How much does your building (and circular internet) weigh, Mr Foster?

It’s good living in the countryside. Woken by birdsong and out with the dog to walk in the shadow of the Downs, aware of the seasons, aware of the light… it is good.

But it’s not exactly the place to get a decent coffee and a custard tart and it isn’t a place where you can usually see a decent independent movie or play.

So a couple of Saturdays ago when I noted that Duke of Yorks cinema in Brighton had a one-off lunchtime screening of How much does your building weigh, Mr Foster? I had to go. I had marked it down in my little black book or bucket list as it’s called nowadays and off I toodled.

It was amazing, an utterly inspiring film about the lifes, times and cancers of the impeccably dressed Sir Norman Foster and the wonderful buildings he has created. I came out of the cinema (and back to a windy school fete) invigorated and humbled by the might of architects.

And that I thought was that. Going to films was always a one-way process. Turn up, buy ticket, watch film, talk about, maybe watch again on TV in the future. But I had reckoned without the circular power of the internet.

As serendipity would have it, the next week I wrote a piece for The Telegraph about how Heaven 17 founder Martyn Ware had turned London’s Millennium Bridge into a 3D soundscape for the duration of the Olympics. This erstwhile ‘wobbly’ bridge was, of course, designed by Sir Norman Foster.

The piece was published a week later and moved a little across social channels without going particularly viral until the genius that is @brainpicker picked it up on Twitter. It then had a second wind and went through the RT rotation until it finally went quiet.

I sometimes look at the comments on The Telegraph and the type of people and organisations that have forwarded the piece through Twitter. The trolling at The Telegraph is always shocking, but this time I noticed something very different.

So it was with the greatest of delight that because of the Sir Norman Foster connection I found out the Twitter page of How much does your building weigh, Mr Foster? movie had tweeted my Telegraph piece. I might have even let out a squeal of glee.

So I had been to see the movie, I had written about the architect lionised in the film and then the film had promoted my piece through Twitter. Win-win-win.

Now, I know about the birdsong and the dog-walking and the beauty of countryside nature, but I also thought that sequence was also a very beautiful thing.

Monty (663 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.