Social Networking: Architizer

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By Aaron Britt
“The kernel of our idea was that there had to be a better way to speak to clients, to critics, and to the world at large. Too often we architects are just talking to each other.”

So says Marc Kushner, one of the four founders of Architizer, a social-networking site for architects—sort of  a Facebook for design nerds. Since its launch in late 2009, Architizer has attracted some 45,000 users from across the globe, all architects and designers eager to share their portfolios, discuss the ideas that shape their work, and connect with potential clients.

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"Architecture can really help itself by creating one place to find it," Kushner explains. "If there’s a place where people know they can go to source an architect, the field will grow."

Architizer was conceptualized by four friends hailing from different ends of the design world when the recession hit. Kushner and his partner, Matthias Hollwich, are architects and founded HWKN Architects; Ben Prosky is a curator and events organizer at Columbia University; and Alex Diehl, of the Berlin and New York–based creative agency KKLD*, has a background in Web design and social media. Drawing on the quartet’s design, Internet, and curatorial know-how, they set out to create a free, user-friendly website that draws on the familiar format and logic of social networks like Facebook while highlighting the portfolios of architects seeking clients.

Moving offline, Architizer is gearing up for a host of live events, including a salon for emerging designers in New York, launch parties all over the world, and, perhaps more humbly, setting up scores of average people with their newfound architects.