We call it “destructoporn” (since 2007, according to Urban Dictionary) and it comes, unbidden, via digital media. Where did I see that Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s Folk Art Museum, just thirteen years old, was down to steel and rubble? The art critic Jerry Saltz’s Instagram. [...]
The dailiness, even hourliness, of social media makes it a perfect vehicle for documenting each thump of the wrecking ball, each crunch of the backhoe. Its visual slant is ideal for activism wrapped up in pictures. — newyorker.com
Analysis, rather than the promotion of starchitects, was her aim, and a prodigious amount of research underlies her early, punchy pronouncements as well as her late, magisterial style...Her death removes a passionate and particular voice from the shrinking ranks of full-time architecture critics, but also represents a loss of institutional memory for architecture culture...She didn’t offer compromise positions — The Nation
In the May 6th edition of magazine Alexandra Lange authored a paean, in which she explores the legacy of Ada Louise Huxtable. Ms. Lange identifies how Ada Louise Huxtable's life and career make the case for architecture criticism "as an essential beat for a metropolitan newspaper" as well as for...
The arena was always a Trojan horse: its stars (Jay-Z), its original starchitect (Frank Gehry), and its semi-public function (bringing pro basketball to Brooklyn) have been used to make the development of the Vanderbilt rail yard seem like a reward rather than an imposition. In 2009, Gehry left the project, adding his arena and tower designs to the long list of New York’s famous unrealized buildings. — newyorker.com
I do not think the arena’s architecture should relate better to the context. The immediate context is the developer Forest City Ratner’s two cheaply clad, faux-historicist malls across Atlantic Avenue. The larger context is the lowrise brownstone neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. To relate to the first would be depressing; to relate to the second, impossible. The real building is an exact analogue to the renderings of this site, which... blur and dematerialize the neighbors. — newyorker.com
We are rarely roused by the day-to-day, brick-by-brick additions that have the most power to change our environment. We know what we already like but not how to describe it, or how to change it, or how to change our minds. We need to learn how to read a building, an urban plan, a developer’s rendering, and to see where critique might make a difference.... We need more critics — citizen critics — equipped with the desire and the vocabulary to remake the city. — Places Journal
Places features an essay from Alexandra Lange's new book Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Lange takes on a classic text by Ada Louise Huxtable — a review of SOM’s 1967 Marine Midland Bank...
Jeanne Gang and Greg Lindsay suggested some ways of Designing a Fix for Housing, beginning with rethinking our historic commitment to detached, single-family homes and segregated Euclidean zoning. Louis Arleo agreed that we need to redesign suburbia but argued "however suburbia will never be improved until architects embrace the idea of a developers business model."
Anthony Carfello, analyzed Los Angeles media’s failings in their role as "the de facto voice" of AEG’s development plans for Farmers Field in Farmers Field: Bringing Football Back on a Need-to-Know Basis. Carfello contended "The existing biases, the assumptions in play...
As he has moved through the design professions, Hustwit has scaled up from a single typeface (Helvetica) through industrial design (Objectified) and now to cities. Each one has followed essentially the same structure, talking heads interspersed with images, one person and one idea leading to the next. No voiceover. No narrative. No critique. And not a lot of style. As Hustwit told Adam Harrison Levy, that’s the way he wants it. — observersroom.designobserver.com
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