevance requires a clear picture of the platform’s potential. Instagram, as a visual platform, resonates particularly well with the field of architecture—a domain steeped in design, aesthetics, and visual narratives.
The platform provides an unparalleled opportunity to showcase projects to a global audience, narrate the stories behind each project, and engage in a meaningful conversation about design principles, urban development, and the role of architecture in society.
Through this lens, Instagram becomes more than just a social media app; it evolves into a digital portfolio, a networking hub, a source of inspiration, and a public forum for architects.
In the forthcoming sections, we will delve into the various facets of Instagram for architects, outlining how to build a compelling presence, leverage the platform for networking and learning, consider ethical aspects, and draw inspiration from successful architectural Instagram profiles.
How do architects use Instagram?
Architects use Instagram in several ways, utilizing its features to not only showcase their work but also to build their brand, network with professionals, and engage with the public.
- Showcasing Work: The primary use of Instagram for architects is to showcase their work. This platform allows architects to share images of their projects, renderings, sketches, and behind-the-scenes content. They can demonstrate the evolution of a project from concept to completion, providing a visual narrative that can engage followers.
- Building a Brand: Instagram is a powerful tool for personal branding. Architects can curate their feed to reflect their unique style, philosophy, and vision. A well-managed Instagram profile can serve as a digital portfolio, illustrating an architect’s range of work and artistic sensibility.
- Networking and Collaboration: Instagram can be an effective networking tool. Architects can connect with other professionals, firms, and industry leaders in the field, fostering collaborations and partnerships. Through hashtags, comments, and direct messages, architects can expand their network and visibility in the architectural community.
- Engaging with the Public: Instagram allows architects to directly engage with their followers and the general public. They can use this platform to educate people about architectural concepts, design principles, and the importance of architecture in society. Architects can answer questions, respond to comments, and create a dialogue around their projects.
- Continual Learning and Inspiration: Instagram serves as a repository of creative inspiration and industry trends. By following leading architects, design magazines, and architectural firms, architects can stay updated on global trends, innovative designs, and emerging technologies in the field. The platform provides exposure to a variety of architectural styles and ideologies, thereby influencing an architect’s perspective and creativity.
- Marketing and Promotion: Finally, architects use Instagram as a marketing and promotional tool. They can announce new projects, share news about awards or recognition’s, and provide updates on ongoing work. Instagram’s reach makes it a cost-effective tool for promotion and visibility.
The best most followed architecture Instagram accounts
let’s have a look at the cream of the crop when it comes to architectural inspiration on Instagram:
- @snohetta: The multidisciplinary Norwegian studio has an eclectic feed featuring not only architecture and landscape design but also graphic design and product design. Their innovative approach has attracted over 549k followers, engaging them with the hashtag #MySnohetta.
- @zahahadidarchitects: This globally renowned architecture firm boasts an impressive 1.3m followers, with their feed combining striking architectural imagery, announcements, and video clips, including testimonials from celebrities like Pharrell Williams.
- @buildner: This platform shines a spotlight on architecture competition winners and runners-up. Their nearly 65k followers are treated to a curated selection of plans, concept drawings, and high-quality renders.
- @architects.apparel: This account offers premium, responsibly produced, and sustainable apparel designed by and for architects, giving followers a glimpse into the intersection of architecture and fashion.
- @og_architect: Omar Gandhi’s account showcases innovative, minimalist designs. This Canadian architecture firm integrates natural elements into their designs, enhancing the surrounding beauty with structures that are “thoughtful, healthy, and elegant.”
- @lucianokruk.arquitectos: Buenos Aires-based Luciano Kruk captivates his 186k followers with his unique residential designs, where concrete and wood harmoniously coexist to create modern aesthetics.
- @vincentvanduysen: Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen shares a mix of architectural projects, fine artworks, and personal snapshots, reflecting his focus on functionality, durability, and comfort.
- @stevenhollarchitects: With 167k followers, Steven Holl Architects offers a delightful blend of hand-drawn sketches, event snapshots, architectural renders, and real-life architecture inspirations.
- @architecture_hunter: Amanda Ferber, a Brazilian architect, curates this account, which boasts over 2.9m followers. The feed features striking architectural works worldwide, making it a must-follow for architecture enthusiasts.
- @archhive.books: A reliable source of inspiration and knowledge, ARCHHIVE BOOKS is an extension of Buildner Architecture Competition Organisers, presenting fresh architectural design proposals and innovative ideas in entrepreneurship, policy, and technology.
More impressive architectural accounts to follow are:
- @Archdaily: The Instagram handle of the world’s most visited architectural website, known for high-quality content and insightful stories.
- @Arch_more: This account specializes in architectural sketches and offers insightful ‘making of’ videos and drawing tutorials.
- @designboom: For those who love everything out of the ordinary, Designboom Magazine’s account features the most avant-garde in architecture, arts, and design.
- @architecture_hunter: Their motto, “We hunt for what needs to be seen by the world,” perfectly encapsulates what this account offers—highlighting hidden architectural gems to its 3 million followers.
- @officialnormanfoster: Follow the official account of Norman Foster, one of the world’s most influential architects, to see his visionary work and unique approach to design.
- @zahahadidarchitects: A must-follow for fans of bold, futuristic designs. Their work, like the headquarters of the Antwerp’s Port, showcases the firm’s boundary-pushing approach to architecture.
- @snohetta: This Scandinavian firm’s account gives you a glimpse into their world, where architecture, amazing landscapes, and sustainable materials blend into one cohesive design language.
- @chrisprecht: Follow Austrian architect Chris Precht for a deep dive into sustainable architecture, natural materials, and striking design projects.
- @buildingsciencefightclub: Christine Williamson’s account is a treasure trove of building science facts, construction stories, and accessible educational content.
- @cupa.pizarras: Follow CUPA PIZARRAS to explore daily projects featuring natural slate. It’s a must-follow for those interested in this versatile and sustainable material.
How can Instagram be used to benefit your portfolio?
Instagram offers an exceptional platform for architects and students to showcase their work. Not only does it allow you to reach a wide audience, including potential clients, colleagues, and future tutors, but it also presents a unique opportunity to curate a digital architecture portfolio.
The platform’s visual focus and high user engagement make it an incredibly useful for self promotion …so lets take a look at how to set this up:
Setting up your account
To effectively use Instagram as your portfolio, certain account settings need to be adjusted:
1. Public Account: Ensure that your account is public, enabling anyone to view your content. This can be done through the Settings-Privacy tab.
2. Business Account: Switching your profile to a business account can help you track insights and measure the performance of your posts. This option is found under Settings-Account-Switch to Business Account.
Crafting a professional bio
Your bio is a quick snapshot of who you are, what you do, and provides context to the content you’ll be sharing. Make sure your bio includes the following:
1. Professional Photo or Logo: A professional-looking photo or a logo helps set the right tone for your portfolio.
2. Relevant Username: Choose a professional and realistic username that aligns with your personal or firm’s branding.
3. Brief Introduction: Summarize your qualifications and what you do. This helps visitors quickly understand your expertise.
4. Website Link: If you have a personal or firm’s website, include the link in your bio.
5. Highlight Important Projects: Use Instagram’s Highlights feature to showcase your most important works and use well-designed icons for a cohesive look.
Curating your work
While selecting your works for display, focus on quality over quantity. Your best works should take center stage to pique the interest of your audience.
Crafting your posts
Efficient use of hashtags and tagging relevant accounts can amplify your posts’ reach and engagement. Additionally, ensure your posts are well-captioned, providing context and insights about the work displayed.
Engage with your followers regularly. Respond to comments, participate in discussions and be part of the broader Instagram community. This will not only increase engagement but also build relationships with your audience.
Regularly updating your account with new posts or stories is crucial to keep your audience interested and your account active. Consistency in your posting schedule as well as the style and quality of your posts can significantly improve your account’s performance.
Remember, an Instagram portfolio is an ongoing project that evolves with your professional growth. By staying true to your style and consistently delivering high-quality content, you can effectively use Instagram as your architectural portfolio.
Instagram tips for architects
In short, Instagram provides a valuable platform for architects aiming to expand their reach and acquire more clients. It facilitates meaningful connections with potential clients and heightens brand visibility. The eight strategies outlined below can guide architects and students in harnessing this social media app as a powerful marketing tool.
Establish a professional Instagram account
The first step for architects to leverage Instagram effectively is to establish a business account. This allows access to various features designed specifically for businesses, such as detailed analytics to monitor follower engagement and the performance of posted content.
Business profiles can also leverage Instagram’s advertising capabilities, connected to Facebook’s ad system, and benefit from a wide range of audience targeting options. Additional perks include the ability to add links to Instagram Stories and the overall professional appearance of business profiles which are generally viewed more seriously by Instagram users, making it an efficient strategy to attract potential clients.
Customize your profile
To avoid missing out on prospective clients, architects should thoroughly personalize their Instagram profile by including crucial details such as a company logo, a succinct description of the services offered, and a link to their professional website. This ensures that potential clients can easily find more information about your services with just a click.
Optimize posting times
To ensure the highest possible audience engagement, architects should post new content when their followers are most active. This requires a bit of research and data analysis, made simpler by Instagram’s ‘Insights’ feature. While Instagram users generally are most active during lunch hours and evenings, this varies across accounts.
It’s crucial for architects to experiment with posting at various times to identify when their specific audience is most responsive.
Utilize relevant hashtags
Hashtags serve as a powerful tool to increase visibility and gain followers on Instagram. Architects can utilize a range of popular hashtags such as #architecture, #design, #interiordesign, and more. To attach a hashtag to a post, simply include the hash symbol followed by the desired tag.
While there are countless hashtags available, moderation is key, with two to three tags per post generally recommended. Ensure that chosen hashtags align well with the accompanying image.
Instagram Stories offers a unique way for architects to interact with their followers, monitor activity, and keep the profile dynamic. These ephemeral posts disappear after 24 hours but can be preserved in the account’s highlights section. Stories can include photos, videos, or text and be enhanced with location tags, hashtags, stickers, polls, questions, and even music.
For instance, incorporating a poll asking followers which types of architectural projects they prefer can offer valuable insights into audience preferences.
Given Instagram’s visual nature, posting high-quality images is essential for architects. Regular posting is also critical for effective digital marketing. However, architects might occasionally run out of suitable content for their posts. Here, 3D architectural visualizations can provide a solution, especially for architects whose projects are predominantly under construction.
By employing CGI, architects can showcase their design abilities and captivate potential clients.
Beyond sharing visual content, Instagram is a platform for social engagement. As such, regular interaction with your audience is crucial. This includes routinely checking direct messages for inquiries from potential clients and promptly, courteously responding to comments on your posts.
Behind the scenes
Potential clients are often curious about the processes behind architectural projects. Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your firm’s work routine can help build trust and engagement with your audience. This could include collaborative discussions, drafting plans, preparing presentations, attending professional events, or visiting construction sites.
Showcasing these usually unseen aspects of your operations gives a more personal and authentic touch to your professional profile.