The Architecture of Memes with Ryan Scavnicky

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Extra Office | Ryan Scavnicky

Ryan Scavnicky recalls having angsty moments in high school where he wondered what he was going to do with his life. He says that he settled on architecture because it was kind of art, but also kind of science and math at the same time.

Ryan also describes being taken by his father to a lecture on museum architecture at the Akron library. It wasn’t the library lecture that caught his interest, though, as much as it was the building across the street. Across from the library where the lecture was taking place, the Akron Art Museum was under construction, and the architecture studio that designed the new building was Coop Himmelb(l)au. It was seeing this building that really caught Ryan’s attention.

Ryan is well known for his Instagram memes, and he discusses them at length during today’s interview. He talks about how he got started making memes, why he didn’t want to be just another anonymous meme page, and what kind of discourse he has with other large meme accounts on Instagram. He also explains how he handles people who aren’t fans of his work.

In this interview, Ryan also talks about architecture education and working with his wife, who is also an architect. Listen to the episode to hear more of what Ryan has to say about teaching, memes, and the discourse.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode

  • How Ryan got interested in architecture
  • Where Ryan went to architecture school
  • Architects whose work inspired Ryan
  • How Ryan got into posting memes on Instagram
  • Why Ryan doesn’t want to run an anonymous meme account
  • How Ryan handles haters on his Instagram page
  • How anyone can participate in architecture through memes
  • The discourse about memes
  • Ryan’s thoughts about teaching
  • Using memes in teaching
  • Ryan’s collaborations with his wife
  • Ryan’s store
  • Ryan’s advice for aspiring architects
  • The book that changed everything for Ryan
  • Ryan’s favorite resource
  • Ryan’s best timesaving trick
  • How listeners can connect with Ryan

Top 3 Takeaways from This Episode

  1. Architecture combines art, science, and math.
  2. Memes are a method of communication that others can easily connect with.
  3. You should be responsible for the opinions you put out into the world.

Ryan Scavnicky’s Advice for Aspiring Architects

“Get your undergrad in something else. No, seriously, you need your Masters to do architecture today, and if you’re going to need your masters, you might as well get your undergrad in something you are passionate about that might not have a direct value to society.”

Favorite Quotes

“Someone told me that back then and I didn’t take their advice.” –Ryan Scavnicky on what he knows today that he didn’t know back then

“There’s a book by James P. Carse called Finite and Infinite Games.” –Ryan Scavnicky on the book that changed everything

“My favorite resource is my colleagues.” – Ryan Scavnicky on the resource he can’t live without

“My number one timesaving trick is know thyself.” – Ryan Scavnicky on his best timesaving trick

Resources Mentioned in the Show:

Ryan Scavnicky
Extra Office
Ryan on Instagram

About

Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, and the creator of Young Architect, an online platform and community dedicated to helping the next generation of Architects become the most successful generation of Architects. 
Connect: Linkedin / Facebook / Instagram

Hi there!

I’m Michael Riscica, the guy behind Young Architect. I write to help Architecture Students, ARE Candidates and Young Architecture Professionals be more successful at school, work and life!

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