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The Power of Platforms

2011/03/29

On March 8th, David Basulto and David Assael, co-founders of Plataforma Networks visited us at the GSD to talk about (of course!) digital platforms, as the first of our 3-series events this spring, BORDERLESS.

With a refreshing and casual style of delivery, both Davids shared with us the story that has brought them to be the most visited website about architecture in the world. Their success has been such that are currently competing with well-known and established journals and magazines, such as Dome (Italy) and Architectural Record (US), just to mention some of them.

The initial challenge to which Plataforma Networks responded was about giving young architects the opportunity to publish their work outside of the “traditional circles of power of architecture”.  Their first project was Plataforma de Arquitectura, a website in Spanish language.  The success and rapid growth in number of visitors was such, that Plataforma Networks moved to the global scenario launching their second website ArchDaily.

Both Davids argue that architecture is not a given profession, and they are offering a way in which architects can build their own way to find jobs, learn from other’s experiences and look for opportunities. “This was our way of inventing ourselves a job. To solve problems that waiting for clients […] To understand that we could build a career in another way, and to share this perspective with other architects” emphasizes David B.

Yet other questions remain to be (better) answered, and this was an aspect pointed by Azamat Abdymomunov, our guest respondent. For instance “now that you have all this power and influence, what is your social or professional commitment? It is still the same? Has changed from the initial ideas that created Plataforma/ArcDaily? How do you redefine it?”  Since Azamat’s agenda is questioning the difficulty of incluencing communities (academic, social, etc) as well as the engagement of different

Plataforma Networks has found in communicating architecture a way to reconcile commercial and conceptual practices. Plataforma argues that today is not about either or. Today, different interests in design and architecture can coexist together, share platforms, learn and benefit from each other. They are offering an alternative way of communicating, and at the end of the day what we are interested in exploring through BORDELESS are alternatives or counter-proposals of doing things.

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