Twitter: An Architectural Ecosystem

In a world marked by galloping, rabid visual consumption, everything would seem to indicate that the social network most appropriate, and most employed, for communicating architecture would be Instagram. However much it may irritate us architects, who relish talking about floor plan dimensions and construction details, architecture has, after all, always been an artifact of visual communication.

And yet Instagram, a network focused primarily on monetization (it’s where most influencers come from, don’t forget), never really became the best vehicle of communication in our discipline. It’s certainly a great tool for showing architecture off, and it’s where the digital versions of architecture journals are really in their element. But again, that’s basically the same function as that pursued in the paper format of those journals: publicity. Publicity for the latest, most fashionable projects, the latest news, the latest building designed by the latest celebrity architect.

In the end, the most efficient social network for discovering half-unknown works, for criticising more than just the photographic aspects of projects, and, above all, for making our profession accessible to many people who are neither architects nor actors in the world of architecture turns out to be the social network of discussion. namely Twitter.

And if Twitter works as a means of disseminating architecture, it’s thanks to its #hashtags.

It all started in 2013, when architect Luis Lope de Toledo sent the first tweet under the hashtag #MartesDeArquitectura. He then realised that Tuesday wasn’t a very good day, and changed the name to that of the mother of all hashtags in Spanish architecture: #JuevesDeArquitectura.

Every Thursday, hundreds of tweets now circulate under this hashtag, telling the world about a work of architecture. They cover everything from acclaimed masterpieces to the most recent render from the latest trendsetting studio; from humorous messages to powerful demonstrations of communicative  prowess.

But the story doesn’t end there. Over the years, #JuevesDeArquitectura became a pioneering hub for a whole hashtag-based ecosystem that now allows us to go on a magnificent promenade architecturale every day of the week.

We have:

#BrutalMonday. Or rather, brutalist Monday. Here we rediscover some of the icons of concrete architecture, from Kahn to Higueras, together with more contemporary examples of resurgent brutalism.

#DimartsUrbans. Urban Tuesdays. Examples of urban planning operations, from the Hippodamian grid to Nike’s multicolour basketball courts in Paris.

#MiercolesEnladrillado. Bricked-up Wednesday. Architectures which highlight one of the oldest, most humble, and also most honest materials in our discipline.

#ViernesDeArte. Art on Friday. This is not a specifically architectural hashtag, but the relationship between architecture and art is so close that it wouldn’t have made sense to leave it out of this list.

And moving on from the days of the week, there are three more examples. The collaborative hashtag #100x100MasterHouses shows houses that are always magnificent, always masterfully designed. And in #arquithreads, Argentinian Alejandro Csome (@bauhasuarus) brings together some really interesting threads about architecture.

Ah, and every Thursday at about 20:30, yours truly here dedicates a whole thread to establishing a narrative connection between architecture and urban planning and the social, cultural and historical aspects of real, but improbable, buildings, places and spaces. I call it #LaBrasaTorrijos.

 

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