November 15th, 2018

A Designers Mind

We love Instagram, and like most of us we probably spend way too much time on there. But, when you start to think about it, insta is a great place to learn and be inspired.  An account we have long admired is that of Phil Darwen (@adesignersmind).

Phil is an architect who, like most of us, joined Instagram one day and started sharing some things he liked. Unlike most of us, he quickly became a phenomenon on the platform and has to date 1.3M followers.  Here is what he had to say.... TBG: Who is Phil Darwen? Phil: I enjoy the beach and the great outdoors. I’m a voracious reader. I enjoy the simpler things in life…good food, good music, good friends…the work/life balance is important to me not just from the family perspective, but because I’ve seen too many people miss out on life because they were too busy working for what they perceived as happiness.   TBG: What do you do when you’re not A Designers Mind? Phil: I’m a building/interior/landscape designer. A jack of all trades when it comes to design, as I like to present the complete lifestyle package to clients.   TBG: What initially inspired you to create A Designers Mind? Phil: It kind of happened by accident. I started off with Instagram much like everyone else…a few personal pics and images of projects I had done. I then started posting images of architecture and interiors that I admired and gained inspiration from. It has just organically grown from there into the following I have now.   TBG: Can you tell us about some of the design projects you’re personally currently working on? Phil: I’ve just finished a display home for a local builder up here on the coast. It’s been amazing to work on as I got to design the house, the landscaping and the interiors. I’m also working on a row of seven terrace homes which are kind of a new fad for the Coast. It’s that narrow-lot concept that makes the design of the interiors so important from a lifestyle point of view.   TBG: What’s the most played song on your playlist over the last 3 months? Phil: L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N by Noah & The Whale. The whole album is pretty good but this song stands out for me.   TBG: Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? Phil: I’d say I’m a gatherer. I like to surround myself with family, good friends, good times and good design. If you don’t do that then really, what’s the point ;-)     Phil's Tips For Instagram: TBG: You were one of the first big architecture/design Instagram accounts. How has the way you use Instagram changed over the last 5 years? Phil: It’s been interesting to watch the way Instagram has matured over the years. It has taken on a lot more of the social interactions aspects of other apps like Snap Chat to give you things like Live Video Feeds, Stories, etc. In it’s infancy, ‘A Designer’s Mind’ went through a few different types of posting formats.  I started off with staging the posts at various times of the day to gauge follower interaction. I also went through a period of posting a series of three images one after the other, but with a common theme (themes such as glass bridges, home libraries, kitchen storage ideas). I started becoming more used to using hashtags to promote images to those that might be searching for particular imagery or inspiration.   TBG: What are 2 tips for using Instagram you’d give to designers/architects? Phil: I think the best tips though would be to edit your feed to keep the images of high quality so that it really showcases who you are and what your design aesthetic is, and the second tip would be to use relevant hashtags to make sure your feed is searchable.   All imagery courtesy of @adesignersmind. Check out Phil's instagram account here.

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