In a world that was once so obsessed with architecture that was “for the ‘gram”, the rise of TikTok is creating a shift in how we experience and consume architecture. It's no small trend either, nearly 950 million TiKTok videos utilize the hashtag #architecture, frequently to describe buildings in various cities or a specific architectural style that the video creator is familiar with. Does this mean that the era of the "instagrammable building" over, and is TikTok the new way to connect across generations and locations to explore the possibilities of architecture?
Digital Media: The Latest Architecture and News
There has been a recent trend to monetize design businesses online. Outside the world of architecture, digital marketing is growing exponentially, and every day more and more companies are taking advantage of the benefits that come from curating an online presence.
The traditional architectural business model is largely dominated by the fees associated with design and construction. The actual structure of the billing is perhaps another argument to have all on its own, but relying on this type of income has been (and likely will continue to be) an efficient and successful model for the majority in the design industry. But what if there was another market to leverage to supply your design business with passive, additional income?
There has long been an understandable stigma associated with spec-house plan sets. Most spec plans lack any response to site, personalization, and even quality design. There is a relatively saturated market for these spec-type plan sets, but the untapped potential lies in this model's intersection with architectural practice.
Here are three ways you can begin to reverse the stigma associated with selling plan sets online while providing your design business with an additional revenue stream.
Architecture's reliance on digital tools is rapidly advancing. Building Information Modeling (BIM) and augmented and virtual reality are quickly becoming the industry standard, along with more and more design businesses putting more effort and money into creating a stronger online presence. Because of this recent shift in focus, many firms have also begun experimenting with digital marketing strategies.
Content creation is at the heart of any successful online business, so what does that look like in the field of architecture? These 4 examples of content could help you begin to monetize your designs and/or practice online. By no means are these 4 examples the only means to grow a design business, but all 4 take advantage of the present trajectory of architectural practice, leveraging the possibilities of an increasingly digital world.
The people of Manchester, UK, recently gained access to an entirely new way to access local news and engage with their city: OtherWorld, a pilot news experiment from startup studio Like No Other and Google’s Digital News Initiative. OtherWorld uses Bluetooth and cutting-edge beacon technology to deliver geo-located news directly to your smartphone for free, without installing an app. Referred to on the OtherWorld website as “living media,” as users walk around the city and pass by story locations, a silent notification will pop up on their phones, disappearing again as they walk out of range. Because the news you see on OtherWorld is directly related to the space you’re currently occupying, the system ensures that the news you’ll see is relevant to you. This unobtrusive method allows users to choose whether and how they will engage as well as adding an evanescent, elusive quality to the stories; you could walk right by and miss one if you aren’t paying attention.
In this way, OtherWorld illustrates the layers of our cities that are often invisible to us, bringing them into focus and allowing a deeper level of exploration into even a familiar city neighborhood. Focusing on stories that involve a real-world experience, users could become aware of an event nearby, a volunteer opportunity, a public meeting, or any number of other possibilities—thereby involving themselves in the public space and public realm in a way they would not have otherwise been able to.