Christopher Gray, wry architecture author/researcher, dies at age 66
Rooting himself less in a strictly academic tradition and more in an observed, on-the-street context, architecture author and researcher Christopher Gray catalogued what he considered to be beautiful and surprising for The New York Times from 1987 to 2014 in his "Streetscapes" column. He also... View full entry
A Friend in Deed: Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin discusses his rocky relationship with Donald Trump, on Archinect Sessions #86
Blair Kamin, Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, has had a tempestuous relationship with Donald Trump for years. As a developer working in Chicago, Trump's buildings have been critiqued by Kamin, and as often happens when Trump is criticized, he does not shy away... View full entry
Dissecting McMansion ugliness
The aptly named "McMansionhell" tumblr has taken the time to carefully note just what makes a McMansion an ugly, terrible, no good architectural atrocity. Skipping over frothy diatribe and going straight into meticulous point by point dissection, the tumblr notes that McMansions fail in four key... View full entry
Editor's Picks #445
At the begining of Apri, Nicholas Korody published 'The internship test or: why even become an architect at all?' For Jeremy Miller the takeway was "am clearly paying my intern too much, that must be why I am not a successful famous Architect...But Seriously, I can sort of see an unpaid... View full entry
Olafur Eliasson: "The vast majority of architects are just filling up our society with trash"
He seems hungry for a serious discussion on everything from the refugee crisis – “a really bad combination of European arrogance and North African ignorance” – to the state of contemporary architecture – “the vast majority of architects are just filling up our society with trash” – and has a habit of speaking about his art in overwhelmingly conceptual terms. “Are we consumers of space?” he asks himself at one point. “Or are we in fact producers of space?”
Related stories in the Archinect news:Olafur Eliasson to storm VersaillesOlafur Eliasson wins a Crystal Award for "improving the state of the world"Olafur Eliasson opens ship-themed pedestrian bridge in Copenhagenand in a way: Frank Gehry gives the crowd a piece of his mind (and his middle finger) View full entry
Archinect's round-up of the week's architectural critiques
What is the role of creative exploration in architecture? From the L.A. Times to The New Republic, this question is very much on critical minds. In a piece entitled "How to Make Architecture Human," Anna Wiener reviews Witold Rybczynski's latest collection of essays, Mysteries of the Mall, which... View full entry
The New LaGuardia Airport: Not Functional, Not Inspiring, Not an Icon
The published renderings that accompanied the announcement were not terribly reassuring, as they depicted a very long curved terminal with gangly tentacles raised over plane taxiways that hinted at torsos of praying mantises: an awkward rather than a graceful vault.
Related: A new LaGuardia is the "airport that New York deserves", says Gov. Cuomo View full entry
Archinect's critical round-up of BIG's Two World Trade Center Design
Taken out of its high-profile context, the BIG design for Two World Trade Center initially appears to be a graduate school placeholder: here are the initial seven blocks of program, with a light dusting of foliage on the exposed step-backs. The internet's critical reaction to the renderings... View full entry
'The Final Review: Negaters Gonna Negate'
The review is about speculation as much as evaluation. Critics are not enemies, and they don’t know everything. Admitting a level of uncertainty that necessarily occurs within design education completely changes how one imagines the review moment.
Editor's Picks #413
Senior editor Orhan Ayyüce published the first in a series of mini-interviews for a new feature Touching Base: In which he profiled Volkan Alkanoglu, founding principal of Volkan Alkanoglu | DESIGN LLC. It was a reminder for Donna Sink of how small the world is, as her "husband's company... View full entry
What makes "good" architecture criticism? These writers define the traits
What is 'serious criticism' in architecture? This is a vital topic, since architecture critics often shape public opinion as much as architects themselves do, if not more so.
— Huffington Post
Derived from John Ruskin's 1849 essay "The Seven Lamps of Architecture", architect Lance Hosey compiled a list of comments from the small group of architecture writers pictured above about what they believe are the defining characteristics of good architectural criticism and its role in today's... View full entry
Frank Gehry Is Right: 98% Of Architecture Today 'Has No Respect For Humanity'
The architect, who implicitly exempted himself from that 98%, might have been arrogant, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t right.
[...] many if not most buildings are the work of contractors, not architects, and that this has been and will likely always be the case. Unfortunately, architectural education and criticism tends to focus on important buildings at the expense of the common and ordinary.
Michael Kimmelman Reviews 1 World Trade Center
“It’s not so bad,” offered an architect who has a window facing the building.
Alas, it is.
Like the corporate campus and plaza it shares, 1 World Trade speaks volumes about political opportunism, outmoded thinking and upside-down urban priorities. It’s what happens when a commercial developer is pretty much handed the keys to the castle.
— The New York Times
Editor's Picks #391
In Screen/Print #26: an interview with Jessica Walsh, currently half of design firm Sagmeister & Walsh, was excerpted, from the 2nd issue of Intern Magazine (devoted to "intern culture" in the creative industries). Darkman was confused "Strange choice to interview the most hated... View full entry
Denver's Union Station is lacking diversity and local critic places the blame on the architecture
Let's start with the building itself, the actual architecture. Union Station is a neo-classical mix of styles — European styles. The symmetry, arched windows, ornate cornice and stacked, stone walls have their roots in the glory days of France, England, Greece and Rome, in empires that were nearly absent of ethnic minorities and who felt fully at ease invading, exploiting and actually enslaving the people of Africa, subcontinent Asia and South America.