There’s a lot of lonely architects out there, beginning and ending their days alone. Nobody knows they exist. They look at their weekly calendars and see complete elevations of windows for lunches unlunched, meetings unmeetinged. They never set their mobile phones to silent.
Many businesses have sprung up to help solve this problem and team up lonely architects with their fantasy clients.
As with any dating site, the only ones who make any money out of it are those that run them.
Lonely architects upload photos of how they want to be seen, and hope someone will fancy them. Comments are invited. Typical comments are “Beautiful!” or occasionally, “Ugly!” ArchDaily users have to filter so they can head straight for Houses if that’s their thing or to Public Buildings if they’re into that. If looks aren’t that important, they can head straight to Articles where they might meet someone equally desperate to have those long conversations.
• • •
There’s many traps for clients in this dating business. Despite wanting their love, some architects are only in it for the short term. Some are only in it for the money.
For some, it’s all about being in control.
Equally, there are also traps for architects. Some clients just want to be seen with a piece of architect candy.
Sometimes both sides simply can’t admit they need each other.
• • •
Speaking of neediness, this past week, DEZEEN has been harassing me to vote for them so they can win a Webby award. I don’t actually care and can’t help but wonder what their state of mind must be if they feel I ought to.
In passing, Dezeen’s watches are spin-off merchandise. As with chairs, it’s easy to design dubious value into a watch. Watch mechanisms and designers are cheap, watches have a high design to volume ratio, don’t take much space to store, require little packaging, and postage or delivery costs are low. They’re the ideal internet earner.
The trouble with websites is that they attract all the wrong sort of people. You never know who’s looking. What architects are really looking for is somebody like themselves. The competition circuit is the speed dating of the architectural world. Your project gets put in front of real people. Possibly even for a minute.
• • •
Currently in my inbox is an invitation to participate in the INSIDE awards. Pass.
What’s this? BREAKING NEWS!! Reduced-rate early bird rate of US$660 to enter for INSIDE ends this Friday. After that, it’s $698. Better hurry!
A few days ago was a notification from Architectural Review to make sure to submit my project for their annual house awards.
- The chance to donate £50,000 worth of content
- The chance to be in an online video
- The opportunity to have your building analysed in both print and online versions of AR.
• • •
And what’s this now? A quick reminder from WAF before I even get to write about them “Reduced-rate early bird rate of US$660 to enter for INSIDE ends this Friday”.
This next reads like a scam preying on the needy and vulnerable.
WAF’s earlybird rate is US$880 went up to US$930 yesterday. Here’s the full price list.
These are the people who will want to see how sincere you are. Seriously?
• • •
It’s common knowledge that some of internet’s biggest businesses don’t generate any of their own content. And that the search engines and social media sites cream advertising revenue off user-provided content. I don’t see that much difference here. No architectural website needs 70,000,000 page views per month.
It’s obviously not about architects swapping useful information on how to make buildings better as there’s simply not that much new information OF WORTH that the world of architecture can process, let alone supply, every month.
In some whale and plankton kind of way, these sites and competitions must function as advertising in the traditional sense as architects email each website mention to their entire client base as if it were somehow equivalent to sending signed monographs as indicators of accomplishment. And good luck to them.
• • •
Meanwhile, the pressure to hook up continues without interruption or mercy. New competitions raise new hopes the next one is going to work.