Architecture Criticism: Why Should We Care?

Architecture Criticism: Why Should We Care?

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Architecture criticism: why should we care?

After Bingler’s and Pedersen’s December 2014 piece in the New York Times, entitled How to Rebuild Architecture, a few others have weighed in.

Critic Aaron Betsky lamented that the New York Times has abandoned “serious criticism,” with their “recent descent into know-nothing, cliché-ridden reviews of architecture,” which included a ding on the How to Rebuild Architecture article.

One of Zaha Hadid’s followers, Patrik Schumacher, blasted critics for “star bashing,” saying “The denunciation of architectural icons and stars is itself superficial and ignorant.”

Frank Gehry himself has also participated, saying that “98 per cent of everything that is built and designed today is pure s***.”
Admittedly, all persons noted so far are public figures of one sort or another, eager to grab readers’ attention. They might ratchet up the indignation here and there because, well, it sounds better.

More recently, architect and author Lance Hosey picked up the baton and addressed Betsky’s idea of “serious criticism” in architecture. With help from numerous other architecture critics, Hosey penned The 7 Lamps of Architecture Criticism for the Huffington Post. The title is a nod to the 1849 book, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, by English art critic John Ruskin. []


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