A while ago, I got thinking about how important it is to share knowledge about Birmingham’s architecture with non-architects. It came off the back of my talk at Birmingham’s first Pecha Kucha night – I spoke about local Architect John Madin – and I rounded off my presentation by suggesting the audience look up more often when walking around the city and take in their surroundings: notice the design of local buildings, have a closer look at the style of windows, the choice of stonework and brickwork detailing, how it relates to its neighbouring buildings etc. I also encouraged them to buy a copy of Andy Foster’s updated version of the Birmingham Pevsner Guide because it’s essential reading if you’re remotely interested in architecture.
Well, I’m pleased to say that one or two took my advice and can often be seen walking into lamposts because they’re so preoccupied with the beautiful architecture of the city that they forget to look where they’re going….. I jest…. Incidentally, if this really does happen, please don’t sue me – you’re responsible for making sure you can see where you’re walking.
Thanks to that very warm spell recently, timed with a reshuffle of my work schedule, I was finally able to spend a bit of time taking dubious-quality photographs around some areas of the city (Birmingham is HUGE!) to share via a dedicated website.
Ladies, Gentlemen, Children and Architects: I give you Telling Storeys.
I thought long and hard about the format and figured it needed to be kept simple – that’s why I’ve used tumblr which autotweets a link whenever I hit ‘publish’. I’m sticking to using photos that only I have taken so as not to open a can of worms regarding copyright. Each photo is accompanied by a little bit of information about that building or place: name and location, and if I can find it, a bit of background about when it was built, who the architect was, and any other interesting snippets of relevant information.
At the time of writing this blog post, the Twitter account has 69 followers, and the number of Tumblr followers has suddenly risen sharply. I’ve had some really lovely feedback from people who like the simplicity of the format and it’s worth noting that I’ve also been dropping the location of each post (each building) onto a Googlemap which I guess might come in handy… one day.