The underwater mortgages and overleveraged loans that underlie this latest great contraction result in significant part from valuing both residential and commercial buildings merely as investment vehicles rather than as complex and consequential things-in-the-world. And on this urgent issue, which places buildings at the very center of key political and economic debates, architecture critics have been mostly missing in action. — Places
Thomas Fisher dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, reviews the state of architectural criticism. Are the days of a professional critic who writes for a major newspaper over? Has architectural criticism been weakened by the globalization and commodification of the architectural profession? Dean Fisher goes on to argue that aspiring critics "can take at least three lessons from Chuck Close's nervy reinvention of portraiture". His suggestions then draw parallels to the work of three historically important critics: Lewis Mumford, Ada Louise Huxtable and Jane Jacobs. In the comments and discussion that follows John Thackara argues "The addition of two words would transform architecture criticism profoundly: 'and energy'."