Considering the recent spate of ‘icon’ buildings, you would think that an Emoji would exist for ‘Architecture’ by now, but no, this is in fact not the case. Oh, there are plenty of Emojis for buildings, but these would never qualify since they are largely shaped like boxes or traditional houses; and we can’t have that.
Of course, these ‘boring building’ Emojis are not really meant to express buildings at all, but rather different personal statuses, such as “I’m home”, “I’m downtown”, “I’m in the hospital”, or “I’m in church (and texting!)”. There’s a church with a heart floating above it, which presumably means “just married”. A hospital with a heart must therefore mean “just born (and already texting!)” But alas, there is no Emoji to share a status such as: “I’m busy designing an iconic building”, or “anyone feel like going to see some architecture this weekend?”
No need to panic, though. There is a ready-made solution available, sourced from the very Mecca of the mother of the arts. This traffic sign outside Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum may have been designed to point tourists toward a hard-to-find entrance to this iconic building par excellence, but its minimal lines can be seen to encapsulate “architecture” writ large.
With only some minor Photoshop work, this street sign is transformed into an emoticon. And unlike most emoticons, this one has a feature that is especially architectural: if you click on it, it gets bigger.