As President Barack Obama’s recent acceptance speech showed us, Twitter has become one of the largest social networking services in media today. His speech broke the twitter record with 52,756 tweets per minute and generated roughly 4 million tweets. In the realm of architecture, twitter can be used to promote, inform, and create dialogue with a firm’s followers. ArchDaily.com, an architecture website featured on The GRID’s Top 20 Architecture Websites 2012: Giants of Architecture Online posted a Top 100 Architecture Firms back in May of 2011. Of those 100 firms, more than half did not have twitter accounts and many that do have less then 100 followers or tweets. The list below is comprised of the Top 10 firms, from those 100, that have tweets and followers into the thousands.
Here are the Top 10 architecture firms to follow on twitter:
1. Perkins+Will / http://www.perkinswill.com / @perkinswill
14,220 Tweets / 7,494 Following / 21,296 Followers
Established in 1935, Perkins+Will is one of the oldest architecture firms on the list. They are a global multidisciplinary architecture and design firm founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance society. With a staff of 1,500, in 24 locations worldwide, the firm ranks among the world’s top design firms and is the recipient of hundreds of awards. It was ranked number three in both Architectural Record's 2011 Top 250 Architects and the 2012 Interior Design Top 100 Giants lists. Perkins+Will does not have one singular main twitter account. Rather, they have over a dozen separate accounts for the major cities they work in. The numbers listed above are a combination of each account, the lowest following from their office in Charlotte, North Carolina with 496 and the largest following in New York, New York with 6,154.
2. Gensler / http://www.gensler.com / @GenslerOnCities
2,312 Tweets / 906 Following / 10,928 Followers
Gensler is a global architecture, design, planning, and consulting firm with 3,000 professionals in 42 locations on five continents. Based out of San Francisco, California the firm was founded in 1965, originally focused on corporate interiors, but has since diversified into numerous forms of architecture and design, brand design, consulting, global relationships, interior design, planning, urban design, product design, and sustainability. Gensler would have made 1st on the top 10 list because of the volume of followers and regularity of tweets – multiple tweets in a day since 2009 – were it not for the combined following of all of Perkins+Will’s twitter accounts.
HOK, founded in 1955, now has 1,600 people across a network of 24 offices on three continents and boasts that it uses design to enrich people’s lives and help organizations succeed. As of 2012, HOK is the largest U.S.-based architecture-engineering-planning firm. While HOK has more twitter followers than Gensler, they made 3rd on the list because their account does not have as many regular tweets eventhough they started over six months before Gensler.
Established in 1970, BNIM has emerged nationally as a leading resource for established methodologies, innovative technologies and cutting-edge research in architecture, planning, landscape and workplace design. The firm’s work includes early pilot projects that defined the USGBC’s LEED rating system. As an architecture, planning and design firm, they offer a comprehensive menu of services and specialties like: architecture, existing buildings, graphic design, sustainable consulting, interior design, landscape architecture, planning and urban design, workplace planning, and research. BNIM is the only firm on the list that posts their tweets directly on their main webpage.
Following HDR is a global employee-owned firm providing architecture, engineering, consulting, construction, and related services. Founded in 1917 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, the firm has more then 8,000 professionals in more than 185 locations. Posting Tweets since 2010, HDR is the largest and oldest firm in the list and the firm with the most tweets on a single account, but the firm also has one of the least amount of followers on the list. This might be due in part to the location of their “follow us” link. A simple, yet small link located in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage, which takes the user to a less than friendly list of their social networking links.
Founded in 1940 on the principles that design should be timeless, not flamboyant; clean, not gaudy, and functional as well as beautiful; HMC’s 70-year legacy has been rooted in the public domain, focused on health-care, education, and, civic institutions. The firm is made of nearly 400 professionals in 9 offices. Despite the fact that their Twitter account is not searchable from their main web page through any clickable link, they have one of the largest numbers of followers, and yet one of the fewest numbers of tweets. Their first tweet was on April 29, 2009.
Among the 10 largest architecture firms in the world and Ranked as the #3 largest architecture firm in the U.S. by Building Design & Construction and Engineering News Record magazines, NBBJ provides services in architecture, interiors, planning urban design, branding, consulting, landscape design, and lighting. The firm, founded in 1943, has been tweeting since 2009, yet their presence is among the lowest. This might be due, in part, to the fact that it takes 3 clicks to get to their social networking sites from their main page.
DLR Group is an integrated design firm providing architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design from offices coast-to-coast and in China. The firm was founded in 1966, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska and has 21 offices in the United States and an office in Shanghai, China. Their “follow us” twitter button is conveniently located on the bottom right corner. They have worked with hospitality, retail/mixed-use, workplace/interiors, higher education, sports, K-12 Elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, civic courts detention, senior living, and health-care.
Founded in 1961, with now more than 700 staff members, BDP is a major international, interdisciplinary practice of architects, designers, engineers and urbanists. The firm’s track record includes all major sectors including health, education, workplace, retail, urbanism, heritage, housing, transport, leisure, public safety, and energy utilities. Their main website has an easy and familiar twitter link on their home page, and with over 2,000 followers, one would think they would post more tweets. Yet, since 2010 the firm has followed an irregular pattern of posting tweets every few days or so.
Aedas has an easy “follow us” button for twitter on the bottom left of their main page, making it easier for visitors to get connected. The firm, established in 2002, is the youngest on the top 10 list. The formation of Aedas was in direct response to an increasingly globalized marketplace in which clients expect universally high standards of design and delivery. Today, the firm’s global reach, combined with its design talent and technology, provides some of the highest standards of architectural design informed by extensive knowledge of local market, climate, materials, culture, economy, building industry and standards. Aedas began tweeting in February of 2011 and while they do not post tweets every day, just over a year later they already have more followers than many from the top 100 architecture firms in the world.
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.
* The numbers for tweets, following and followers were calculated at the time of this research was compiled and may have changed since.