The Design Emotive is 4 Years Old
Yesterday, four years ago, I opened up Instagram and created a second account, @victorianarchitecture, and my pathway in architecture changed forever. I figured today would be a good day to share how this little architecture publication was integral in forging my own path through architecture and how it has evolved over the years. Just for clarification sake, the publication has been known as ArchitectureVictoria for the majority of time, it wasn’t until early-February I decided to change the name to The Design Emotive. So when I say “The Design Emotive is four years old”, I really mean the publication as a whole.
What was the motivation in starting the “publication” in the first place? I was in my third year of undergrad, studying the Bachelor of Design (Architecture) at Deakin University. I moved from Wodonga to Geelong to continue my education from the Advanced Diploma of Building Design, where we/I didn’t really seek out much architecture for precedent. So when I started architecture school, I got this major urge to share all this awesome architecture I was discovering, namely the small alteration and additions projects. Not feeling comfortable sharing photos taken by others on my personal account, I started (then) @victorianarchitecture to do just that. I had no real plans or goals for the account, I didn’t know how long it would last or the reaction would be.
In the early days I saw it as “just an Instagram account”, until the gents from BowerBird started to refer to it as a publication, and labeled me a “journalist” on BowerBird. For some reason, hearing that from people who were (and still are) firmly embedded in the architecture media world opened my eyes. I remember chatting to Nic and Ben at the ArchiTeam Awards in November of 2016, and while I can’t remember word-for-word what they said, it was along the lines of that I was still sharing architecture, just on a different platform and medium. It was around then that I also started to maybe think about media more seriously, and what this publication could be.
Two weeks prior to the awards evening I just completed a rather challenging design studio. I was now in the Master of Architecture at the Melbourne School of Design, and doing my second studio. During that studio I really started to question two things, could I actually be an architect? But more importantly, do I want to be an architect? By the end of the semester I was pretty drained, both of motivation and interest in architecture. I decided to take a “few months off” while I figured things out and where I saw myself heading in the future. In early 2017 things started to become clearer, where I wanted to explore media as a prospect. A few months go by, and I’m in a camper-van driving to Uluru with two friends I made not long before. Funny thing, it’s a long drive from Melbourne to Uluru and back, so it gave me some time to really think, and figure things out. A result of the drive was to pursue architecture media, get more into architecture photography and video, grow my own little publication.
Looking back over the past four years, it has definitely grown and evolved, beyond the number of followers. I’ve tested different ways of posting, gauging how certain projects get reactions and what I actually post. It’s reached a point where last year I started a website, and only recently put a renewed focus on that aspect, looking at the publication beyond a “simple Instagram account”. This publication is definitely my baby, it’s something that I started on my own, and have been the sole manager for it’s entirety. This surprises people, not sure whether they expected me to be just the social media manager for it, or it was passed on to me.
I’ve definitely came a long way since inception, and all of this is without any formal experience or education in media. I did work for a start-up architecture media company for a year (prior to starting Red Brick Media), however by then, (then) ArchitectureVictoria was fairly established. Besides them, I haven’t worked at any of the big publications, and I’m still figuring out whether that’s a good thing, as it means I’ve approached my own in an entirely different way, or maybe if I did work somewhere I would have some valuable transferable skills and experience. However, I’m sticking with the first bit, I think it might be an advantage not working for someone else prior, means I haven’t been brainwashed and taught “this is the way things are done”.
Thank you to everyone who has ever liked a post on Instagram, left a commented, followed the account, visited the website or literally interacted, engaged or viewed some element of ArchitectureVictoria / The Design Emotive over the last four years. It is because of you that I am in a position where I can share with you the history of the account. Here’s to another four years, and beyond.