Conferences & EventsNational Convention
About Aisha S. Densmore-Bey, Assoc. AIA: Ms. Densmore-Bey has been a panelist at various symposia, including the 2011 AIA convention. In 2011 she also wrote, produced, and directed the architecture film short The Built Perception: Boston.
Ms. Densmore-Bey is founder and past chair of the Museum and Exhibit Design Committee at the Boston Society of Architects. In addition she is a recipient of the 2012 AIA Associates Award and has been featured in ARCHITECT, Design Bureau, and Herman Miller’s Lifework blog.
Ms. Densmore-Bey, your portfolio of work covers a broad range of design disciplines—architecture, branding, graphic design, film, and more. How do social media help you stay informed on so many different subjects?
Twitter has become one of my best tools for engaging with the design world. Once I got over the initial skepticism of thinking people were just tweeting about what they had for lunch, I realized that it is a powerful tool to gain knowledge, distribute information, self-promote, and promote the good work of others.
How do you think architects could or should use social media to drive business?
My practice has a Facebook page, and it has not yet brought in more business, but it does help me manage my brand and allows me to connect with potential clients in a way that I may not be able to with just my Web site.
I will show fabrics I am interested in using or what types of architecture I admire. I praise clients and show good examples of graphic design. Pinterest.com and Tumblr.com are additional platforms for designers to utilize either as a form of marketing or as personal design scrapbooks.
I also recommend checking out Enoch Sears, AIA (@BusinessofArch), on Twitter. He routinely discusses marketing and social media tips for architects, especially those in small businesses.
What value did you find in attending the AIA TweetUp at the 2011 and 2012 conventions?
The first AIA TweetUp was epic! Great fun! I finally got to meet so many bright architects from #AIAChat. Some of them I correspond with daily or at the very least once a month. My practice is very young, and I look to some of them for advice.
There are too many good people to name, but I will say that Lira Luis (@LiraLuis), Craig Vandevere (@CVandevere), and Mike Davis (@MikeDavisFAIA) have become great comrades and resources.
You had to make some last-minute changes to your plans to fit in the TweetUp last year. Can you share that story?
The AIA was kind enough to honor me with the 2012 AIA Associates Award, and the 2012 TweetUp was held about same time as the awards ceremony. I’m not one to miss a good social event and was determined to do both.
The TweetUp started at 3 p.m., and I had to check in for the ceremony about 15 minutes later. The two events were at opposite ends of the convention center and on different floors. I was running late so I ran to the TweetUp, gave hugs to all my tweeps, met some new Twitter users, grabbed some water, and then sprinted in heels to check in for the awards. The wonderful awards ceremony was followed by a night full of receptions and parties. It was a good time!
If you had to choose the one session, event, or other experience at an AIA convention that most changed the way you work, what would it be?
There are so many things one can benefit from that it is hard to choose. I really love the feeling of being around everyone in my profession. We are a disparate bunch, but on the most basic level we all have the shared experience of trying to prosper in this difficult profession. There’s power and great comfort in that.
The AIA national convention is a major in-person networking event for architects. What role is there for social media and networking to supplement the physical event?
Connecting over social media before the convention helps to get some relationships started, and it definitely can help you keep in touch after the event. During the convention, you can’t be everywhere at once, but there are so many hashtags (especially #AIA2013) that help you tune in to what’s going on all over the convention.
People tweet and/or post important take-aways from sessions, photos from the show floor and parties, interesting products from vendors—it really runs the gamut. Again, it is a way for you to stay informed.
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Aisha S. Densmore-Bey,