For the past two years, Dave Mullen has scoured the web for images of buildings shot from the same angle. His Instagram account, @geometryclub, is a visual treat – a series of perfectly aligned photographs showcasing a range of architectural styles.
Mullen launched the project in 2014. “I’m a graphic designer by trade but photography has always been an integral part of my work. The idea came about during a week in New York with my girlfriend in September 2014. I had been really in to shooting architecture around that time and was always looking for shapes and symmetry within the buildings. Before I knew it, I had ten or 15 of these symmetrical, triangular compositions,” he says.
Inspired by a SeanWes podcast on building audiences, Mullen decided to launch the project on Instagram, creating an entire feed of images with the same composition and subject matter.
“I launched the project, November 2014, just for me. But I soon exhausted my collection [of photographs] and began to ponder the idea of making it a collaborative project,” he says. He put together a website, drew up some guidelines to ensure consistency (see the GIF below) and invited others to submit their own symmetrical images.
Mullen has featured images of buildings in Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Melbourne, Tehran, Berlin, Vancouver and Sheffield. He started out searching for images on Instagram, “but with the help of friends and very early adopters, I started to build a little community of contributors,” he explains. “Nowadays, if I come across a photographer I really like, I’ll reach out and invite them to get involved.”
He has since received 536 submissions and published just over 200 images – some from professional photographers and others from enthusiastic Instagrammers. The Barbican featured the project on its Instagram account last year and the Design Museum recently invited Mullen to photograph its new home in Kensington.
There’s something incredibly appealing about scrolling through his feed of perfectly aligned black-and-white photographs. Images highlight some striking architectural features – from glass facades reflecting clouds in the sky to the panelled surface of a Sheffield car park known as the “cheese grater”. Buildings range from imposing Brutalist structures to classical ones , with facades made from wood, concrete, glass and steel.
Speaking about his fascination with photographs of buildings shot from this perspective, Mullen says: “It’s a number of things: the lines, the shapes, the symmetry. There are some incredible exteriors too – The Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles looks stunning from this perspective.”
He is now working with developer Alexander Edge to create a free iOS app which will help people take perfectly aligned pictures using diagonal guides – “The app will be available mid-2017,” he adds.
Follow Geometry Club on Instagram here.