Six curious Instagram profiles to discover at the beach
The summer is all about being carefree, monkeying around, leaving space for the offbeat, kicking back and discovering Instagram accounts that take a light-hearted approach to everything, design included
Some may say this is no time to look at things superficially, that life is far too demanding for that at so many levels: geopolitically, environmentally, health-wise, climate-wise… In short, life is no laughing matter. But the summer’s here, and beyond that, perhaps for these very reasons, every now and then it’s worth taking an offbeat look at things, going on a walk on the lighter side.
After all, the design world often takes itself so seriously, all understatement, restraint or highbrow aestheticism. There are few half-measures in design, so why not just accept that perhaps the secret lies in sometimes just taking ourselves a little less seriously, horsing around, having a laugh... All the more so under a seemingly unbearable heatwave.
Not surprisingly, social media has this down and dusted. Perfectionist aesthetics, picture-perfect sunsets, post-produced photos, the best version of ourselves and our lives, are less and less cool; on the up are (seemingly) less-gussied images, moments immortalized not for being ideal but because they are asymmetrical, imperfect… precisely because they are realistic.
There are more and more followers out there for images, memes, and accounts that celebrate such imperfections, partly out of fashion, partly because, perhaps, they far more accurately represent what people experience in their everyday lives. This veritable aesthetic is becoming dominant, ushering in a new golden ratio with its offbeat approach. Let’s take a look at how design fits in to all this.
A perfect first Instagram account for the summer has a moniker that says it all: Architerror. This feed almost exclusively deals in offbeat architectural experiments, proportions that don’t work, aesthetic pairings that are to say the least, kitsch, incredible – choices almost always made by a client who, without doubt, didn’t want to listen to “you can’t do that” or accusations of poor taste.
Why not use an airplane as a roof? Or live in a mushroom-shaped house the Smurfs would have liked? How about a building that’s the lovechild of a rocket and a Fabergé egg? Alongside the visuals, the captioning makes this account even more fun for a nice bit of summer scrolling.
Ofhouses is admittedly a rather linear, dreamlike collection of houses. The offbeat account we saw earlier is a million miles away from the rarefied chic of this feed, which showcases somewhat experimental, less serious, more “blue-sky” constructions. This account is an offshoot of Old Forgotten Houses, a project by architect and urban planner Daniel Tudor Munteanu.
Which brings us to Forgotten_architecture, a Bianca Felicori project that has spawned a book published by Nero edition. This feed is packed with absurd architectures and incredible interiors scattered across Italy and the world. It’s a great way to see how many crazy things the human mind is capable not just of imagining, but building too.
The ironic take of Alvaraaltissimo is, on the contrary, rather surreal and very “Milanese”, its mood clear from its name.
This account is all about fantasy town planning, Milan’s (expensive) housing crisis, the city’s weirdnesses when the Salone is on, and Super-Milan-style homes showcased in a collage of vignettes, illustrations as prints, and a book published by Corraini edizioni. Again, the captioning makes it even more fun.
Born out of deep fondness for Wes Anderson’s perfect symmetries and the pastel colours typical of the director’s aesthetic, Accidentallywesanderson collates images that “accidentally” reflect the director’s approach, showcasing sets that are, in this version, extremely real, captured on the street rather than designed and built as sets.
Started as a fully-fledged celebratory account (the hashtag is worth following, if you’re a fan of this style), it now has more than 1.5 million followers and has led to a documentary, a guidebook, tours and an interactive map to unearth the “Accidentally Wes Anderson“ around the world.
Last but not least, the @Fontanesi account… This little gem by an anonymous author combines two different photos to create a new, overlapping photo that is even more unique, by turns alienating, crazy, meaningful or idealistic. The result is often a truly artistic image. If you’re a fan, an exhibition of these pieces runs in Castelfranco Veneto (TV) until 18 September 2022.