Visiting modern architecture doesn’t require much. In fact you don’t really need anything, but the following is what I always have on hand to make the most of my visit.
1. SKETCH BOOK
A sketchbook or notebook is always a good idea. Even if you don’t draw it is great to write down your impressions, features you like and don’t like, and things you learned on your visit. You always think you will remember but if you see a lot of architecture on your travels everything can become blurry and all mixed up after a while. I re-read my notes all the time and it feels as though I was just there. For those of you who do sketch it is the best method to remember and learn from these great architects. Sketching is also handy if you are not allowed to take pictures, which depends on the building type and owner.
My favorite, and pretty much all the architects I know, is the Moleskine, they come in a variety of colours which makes it easy to differentiate later if you have a lot of them. They are made with different eights of paper so if you like a heavy marker it won’t bleed through the other side. But my favourite feature is the folded pouch in the back – I put all my ticket receipts in there for safe keeping or any little papers I don’t want to lose.
A camera is important for a few reasons:
-Snap shots will help you to quickly document the architectural features you are fond of and want to remember. These quick shots can be cataloged for your use later
-Architectural photography. This is a topic of its own which I will be writing about soon.
-Video – every camera nowadays has video there is just some architecture that needs to be filmed either because of sounds or the way the building transforms as you move around it.
While I visit modern architecture I usually have two cameras with me: a point-and-shoot and a DSLR which works well. If I am just taking a quick shot it is sometimes easier just to pull out the small camera, it is also much better for being discrete the big DSLR can create a bit of a scene. My point and shoot is the Sony Cyber-Shot which has a really good battery and a fairly wide-angle lens which is handy for interior shots and it fits in my pocket or small purse. I have a Canon DSLR but I am about to upgrade to the Canon REBEL T4i which I am very excited about (I will let you know what i think in an upcoming blog).
I will have another blog about Cameras for architectural photography.
3. A GUIDE TO MODERN ARCHITECTURE
It is not easy finding modern architecture, there is a ton of information to get you to the historic architecture but modern architecture is a different story. I have spent days before a trip searching high and low to find addresses for buildings, I know the building is there but where is it?
ArchitectureGROUPIE is a directory of modern architecture cataloged by city around the world for your use. Each building has an address, the closest transit stop (if available) and a link to the website for further information. This now makes it easy for you to go visit these cool projects hassle free.
4. GOOD CITY MAP
There is no point in having a map in a city you don’t know unless it is good and I am pretty picky about my maps. There is one travel map I repeatedly purchase before my travels: Knopf MapGuide.
The Knopf MapGuide are my favorite because the city is broken down into small sections and color coded, each section flips open and contains the map with pictures of landmarks in that area (pictures are good especially for cities that are a different language). The map guides are small and discrete and have a lot of helpful tips. There are no gimmicks it is just simple and since the flaps are organized by area it practically organizes my itinerary already. I also like that I can write on it, some maps are glossy or have so many folds or the paper is too thin, it is important to be able to mark it up with the modern architecture you want to see.
5. WHY architecture GROUPIE is THE BEST ARCHITECTURE GUIDE BOOK:
-EASY TO USE, PRINTABLE and ONLY THE INFORMATION YOU NEED:
-HYPERLINKS and INTERACTIVE FEATURES (add your notes and click MUST SEE)
-TOP CITY TIPS and WALKING DISTANCE DIAGRAM
-NO ADVERTISING / UNSOLICITED PROJECTS
architecture GROUPIE now has digital maps ALSO!
Less expensive and easy to use – Designed for use on your smart phone, tablet or computer!
6. AN OPEN MIND
Remember you can learn a lot about what you like and dislike in architecture when visiting projects you don’t necessarily like from a picture. Some architecture is spectacular in person and a photograph does not do it justice and vice versa – just because a building is famous or popular does not mean you need to like it. But there is something to be appreciated in all modern architecture so keep an open mind – it is easy to be critical – a lot of work goes into making architecture. It has been my opinion that when there is strong reaction to a building (good or bad) it is worth visiting, discussing and thinking about it.
Visit architectureGROUPIE.com a Modern and Contemporary Architecture Travel information.
- 10 Architectural Photography Tips (architecturegroupie.wordpress.com)
- Architectural Photographers that will leave you speechless (architecturegroupie.wordpress.com)
- Starchitect (architecturegroupie.wordpress.com)