The Storytellers: Luke Hallaways of ‘Australian Architecture’ on Instagram

In one post each month, we will be focusing on a different journalist, editor or other storyteller, helping to highlight who they are, what they publish and the stories behind the stories.


BowerBird has been active on Instagram for a few months now, and we’ve come to appreciate that it is, in fact, a community of micro-publishers. Each feed has an editor or curator, bringing together elements of their own life, or sharing the work of others.

One feed that’s been of particular interest to us is the @australian_architecture account – featuring architecture and interiors projects and products from Australia. With now over 147,000 followers, it is an Instagram-only publication. We sat down with the account’s editor, Luke Hallaways, to get his top tips on Instagram for architects and designers…


So, who the heck are you, Luke?

I’m a recent graduate from UTS, currently working with a small practice in Redfern called Those Architects (@thosearchitects).

Why did you start the Australian Architecture account?

I started @australian_architecture around two years ago due to a lack of architecture, especially Australian architecture, being displayed through the app.

I quickly found out that it was a good way to keep up to date with the industry as I was constantly having to search for new projects and products. It was also a great way to make connections in the industry while I was in my last years of university and close to having to secure employment.

Can you give us your 5 top tips for architects using Instagram?

  • Consistency. When starting out, try to create a template that you stick by. This could be either a size, filter, picture description or all three. It will give your feed a clean look that will be inviting to new followers to check out.
  • #hashtag. Try create a hashtag for each project you are working on so that your followers can click on the hashtag and see other pictures of the same project.
  • Shout out. Don’t forget to mention your photographer or anyone else that helped you on the project.
  • Active. Keep up regular posts to encourage the flow of new followers.
  • Network. Instagram is a great app to network with fellow architects and designers that influence you.

What are your top 10 favourite Insta accounts (apart from @BowerBird.io, of course)?

  • @designmilk: One of the most popular design Instagrams out there. They share over half a dozen projects and products a day from around the world. Will keep you busy throughout the day.
  • @archdaily: an obvious one. The biggest Instagram dedicated to just architecture. Australian architecture is becoming featured more and more.
  • @superarchitects: an Instagram showcasing a wide range of architectural ideas with a large percentage student work.
  • @yellowtrace: an Australian Instagram based on the interior design website www.yellowtrace.com.au. A great resource with a heavy Australian influence.
  • @gulliverhancock: the illustrator of the book ‘All the Buildings in Sydney.’ A different take on iconic buildings around world cities.
  • @lunchboxarchitect: the creator of the website lunchboxarchitect.com. He has only just started on Instagram but will be a great daily resource of inspirational houses.
  • @_roomonfire: an Instagram with a great style showcasing architecture from around the world.
  • @venicearchaus: an Instagram dedicated to the 2016 Australian Exhibition, The Pool. You can follow their journey to Venice.
  • @kookslams: a non-architecture Instagram but if you are surfer you will love this feed for a daily laugh and for a break from architecture.
  • @thosearchitects: last but not least the other Instagram that I run for my work. We are trying to keep to a template so that our followers can follow a project through site location, concept, updates and finished product. We have only just started but have many exciting projects coming up in the near future.

What are the top 5 things architects get wrong on Instagram?

  • Pixelated. There is nothing worse than completing a great project and then uploading a low-resolution picture to Instagram. Take the time to source a good shot.
  • Little Info. I find a lot of architects lack information on their photos. Let your followers know more information about the project.
  • Filters. Filters are a great addition to the Instagram app but sometimes are over used by architects, which destroys the quality of the picture. If you are using a photographer’s picture you shouldn’t use a filter, as they have already edited the shot for you.
  • Updates. Architects tend to keep upcoming projects under wraps. Let your followers follow the progress of your projects with site updates.
  • Facebook. Architects seem to pay more attention to their businesses on Facebook than Instagram. Don’t. You can reach far more people on Instagram. It’s a great app, use it.

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