On June 4, 2012 we released the Top 20 International Urban Planning Websites 2012, now it’s architecture’s turn. We searched for your international architectural sources, using Alexa International Rankings, and found these to be your 2012 – Top 20 most popular architecture-related websites.* Whether serving you with visual inspiration through featured projects, providing opportunities for you to connect to the larger architecture community, or tools to develop your business practice – this is where you (and your peers) spend most of that precious Internet browsing time (and we know it’s during “working” hours). Check out the list and let us know if we’ve missed someone important, in the comment section below.
SkyscraperCity, although a forum, is the highest ranking architecture-related website. It was formed in 2001 and evolved to its current state in 2002. Since then, it has grown to include 760,923 threads, 54,836,166 posts, and 615,053 members. Ranked by Alexa International Rankings as 1,488th internationally and 255th in Poland, it is the definitive source for architecture discussions and is segmented into world, then continental forums. The forum also includes an event section, where you can add your own events and a niche photography forum. To join the conversations you will need to register.
DesignBoom, established in 1999 by Birgit Lohmann and Massimo Mini, is the leading independent publication for contemporary issues and critiques regarding architecture and design, and art. The site is divided into eight different sections: design-aerobics (online design courses), competitions, interviews, art, architecture (boasting over 25,000 articles), design, technology, and “shop.” DesignBoom prides itself on publishing original content, as fast as possible, and welcomes all submissions which include sketches, pics from the making process; plans, sections, or elevations. This Milan, Italy based company offers photo reports from major international design shows, architecture and art exhibitions, and more.
TreeHugger, founded in 2003 by Graham Hill, and later incorporated into Discovery’s Planet Green Initiative, is the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream. While one of the least “architectural” websites on this list, it provides extensive architecture and design-related news, solutions, and sustainable product information. Following in Hill’s original goal of “push[ing] sustainability into the mainstream,” TreeHugger showcases the latest stories in green architecture and sustainability. Something, that in my opinion, should not be a niche, but commonplace. And like most others in our list, they are waiting for your “green tip” or green architecture project. Feel free to shoot them an email.
Inhabitat was founded in 2005, by Jill Fehrenbacher, as a way to catalog her search for new ways to improve the world through forward-thinking, high-tech, and environmentally conscious design. Today, Inhabitat tracks innovations in technology, practices, and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. At Inhabitat, they believe that “all design should be inherently “Green”. Good design is not about color, style or trends – but instead about thoughtfully considering the user, the experience, the social context and the impact of an object on the surrounding environment. [In their opinion], no design can be considered good design unless it at least attempts to address some of these concerns.” By signing up for an Inhabitat account you will have access to submitting comments, stories, events, and listings.
ArchDaily claims, in their tagline, that they are “the world’s most visited architecture website.” Rightfully so! And by far they are the first architecture-only site in our Top 20. They boast their reputation on delivering the best architecture around the world, as soon as possible. ArchDaily, founded in 2008 by David Basulto and David Assael, delivers the most up-to-moment architectural news, projects, products, events, interviews, competitions, and more. Originally, a spin-off from the Spanish-language Plataforma Arquitectura site, ArchDaily is easily categorized into six tabs: selected works, ArchDaily software, books & magazines, ArchDaily classics, interviews, and their building of the year competition. And because they are always on the search for the most up-to-date content, they gladly accept your new projects, news, awards, or event submissions.
Dezeen began as a simple blog in 2006, by Marcus Fairs, and since then has become a leader in the best architecture, design, and interiors projects from around the world. It is unique in the fact that it weighs heavily on the side of architecture, but also explores realms of design and interiors. Today, Dezeen is co-directed by Marcus Fairs and Rupinder Bhogal. Since they joined forces in 2007, the duo have launched Deezenjobs and Dezeen Watch Store. The Dezeen site is divided into three main categories, architecture, design, interiors; but also explores a plethora of quirky ideas such as architecture movies. Interested in seeing your work on Deezen? They welcome submissions from architects and designers.
7. Contemporist / http://www.contemporist.com
The Contemporist was launched in 2007 by “Erin & Dave” or “Dave & Erin,” both of whom seem to be incognito on the Internet (how they manage, I don’t know). The greatest mystery to a Google search was no Twitter, LinkedIn? No last names? But moving on from the founders … The Contemporist offers a daily source for architects and interior designers to discover new products and projects in the world of contemporary design. All of their content airs on the side of “contemporary,” thus the name. So, if you have contemporary architecture, contemporary interior design, contemporary furniture, or contemporary lighting you want to share – if it’s contemporary – shoot them an email.
Architizer is a social network built exclusively for architecture. Since it was launched in 2009, by Marc Kushner, Architizer has been fast-growing because it drives connections. Through its user-generated database, the architectural-interested community has access to sharing projects with peers, fans, and potential clients. Currently listing about 39,700 projects and 10,600 firms (check the date of this post) around the world, it’s the way to link all the contributors of a project to one another; forming stronger relationships within the architectural community. The site is easily divided into projects, people, firms, and products, where you can then narrow your search. In addition to being a relationship-builder, Architizer runs competitions, lists jobs, and its blog publishes the most relevant design content on the web. You too can build an online portfolio, and get your projects on the Architizer’s map.
Gheorghe Stefan Lucian, or Stefan, founded the Homedit website in 2008 from his passion for interior design and decorations. The website offers news, articles, and features in architecture, interior design, and furniture. Since their launch, they have collected more than 10,000 unique articles and 60,000 images and ideas. Their main focus is to make your home more beautiful and organized. Their website is divided into 9 categories: apartments, appliances, architecture, bathrooms, chairs, interiors, lighting, living rooms, and how-to. Interested in submitting an architecture idea? Send a brief description (around 200 words), a link to a website, and email as many large photos as you have to Stefan.
WebUrbanist, founded by Kurt Kohlstedt, publishes one well-crafted article per day (usually). They focus more on the quality of their product, rather than the quantity. At WebUrbanist you can discover topics related to urban design and architecture, neatly categorized into abandoned places, cities & urbanism, houses & residential, offices & commercial, and public & institutional. At WebUrbanist, they boast that “this is not a blog in the traditional sense (of many smaller posts published multiple times daily). It is, rather, a collective online urban magazine which we hope you will enjoy each and every time you open your inbox, click into your feed reader or visit the site.” Interested in seeing whether their selective eye will choose your architectural story; feel free to submit your ideas.
They are climbing the list, but couldn’t quite reach the top ten. Here are those that will sure to become larger international stars of architecture (online, at least) in the future:
We know that there are so many other architecture websites and blogs out there, so who do you think should be in this list – that we missed?
* Our search concentrated more on architecture, less on design.