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7 Questions for Marc Kushner

All right, we've all heard of "The Social Network" by now, but have you heard of Architizer, the social network for architects and designers? It's a site that's (thankfully) not populated by sun-starved Harvard programmers with grudges or pictures from hazy vacations to Cabo, but, rather, profiles and projects from design professionals and firms from all around the globe. More than just networking, Architizer provides a handy platform to help architects present their projects to clients, critics, journalists and, essentially, anyone who's interested in design. Since its 2009 launch, the site has attracted over 20,000 projects from the cadre of designers using the site. One of the four founders of Architizer, Marc Kushner (who we profiled in our December/January 2011 Young Guns article), will be presenting at Dwell on Design this year. He'll chat about what constitutes a successful web presence for architects and will be on hand to field questions from the audience. We sent a few pre-panel questions to Kushner about his background, the kindest compliment he's received, and a certain flop that riffed on the Garbage Pail Kids. Read on for the Q&A and join us on Friday, June 24th, at 3:30pm on the Design Innovation Stage for the panel.

kushner portrait

Best compliment?
I just got an email from a former student that I inspired them to pursue architecture, she had just finished grad-school. That blew my mind.
Currently reading?
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. I have developed an unsettling obsession with North Korea, its built environment and the plight of its people.
Last film watched?
Super 8. I kind of loved it.
Your eureka moment?
When 400 people showed up to the Architizer launch party in NYC. We realized then that we had hit a nerve. Architects were desperate to show their work and the public was super eager to see it, but the democratic vehicle was missing. Almost 25,000 projects later, that void has been filled.
Best advice?
"Start your own firm now, it doesn't get any easier later." Juergen Mayer H—the esteemed architect from Berlin, and my mentor and good friend—told me that when I got laid off in 2007. It was a terrible time to start a firm, and I am so glad that I did.
Worst-ever idea?
Archi-Pail kids. An early editorial feature on Architizer. I couldn't figure out why it was not a success, and part of me still can't. Mr. T-Square!
Looking forward to?
My October trip to Malawi with my sister who started and runs the amazing non-profit Goods for Good.

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