This is what I know. I have about 3,000 architectural design professionals in my database that I have met and done business with over the years. “traditional” social media like facebook and linked in are o.k. for communicating. Interestingly I see designers get the whole social media platform better. I know more designers on facebook than architects. At ADG Lighting – my firm we push social media content via our monthly newsletter, then via blog, (http://adgwebnet.com/wordpress/) Vandm.com(http://vandm.com/default.aspx?alias=ArchitecturalDetailGroup) and facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/ADG-Eco-Lighting-Products/40147736621 ) we offer additional information.
I think the pitfall is architects are somehow not turning to these media sources. I have the unique and distinct pleasure of being a Diplomat of Architecture and practice like an eye surgeon, designing and manufacturing lighting for some of the greatest architectural projects in the world.
So from a position of needing to program our message and get it out through social media channels, I use linked in to listen to the chatter. There are a lot of “young and new” architectural professionals trying to gain their foot hold so they are using these social media spots. However they are not gathering the right targeted groups. Now!.
There is almost a level of arrogance (pardon me but I do get to say this) that why learn more via alternating groups and expanding when the pool of architects is just that. I learned early on in my architectural education and schooling that to be a better architect you must understand the world as a place. Literature, art, sand and water.
I accidentally became a specialist in the lighting design and manufacturing , because I thought in order to be a better architect I needed to meet more. Practicing architecture would not allow that, so I journeyed out and went job site to job site meeting the trades and professionals offering my talents to design and manufacturing custom lighting. Just as if Edward Caldwell http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Caldwell/intro.cfm had never met McKim Meade and White – what would their buildings look like.
Here is the idea – if I want to gain more ears and eyeballs, I go to where my audience is. However, there is a distinct disconnect in the architectural industry. They all think that “vendors” / a design manufacturing professional like me are trying to sell them. Well of course, but there is a subtle difference. When a firm like mine has more wins than most seasoned architectural or design firms, the opportunity for the architects should be thus — Trades and well tempered specialist like myself have enhanced and made architecture better.
Look at the masters – I believe if guys like Frank Lloyd Wright or Luis Kahn had the ability to listen into the concrete industry his there would be additional innovations. I belong to facebook groups like for Kahn (http://www.facebook.com/#!/Nahian.Zobaid) My good Friend at Elite Risk (http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffkleid) told me how social media works. I think I almost get it. But like years past I have to knock on lot of job site doors to lean more about the profession I love.
Pulling it all together, social medias role for the architect should be that of a listening and learning device. Find gents like Caldwell, engage in conversations in literature clubs and art societies and engage with people that need to learn about architecture and for architects to lean about people. It’s the 21st century and many unknowns have a great deal to offer..
Even though I have shook the hands of well over 5,000 architectural professionals world wide – the “now place” to find these resources and mindshare is within social media, but as a platform so vast that you almost can not fall off, you can get lost wandering the quad.
Gerald Olesker is the chief executive officer of architectural detail group, inc and adg eco lighting.
Professional speaker http://adgwebnet.com/greenwordpress/speaking-engagements
Current author of LIT – due out this winter on digital media platforms.
architectural detail group is a collaborative group enhancing the built environment’s needs through positive relationships