As an aspiring architect, city planner, or urbanist in the field, you always need to keep up to date with the latest trends, ideas, developments, and designs in architecture and planning. One of the best ways to do this is by following great content on instagram!
With so many planning and architecture accounts out there, it can be intimidating at first to find those which are relevant and worth your time. Here at vagon, we’ve created a list of our favorites, broken down into content that is directly related to architecture, and more broadly urban planning as a whole. Check them out and give them a follow for some inspiration and relevant news in your daily feed.
1. MVRDV - @mvrdv
With a wide range of work in placemaking, from urban mixed use and smart city projects to leisure and dwelling spaces, Rotterdam-based MVRDV is worth the highlight. The scope of their work keeps any urbanist intrigued and inspired, with ideas of what a better future for cities might look like. Reimagining cityscapes through sustainable and modern renditions of past and present, their work seeks to solve urban issues affecting society today.
The Werkstadt Grasbrook project in Hamburg seen below is an urban masterplan for reimagining how the city is designed in the 21st century. Prioritizing flexibility for future planning and mixed use development, this project promises to change the urban landscape of Hamburg for years to come.
2. Bloomberg CityLab - @citylab
On a more concept-based level, Bloomberg CityLab is focused on the ideas and trends that affect urban planning and city life in the present day. With a close focus on current events and the consequences of such on urban planning, keeping a tab on their instagram and news section is a must for any planner looking to design city spaces with relevancy.
This post below is a good example of the type of content CityLab produces on their instagram account. Interesting trends are detailed with captions further explaining the situation. Newsworthy urbanist content appearing on your feed every day!
3. Van Alen Institute - @van_alen
Based in the Big Apple, the Van Alen Institute utilizes design competitions, interdisciplinary research, and provocative public programs to understand and solve urban issues. Their work brings together people from different backgrounds, professions, and communities to further the field of design in breaking apart complex urban problems. From overarching challenges like climate change and social equity, to infrastructure impacts and gentrification, their work brings together concepts to transform urban spaces for a more sustainable future.
Check out this piece below on their design competition Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge, a project co-sponsored by New York City Council in response to overcrowding and safety concerns with the current design.
4. Meristem Design - @meristemdesign
Focused on reclaiming gray urban space back to green, London-based Meristem Design is a design firm to be reckoned with in making urban landscapes more sustainable and alive (literally). With the philosophy that plants are vital to improving quality of life and providing basic needs, much of their work can be seen in the greenification of urban spaces and dwellings. As COVID-19 has forced many cities to reimagine what public space is and where it is provided, this firm is definitely one worth following in terms of practical and cost-effective solutions for urban spacemaking.
Check out their work here with the implementation of parklets on Bold Street in Liverpool, bringing green urban space back onto city streets.
5. World Urban Planning - @worldurbanplanning
Based in Dubai, World Urban Planning is an organization that works to understand and collect knowledge surrounding urban planning, in a variety of different contexts and cultures. Currently holding country specific magazines for Italy, Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa, World Urban Planning seeks to expand their knowledge base to other countries’ urban planning contexts as well.
Within their instagram feed, you can find explanations for a variety of different city planning layouts, schemes, and history, based on the cultural context in which they exist. Their content often feels more like urbanist art rather than a planning instagram account at times! Check out this aerial view of Lombard Street in San Francisco below.
1. MAD Architects - @madarchitects
With high profile projects like the 2024 Paris Olympics’ Aquatic Center and China Philharmonic Concert Hall, MAD Architects creates architectural designs of the future. Working with shapes and designs that curve and mold to form buildings of 21st century wonder, this architecture keeps you inspired with an idea of what the future could be. Green urban landscapes with shining metal, glass, wood, and white architectural exteriors is instagram content truly worth the follow for implementation in your own work.
Check out this rendering of the Quzhou Sports Park, which integrates the building designs into the surrounding landscape, for a futuristic, sustainable feel to the architectural site.
2. Luciano Kruk Arquitectos - @lucianokruk.arquitectos
With a focus on residential homes, Argentinian based Luciano Kruk Arquitectos is a firm respecting and emphasizing the natural environment surrounding a project, with modern, minimalist design. The content from this account will keep you constantly inspired with contemporary architecture that one can only dream of for their own home.
This design below features a green roof with a structure accounting for the original trees in the surroundings. Architecture best served with the natural environment!
3. Pitsou Kedem Architects - @pitsou_kedem_architect
Using well thought layouts of light and space, Pitsou Kedem Architects in Tel Aviv produces stunning architectural designs for an array of different building types. Viewing their works is like opening a box of contemporary renditions of urban life, in the office and out. Following their instagram gives your feed a splash of architectural life in an often Mediterranean environment.
Check out this photoset from their work on the “De Vinchi” penthouse rising above surrounding Tel Aviv.
4. OFIS Architects - @ofis_architects
As an architectural firm based in Slovenia, OFIS Architects specializes in modern architecture, urbanism, art, and stage design. Following their instagram provides an array of content of minimalist interior design and splashes of color and shapes with an array of visual appeal.
Check out this building they designed for an apartment complex in Izola, Slovenia.
5. Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter - @reiulframstadarkitekter
With a more nordic vibe, Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter is known for its bold and simply designed architecture, integrated with the Scandinavian surroundings it exists within. Emphasizing sustainability and the environment, their works look to amplify human experience while creating spaces that compliment their outside features. The content from their instagram provides inspiration for architecture based around amplifying environmental features and quality lighting.
This picture of Trollstigen Visitor Centre below is just one example of their contextual landscape-oriented design that takes into account the nature and character of its surroundings.