8 Successful Art-ternative Entrepreneurs

8 Successful Art-ternative Entrepreneurs

Emily Badger | Good

Name: Geoff Manaugh Project: BLDBLOG Years at it: Six

In 2004, Geoff Manaugh tapped out a list of architecture topics he wanted to cover in a blog, most of which had seemingly little to do with architecture: the British sci-fi novelist J. G. Ballard, Chernobyl, bunker archeology, the International Space Station, refugee camps, and traffic studies.

He wanted to blog about architecture the way most people experience it but few industry publications were capturing: as it exists all around us, in the urban spaces where we live, in videogames, in literature. The result was BLDBLOG, a well-curated catchall accessible to nonarchitects precisely because of its unpredictability. Today, it gets about 250,000 visitors a month.

“It’s kind of like playing six degrees of separation with architecture—the idea that you can pretty much start anywhere and find a way it will connect back to architecture,” Manaugh, 34, says. Typical architecture geeks ponder Rem Koolhaas, not Franz Kafka. But Manaugh’s wandering eye even includes architecture in 20th century absurdist literature. Kafka’s The Trial “is full of scenes of weird buildings that don’t make any sense,” he says, “law offices that open onto private homes, courtyards that lead to courtyards.”

The site is a labor of love, not really a living. But Manaugh’s other projects—writing for Wired U.K. and teaching at the University of Southern California—all came about because of the blog, a passion project that led to real work.

Art by Victor Kerlow.

Next: No. 2: A Messy Workspace →

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