The Future of Architectural Criticism

Australian Design Review (ADR) recently asked me to comment on how the Internet has affected design journalism, and what the future might hold for architectural criticism. You can check out the full article here, or pick up the April/May issue of Architectural Review Australia.

Congrats to one of my favourite local firms TERROIR who owns the cover with their project Burnie Maker’s Workshop.

Below is an extract from the article which summarises who I think is tomorrows architectural critic and it is partly reason that I’m so excited and enthusiastic about the future of our profession; real people, talking about real issues, in real time.

“In contrast to the current condition, today’s public is tomorrow’s critic. While Architectural magazines and print journals present criticism from a singular frame of reference, blogs with their multivalent, comment-heavy and user-participatory framework; offer an unconventional way of communicating Architectural ideas in a way that is as flexible as buildings are grounded, as provisional as structures are permanent.

Online culture and blogs have handed the reins of criticism over to the public – diluting the ‘hyper-theorised’ and ‘building-specific’ criticism that has dominated for the latter part of the previous century. Architectural criticism, in the hands of the public will evolve both the perception and practice of Architecture, by producing a design culture that is more immediate, more diverse, more responsive, more public, and more criticised than ever before.”

Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG recently suggested that Architecture’s students today didn’t necessarily grow up on Le Corbusier; they grew up on Ghostbusters and Half-Life 2

I was far more concerned with BananaMan and Superted before I ever knew of Le Corbusier’s existence. Things larger that traditional concepts of Architecture like Cartoons, punk music, muscle cars, skateboarding and Pinky and the Brain continually influence my perception, practice and criticism of our profession.

I explain in the article “I didn’t set out to provide people with news and information, and I have no desire to compete with magazines or traditional media – I blog, rather, because I feel the desire to revolt, to find the obscure, to agitate, to be critical, to be self-critical, to expand and to question.”

Full Article Here. Narf!


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