With so many social networking sites online, one site continues to be a constant resource for my architectural curiosities. Although photography is the focus of Flickr, I revisit the site not just to upload my personal photographs, but also to engage with its vast, international architectural community.
First, there is a great search engine. If there is a building that interests me, chances are there are photographs of it. The photographs are often snapshots taken by tourists or enthusiasts. Some photographers are professionals, and those images are great of course, but there’s always something unique to an amateur’s eye that gives an honest sense of how one meshes with architecture.
You also end up with numerous architecture-related groups. Some groups are vague (New York City; Architecture), some are lighthearted (Guess Where NYC; Altered Signs), and others are focused (New York Times New Building; Greendrinksnyc). The AIA even has a couple of groups (AIA 150: America’s Favorite Architecture; AIA175). By joining these groups, you receive updates whenever something new is posted. If there are photographs that I particularly like, I can mark them as “Favorites” so I can return to them. I can request to befriend the photographer to receive updates and contact him or her directly — same as other social networking websites.
If you haven’t checked out Flickr, be sure to set aside a few hours to get lost in its archives.