Introduction to On Architecture [FAQ]
I. GENERAL INQUIRIES.
What is OnArchitecture?
OnArchitecture is an audiovisual database for institutional users —architects, academics, researchers and students—, featuring the main trends in the field of architecture. It is a global scale project considering the potential embedded in 1.086 architecture schools and almost 3 million architecture students throughout the world. It was founded by Felipe de Ferrari, Diego Grass and Claudio Mesa in 2012.
Who is using OnArchitecture today?
Our catalog of videos is currently available in several prestigious schools of architecture throughout the world, such as the MIT, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, PUC Architecture School in Chile, University of Toronto, Tokyo University of Science, amongst many others.
Which are the benefits of OnArchitecture?
We have verified that OnArchitecture is a valuable resource for architecture schools and programs because it provides quality, innovation and novelty to the pedagogical, documentary and bibliographical resources used in the education of future architects, thus contributing to the regular certification processes of their schools.
What is so specific about OnArchitecture?
OnArchitecture’s main features are a careful selection of content, our production methodology and the service we provide. Our selection 400 videos (and counting) of works and interviews carefully portrays the architectural panorama of the last decade, all of this in order to verify the scope and coherence of the proposals of these architects. The in-depth methodology of our video productions aims at portraying the everyday use of the buildings we have selected.
All of the research, logistics, filming, interviews and video-edition tasks have been covered by our editorial team, with an experience of more than 350 building records and 250 interviews to architects, artists, academics and editors. Interviews are articulated as in-depth profiles of the authors we select, together with the main problematics embedded in their projects, in order to achieve a more intimate, critical and thoughtful insight on the intentions displayed in their works. As for building recordings, it is clear that our products are not promotional advertisements for a particular author: they are didactic and documentary portraits with the critical tone which has brought us global recognition. Video production team is led by two Chilean architects and academics, Felipe de Ferrari & Diego Grass, with editorial and audiovisual experience. One unit filming, editing and producing first-hand content since 2008.
5. ON ARCHITECTURE FOR ACADEMICS:
Which are OnArchitecture’s main features for academics?
OnArchitecture is valuable as an up-to-date source for academics, a tool to enhance their educational work and boost their curricular and methodological resources, in both workshops and research activities. OnArchitecture is a contemporary teaching tool, captivating students’ interest and new learning patterns based on digital media and a global scope.
Academics are a key element in keeping OnArchitecture usage alive. If they promote our catalogue in their sylabus, courses, Learning Management Systems, VLE, Moodle, etc., that way the resource is used at its fullest and can reach a significant level of performance in terms of the investment of the institution subscribed to us. OnArchitecture is usually helpful in history and theory courses, particularly those on contemporary architecture. OnArchitecture is also quite valuable in design studios, mostly when they do case studies of contemporary architecture featured in our catalogue, or when the studio is focused on a particular use or program covered in our database (single-family housing, collective housing, museums, libraries, educational buildings, etc.).
6. ONARCHITECTURE FOR STUDENTS:
Which are OnArchitecture’s main features for students?
OnArchitecture helps to enhance the student’s initiative, self-learning, critical thinking and global perspective, all of which contributes to educate better architects. This is achieved with first-hand material on buildings and the discourses behind them, providing intellectual and practical tools for their future careers.
OnArchitecture’s mix of high quality content displayed in web-based video format —easy to consume and assimilate— aims towards the development of new and attractive methodologies in research and practice.
One big share of our usage comes from the independent initiative of students who are interested architecture and the content displayed in OnArchitecture, using it on a regular basis without any kind of stimulation from libraries or academics. Yet the most certain way to increase usage and make OnArchitecture a good investment for the institution is to have libraries promoting the service periodically and academics using it in their sylabus, courses, Learning Management Systems, VLE, Moodle, etc.
Why acquire OnArchitecture services?
We trust that our service can be a valid contribution to institutions like yours: firstly, because of the use of video as a tool to represent architecture and secondly because of the care in the editorial criteria used in our service, in order to provide high-quality, exclusive content. Our on-line service is the first and most important of its kind, with updates every year —with no advertising, just pure knowledge.
Which are the next steps of OnArchitecture?
OnArchitecture is a project with a global scope, promoting the development of better architecture in all of the schools throughout the world. We are constantly updating our project in terms of volume of content, scope (geography and program) and quality of service.
Which are the contents featured in OnArchitecture?
OnArchitecture’s content includes video-interviews to prominent architects throughout the world, audiovisual records of buildings and installations. Video format is an attractive way to approach these contents, which are enriched with relevant information such as technical specifications, project’s briefs, biographies, external content, etc. OnArchitecture has developed this body of work throughout 10 years and it is updated on a
All of the video material is produced entirely by our team, who are also architects and academics, with experience in the editorial field. This material is only available upon subscription at OnArchitecture.
How do you choose/curate the content featured at OnArchitecture?
Basically we provide a different angle on what is already quite visible in the international scene of contemporary architecture. We have a balanced mix of very influential as well as emerging figures in their local scenes. Most of the names we choose are visible architects, some of them Pritzker laureates, Equerre d’argent
and Alvar Aalto Medal winners, offices awarded at Venice Architecture Biennale and practices featured in relevant specialized magazines.
Most importantly, in adding new material we push ourselves to balance the geographical quota of our catalogue, diversified throughout Europe, America and Asia in both building portraits and interviews. We are also quite concerned in having a wide array of programs or uses of buildings, not only single family houses but also commercial, religious, cultural, health, sports and all the ways architecture is displayed. Having a varied catalogue ensures that different kinds of users can find what they are looking for at OnArchitecture.
3. CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
Is OnArchitecture focused exclusively on contemporary architecture?
No. Even though we are really interested in portraying the present, including its practices and modes of production, our catalogue focuses on both XX and XXI Century architecture.
4. CELEBRITY ARCHITECTS VERSUS EMERGING ARCHITECTS
Does OnArchitecture only have videos of renowned architects?
No. We balance a combination of very influential practitioners and emerging architects, with a very strong focus on research-based design. We have had the privilege to shoot relevant figures in both the fields of practice and theory.
5. VIDEO LENGTH
Which is the length of OnArchitecture videos?
Length varies depending on the specific conditions of each building or the interviews’ context. We are proud to say that we take a long time in doing proper research before we shoot a building or an interviewee.
6. VIDEO ONLY
Are there only videos at OnArchitecture?
The core of each content post is the video, which also includes technical specs, abstract, description and related audiovisual content to facilitate navigation.
7. ENGLISH CATALOGUE VERSUS SPANISH CATALOGUE.
Are both catalogues -english and spanish websites- the same?
Not necessarily. There may be differences or changes mainly because of language differences.
Is there subtitles for video-interviews?
Yes. But not in all of them.
9. CONTENT AND GEOGRAPHY:
Which countries are represented in the content available at OnArchitecture?
Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia. Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland & the United States.
10. CONTENT AND TYPES OF BUILDINGS:
Which programs or types of buildings are represented in the content available at OnArchitecture?
Collective housing, Commerce, Culture, Education, Exhibition, Government, Health, Hotel, Industry, Infraestructure, Museum, Offices, Park, Restored Buildings, Recreation and sports, Religious, Residential Buildings.
11. EXPERIENCE IN FILMING ARCHITECTURE:
Which are OnArchitecture’s certifications, alliances and/or collaborations?
Our audiovisual work has been displayed in prestigious galleries such as Venice Architecture Biennale, Gallery MA in Tokyo, SOLO Galerie in Paris, Barcelona Design Museum, Heinz Architectural Center – Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel, to name just a few.
1. ARCHITECTURAL SPACE AND VIDEO:
Why portray buildings through videos and not just photograph them?
OnArchitecture videos are tailored to provide the spatial experience that you cannot get from magazines, diagrams or blueprints. Lived space, ambient sound, changes in natural and artificial light, atmospheres and movements are captured with pre-defined fixed camera angles according to the specific qualities of each building we shoot.
2. AUDIOVISUAL LEARNING:
Why learn architecture through videos?
The so called Millenials and Centennials (the later now entering architecture school) are big consumers of video content and have adapted their ways of learning to this tool, assimilating skills and practices through video. This is a big difference from prior generations. Visual-spatial intelligence which is key in architectural education is highly stimulated through audiovisual learning when combined with design studios and theoretical courses.
3. FREE WEBSITES:
Why pay for an online resource, having so much material for free in architecture websites?
Many institutions like museums and universities provide many free videos on lectures. Our archive is a good complement to these open collections, yet there is no audiovisual catalogue on architecture with the scale and scope of OnArchitecture. We also provide exclusive, intimate and thoughtful dialogues with relevant architects, in-depth content which can be used to understand better the work of authors all over the world. In fact, we have worked with them in several audiovisual collaborations for exhibitions, museums and biennials.
4. MAGAZINES AND BOOKS:
Why pay for an online resource, considering we may use those resources on printed material like architecture books and magazines?
We do not see good architecture magazines and books as competition, since most of our material complements what they feature in those medias. For instance, our videos and interviews on Lacaton Vassal are a very good counterpoint to many printed publications on these French architects, such as El Croquis or 2G, enriching the understanding in the work of relevant architects like they are. These important periodicals have already been purchased by many libraries and architecture schools worldwide, so our videos are a good way to go deep into the photographs and texts already available in these institutions.
But digital format has its benefits for institutions. Usually usage of digital resources like ours is much higher and easier to follow than that of physical resources. Additionally, many people can access to the same resource at the same time, a situation which is much more limited in physical format. Lastly, books use physical space and require maintenance, which is always a problem for libraries. OnArchitecture does not require any space and maintenance (particularly web updates and video bit rate update) is 100% guaranteed to our subscribers every year.
How does OnArchitecture work?
OnArchitecture is an online platform accessible through conventional web browsers. We recommend Google Chrome and Safari web browsers. No extra plug-ins are required, since the site uses standard HTML5 programming. OnArchitecture requires a proper Internet connection in order to stream videos with no interruptions or download delays. On remote connections, any kind of domestic broadband service would be enough for real-time video streaming.
OnArchitecture provides simultaneous on-campus and remote access and is fully compatible with portable devices such as Notebooks, Netbooks, iPads, iPhones, Smartphones and many others, including operating systems such as Android and iOS, in all of their versions. OnArchitecture has multiple search criteria, like exploratory or specific searches and access to related videos.
How does access works once we are subscribed?
IP authentication is strongly recommended. If an institution does not have IP authentication system, we can provide them user-name and password credentials.
Do you provide usage statistics?
We do provide real-time statistics available on an administrator platform which can be managed by the Library staff or School academics. Usually we leave our customers with all the responsibility and freedom to check statistics by themselves. If they want, we can provide them with a short yearly or monthly report, just text in an email, which they can -if they want- check if is solid by accessing their own statistics platform.
4. COUNTER COMPLIANT USER STATISTICS:
Do you use Counter Compliant User Statistics Standard?
We do not use Counter Compliant User Statistics Standard (http://www.ams.org/publications/journals/counter-compliant-usage-statistics). We use PIWIK/Matomo Analytics (https://matomo.org/what-is-matomo/) which is similar to Google Analytics -it is open though, unlike Google’s. It is more similar to website metrics than Counter Compliant, which is more specific to the academic world.
5. VIDEO LINKS:
Is it possible to embed or use a direct link to OnArchitecture videos in academic resources handled by academics or students (sylabus, Learning Management System, VLE, Moodle, etc.)?
Of course they can. Once they click the link, they have to be within the IP ranges authenticated in that institution in order to have direct access. Otherwise, system will ask them their institutional credentials, they will provide them and afterwards they will be able to access content.
Can OnArchitecture content be cited?
Yes. Every video has a APA format citation included in every post.
Does OnArchitecture features metadata?
Yes. Every video has an XML metadata file which can be downloaded in every post and used to link OnArchitecture’s content with institutional search engines.
1. EBSCO PRODUCT:
Is OnArchitecture part of a pack of databases or it could be sold separately?
It could be both. If you are interested in subscribing to OnArchitecture separately, please ask your EBSCO sales rep to provide a quotation price.
2. EBSCO HOST:
Is it possible to access OnArchitecture directly from EBSCO Host?
3. EBSCO DISCOVERY SERVICE:
Is it possible to access OnArchitecture directly from EBSCO Discovery Service?
EBSCO is our exclusive distributor worldwide. Any pricing or trial request must be addressed to EBSCO local sales reps.