I was having a nice chat with our digital editor this morning about the website for one of our mags, the Architectural Review. It's not really a proper website, more like a sexed up blog chock full of pretty pictures. We had this house on the site a few weeks ago called the Ramp House which is in Athens. It's not the most beautiful house and I wouldn't really want to live there, but it has a skate ramp and not out in the back garden, but in the living room. One of my least favourite things in all the world is washing dishes, but I might at least stand near the sink in Ramp House if only to have a good view of the skaters.
But the crazy thing with Ramp House is that the AR site got more visitors over the course of a few days than it had in the entire previous year. And all because of a bunch of web crazed skaters. So the digital editor thinks we need to reach out to the cool kids or whatever. So I had two suggestions: Cribs and Kanye West.
In terms of what the super hip, hip-hop loving, web using, forward thinking youfs know about architecture, Kayne's blog is probably more influential than anything else I can think of. The guy must get thousands of hits a day on his blog, way more than any of the other sites he references. It's interesting as well because his taste in architecture and design is fairly narrow: he likes houses, hyper-modernist houses, houses with "doooooope" swimming pools, and houses with lots of glass. I think we should get Kanye to write a piece for the AR. I don't think anyone else agrees with me, but it would solve the problem of how to get lots of web hits on the site. Manipulate the following and cachet of Kanye.
My other idea was to do a series of videos based on MTV's Cribs. People like to look at houses, maybe it's because there's more of a sense of voyeurism in looking at people's private spaces as opposed to office buildings or public spaces. But because MTV's efforts are ridiculous and vulgar - though maybe it's the vulgarity and ridiculousness that make viewing so entertaining. I always liked the big rap star houses where they're like: "yo, this is where my bitches sleep - solid gold bed, baby. Solid gold stripper pole for a bit of dancing. I love my strippers. Love my gold." But I was thinking we could make Cribs videos more like this:
This is an extra feature on the Marie Antoinette DVD and it still makes me laugh watching it now. Maybe it's because I'm completely crazy about Versailles, but I just thought it was such a silly, witty, inspired idea. So I think we should make an AR Cribs series of videos - architecture porn basically - in the style of Cribs with Louis XVI, well...I suppose it would need to be a little less silly and a little more informative, but I'd be the first to volunteer to dress up like Elizabeth I and give a Cribs tour of Somerset House.