At VCC we’re always interested in architects pushing the communications envelope, which is why we called Scott Valentine, Director of Brisbane firm Valé Architects, to discuss how he fuses Instagram and hospitality design into the very first steps of the project process.
The idea of creating beautiful moments in buildings is not new, but creating them for photography is becoming a more widely discussed topic.
Scott sees Instagram and its ubiquity as a powerful tool for designers, and so created an Instagram Design Guide for clients and peers to better understand how the app can impact the architecture, marketing, and financial success of hospitality venues.
The guide demonstrates how Instagram can be used as a research tool to understand how the modern customer interacts with a space, not just physically, but digitally.
“This guide explains how we can analyse Instagram and TripAdvisor posts of venues similar to those we are designing. We look at the top-rated images, find their commonalities, and use this information to predict what kind of photos customers will take in the space”, says Scott.
Scott points out that top trending photos for cafés are mostly food and coffee related, however colourful murals, neon signs, and bench seating are the common architectural elements that customers photograph and post online.
Using Instagram as a design or research tool raises some important questions. How is architecture experienced in the digital era? Could Instagram be leading us to the homogenisation of architecture? Scott doesn’t think so.
“I think we’re focusing less on Instagrammability and more on using a mainstream platform to communicate the value of human-centred design to our clients, and in turn, their social media followers.”
French architect and interior designer, Philippe Maidenberg, is very aware of how social media has altered clients’ expectations.
“Clients have shifted from thinking about design to envisioning new ways of life,” he explained to Archpaper.
“Hotel owners want public spaces that are more alive and more comfortable than ever before; office owners want spaces that look like hotels.”
The impact of the digital era on architecture has so far been focused on technology advances for tools and processes; now the focus is shifting to tech’s impact on the architectural experience, and the opportunity this brings to share design with new audiences.