Jill Fehrenbacher

THE STATE OF ARCHITECTURAL JOURNALISM TODAY

by , 05/05/06
filed under: Announcements, Architecture

suburb

Our friend Geoff Manaugh has just posted an impassioned, ingenius essay over on BLDGBLOG about the absurdly introverted state of architectural journalism today. If you’ve ever had your eyes glaze over within seconds of flipping through a copy of Architectural Review, or searched high and low to find an architecture magazine that covers real life , day-to-day architecture concerns such as green roofs or your local Walmart, than you must read this:Architectural Criticism >

I must say that the comments about Gropius-loving Columbia grad students hit a little close to home, but I’ll forgive Geoff these particular details because his point is so astute, and so crucial to the state of architectural journalism today:

You can talk about Fumihiko Maki instead of, say, Half-Life, or Doom, or super-garages, but if you start citing Le Corbusier, or arguing about whether something is truly “parametric,” then you shouldn’t be surprised if anyone who’s not a grad student, studying with one of your friends at Columbia, puts the article down, gets in a car � and drives to the mall, riding that knotwork of self-intersecting crosstown flyovers and neo-Roman car parks that most architecture critics are too busy to consider analyzing. All along, your non-Adorno-reading former subscriber will be interacting with, experiencing, and probably complaining about architecture � but you’ve missed a perfect chance to join in.

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6 Comments

  1. missmfa July 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I’ve decided to take up architectural journalism as a hobby because I love writing and I love architecture. So in my humble opinion, I think the first step towards a career in architectural journalism is to simply start writing about whatever moves you in the broad field of architecture.

  2. Lawrence August 31, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Hello everybody , Architectural Journalism is hardly practise in West Africa where i come from and am interested in it as a career but i need a guidance

  3. ansalarkee June 7, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I am also deeply interested in Architectural Journalism as a career. First i hav to do this topic as my dissertation .Will someone please guide me

  4. iqtedar March 24, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Hello Everybody

    I am deeply interested in Architectural Journalism as a career. Will someone please guide me.

    Waiting

    Iqtedar

  5. Dean R. May 8, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Jill,
    I’ve enjoyed excellent industrial design and innovative architecture my entire adult life. I’m trained as an engineer, so I can read (OK, full disclosure, I’ve also occasionally caught myself writing…) turgid prose. However, even my eyes quickly glaze over when I crack an architectural review or article where somebody is pontificating on some weighty architectural subject. Usually, it uses seventeen big words where one small one will do, and the style is either earnest to the point of pain, or else so “hipper than thou” that it makes me gag. Whatever happended to clear, expository prose, designed to share thoughts and facilitate a “meeting of the minds” between writer and reader? This criticism, while especially valid for architecture, also permeates other hip popular subject areas, like “Wired” or “Fast Company”. Hopefully, continuing to illustrate these shortcomings or challenges also provides some impetus for improvement .

    Keep up the great work on the Site!
    Dean

  6. Richie Kessler May 8, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Dear Jill,

    What’s wrong with Architectural Journalism is that too many people spend too much time reading it, instead of creating the next wave of great stuff. The challenge right now is not creating the next Guggenheim Bilbao testament to monumental Ego project, or reading about it… but for young talented architects to solve the challenge of creating a super low cost ‘kit of parts’ building system that enables ‘just folks’ to realize the dream of Frank Lloyd Wrights ‘Usonian Houses’ in the present day. Finding a way to utilize off the shelf industrial components with minimal customization could enable a whole new system of home building to be realized. And THAT would be News worth reading about !

    This will happen soon enough, with or without the participation of ‘Architects’. So the profession may as well get out in front of this experience and lead the way. The Pliny Fisk III ‘GroHome’ seems like a good start conceptwise. See enclosed:

    http://www.ecoretrosystems.com/grohome.html

    http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/popup_image.php?image_id=5363&table_bgcolor=e4e4e4&width=500&height=500

    I really enjoy inhabitat. Keep up the great work please.

    All the best,

    Richie Kessler

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