2012 is the year of the GIF, just ask the Oxford English Dictionary. In the past 12 months, the graphic interchange format has had a huge impact on the way we share architecture online. We've compiled a roundup of the most viral, inspiring, and ingenious design-related GIFs for 2013.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the University of Health Sciences (HESAV) in Switzerland, artist Guillaume Reymond (otherwise known as NotsoNoisy) and Trivial Mass Production created an “architectural performance” titled “Animated Tower,“ which, as its name implies, breathed life into a dull concrete block. Over 100 students, staff, and friends volunteered to help turn the building into a large analog display, with each of the windows made into a pixel that forms the 8-bit messages.
This awesome GIF by David Copithorne was part of the 2012 Moving the Still GIF competition and exhibition sponsored by Tumblr, Paddle8, and Smartwater. The exhibition was staged at Art Basel Miami Beach and represented a step toward legitimizing the GIF as an artform.
Joe Hamilton, an artist and illustrator living in Australia, has been working on a never-ending Tumblr-based collage/rendering/illustration that blends 3D-animation techniques with a range of digital visualizing tools. It's like a stream of consciousness sketchbook for the age of social media.
There is nothing more exciting for an architect than a fresh sheet of gridded paper—until it has been turned into an animated GIF! The Tel Aviv-based Alma Alloro crosses the divide between the analog and the digital with a series of hand drawings that she animates using a spinning bicycle wheel.
Dukno Yoon's kinetic jewelry combines both complex engineering and a sense of play. The spirit of the pieces can only be expressed as a GIF, which effectively captures their humor and rhythm.
Art student Yasutoki Kariya's '“Asobi”—Japanese for "play"—features a series of 11 lightbulbs that move with the familiar click-clack of Newton’s Cradle. In this version, though, the bulbs light up according to a computer-controlled sequence, adding another dimension to the visualization of momentum and the transfer of energy.
This series of still photos features a consistent twist—each image has one constantly rotating object. The contrast between the still picture and spinning figure draws you in and leaves you hypnotized.
Reality Cues, one of the most-entertaining architecture Tumblr blogs, sponsored a series of competitions, including this Corbu-themed one. It's impossible to completely understand the architectural significance of the above GIF, but it's good to see architectural discourse finally entering the arena of the meme.
For this year's Storefront Halloween party, Nuit Blanche NY curated a GIF competition. Architects from around the globe submitted entries, and the best ones became the backdrop for the bacchanalia.
Our favorite GIF of 2012 is, obviously, the one featuring the distinctive Architizer A+ Award (isn't she a beauty!). For more on the making of the award, read our story about Snarkitecture's process. And don't forget to enter the A+ Awards program, which features 50+ categories!