The best British architects to follow on Instagram
Look at architecture publications and you’ll see immaculate, perfectly-composed images of finished buildings. Turn to Instagram, however, and you’ll see the work that goes on behind the scenes. Our favourite British architects to follow on Instagram use the platform as a visual record of their design processes and inspiration, offering a more candid perspective on their work. Here are our favourites.
Carmody Groarke was founded by Kevin Carmody and Andy Groarke in 2006. Their projects are defined by a use of raw, often exposed materials like weathered steel and concrete, elevated into graceful spatial compositions.
“We use our Instagram to showcase buildings we are designing, and the processes involved in modelling, constructing and representing these spaces”, the practice says.
As a practice that draws from a language of craftsmanship and a deep knowledge of materials, Mclaren Excell uses their Instagram to communicate investigations into light, space, surface and material.
“Our Instagram allows us to share our projects throughout the process and not just at the end of the build. Most importantly it allows us to engage with an audience who, like us, have a genuine passion for good design”, they say.
Mary Duggan Architects is a London-based architecture and design studio, with work including the design of a Dorothea Lange exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery and a new event space in the Science Museum.
The studio uses its Instagram feed to capture their design process and influences. Their working practice employs material prototyping, modelling, drawing, photography and collage, and snaps of these processes form “a flavour of the interests and ethos of the practice”, according to the studio.
Niall and Helen Maxwell, who we have visited for our Journal, established Rural Office for Architecture upon moving to Wales in the early noughties. Since then, they have made significant contributions to non-urban architecture in the UK, including RIBA’s 2017 House of the Year, Caring Wood.
“We started using Instagram to shadow our journal writing, which appears on the website”, says Niall. “Initially it tracked our self-build endeavours as we developed the farm in rural Wales. Both have evolved since then, and we now use Instagram to communicate to a wider audience about how we think and what interests us, usually vernacular and historical references.”
Sam Jacob is head of Sam Jacob Studio, an interdisciplinary practice with work spanning urban design through architecture, design, art and curation. We’re big fans of Sam’s online shop, where he channels a witty irreverence into products like a ‘Gagosian Direct’ mug – ‘Gagosian and Sports Direct, together at last!’, as the description reads.
Of his Instagram, Sam says, “It’s great to have a kind of visual diary of things that have interested me in some way and I enjoy the aesthetic exchange that sharing allows.”
“The conventional ways for designers and architects using social media is to tell the world what they’re up to. What awards have they won? What newspaper have they been featured in? How is their job progressing on site?” says Simon.
“I write a weekly journal post about art, music, travelling, words, wine, clothes, people, exhibitions or life in general. I then post an image to Instagram, to announce that there is a new journal post to read.” Simon has been writing his journal for 6 years and hopes to make it into a book one day.
William Smalley has gained a reputation as an architect of rare sensibility. We love the always-pleasing mix of snapshots taken on his travels, at his enviable apartment and of Dylan, the office Jack Russell, an “honorary member of the studio,” says William.