Tracing Zeitgeist: The Cyberflâneur and Their Smartphone


  • Pieter Greyvensteyn Tshwane University of Technology; Department of Architecture



Architectural Representation, Cyberflâneur, Digital Collage, Smartphone, Zeitgeist


This essay investigates the way in which architecture is communicated in the postdigital era. Digital collages, created from photographs taken by so-called cyberflâneurs with their smartphones and reinterpreted through current smartphone applications, were the architectural representations under the spotlight. Generation Z architecture students were assigned the role of the cyberflâneur; a flâneur being defined as someone experiencing urban space on their own terms, 'cyber' referring to the flâneur’s instrument, the smartphone.
Drawing and design are explored through the triad of hand, mind and smartphone. The visual artefacts being communicated are buildings in central Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa and in Maputo, Mozambique, from a list based on a compact urban typology built either 50- or 100-year-ago. The imagery on the screen of the smartphone becomes the lens through which we experience reality. The quality and complexity of the digital collages are telling of our zeitgeist; patterns and algorithms can be traced. Technology provide us with the tools to connect us to a synchrony that is the pulse of global culture. The graphic analysis of the visual material produced by the cyberflâneurs propagates zeitgeist as a major contributor to architectural expression by tracing a universal synchronicity.




How to Cite

Greyvensteyn, P. (2023). Tracing Zeitgeist: The Cyberflâneur and Their Smartphone. Img Journal, 4(8), 106–125.