Theory and Criticism
Critics and criticism in architecture
The following is based on a group message I have received recently.

This week, Paul Goldberger, architectural critic for The New Yorker, has an article titled "ARTISTIC LICENSE: Two great new cultural centers open out of town."Cincinnati" The article argues that the new Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati by Zaha Hadid "works." Strkingly, he made this appraisal before the building even opened. He also praised the way it and Rudolph's Art and Architecture Building at Yale address the corner well.

This --again, opens the discussion for archnet members about the role of critics and architectural criticism? What is really expected from criticism in architecture: is it to produce personal judgments based on intuitive understanding of the building as a "Visual Product." or to raise the public awareness of the value of architecture? or a combination of both? or what...?

If any of the members is interested in reading the article, here is the link
Ashraf Salama
Critics and criticism in architecture
I am not qualified to add in any response to the topic you have raised Dr. Ashraf, and all I have is a mere comment: -
I've noticed that you regularly initiate important topics for the sake of exchanging discussion on them with other professional archnet members. However, participation is either very weak, meaningless, or non-existent. If, as a professional, you believe the reason for this to be the fact that other professionals aren't interested much in discussing such sensitive and relevant issues through websites such as this, then I suggest you go about organising symposiums and call for papers. Participation will surely be effective this way, then you can kindly go about the process of adding in the the contents of the papers submitted alongside the conclusions reached for other archnet members to read. This way it can be ensured that IT is still playing its role in architectural education (speaking generally).
If, however, the reason is other than that mentioned above, then I suggest that discussion can be switched to analyse and discuss those reasons to see if they make any sense, so as to finally reach feasible conclusions to which all can abide, regarding whether or not IT should participate in the exchange of knowledge of interest to architects as well as in the overall education of the architect.
Budoor Bukhari
Critics and criticism in architecture
What is the function of a critic and the criticism of architecture?
This is a very broad topic so I will try to break it down to some manageable units so as to make my response meaningful. First, the critic serves the purpose of clarifying issues that a particular building addresses. As such, she allows the public to digest the impact of a new building as it begins its new life within a site. In other words she contextualizes the building in terms of the historical, cultural, economic and social role the building plays within the community.
Second, the critic brings forth new insight into the process of the building's production , she may make us aware of technological innovations introduced, if any, or she may alert us of design issues resolved in the creation of the building. Perhaps she may have insight into the architect's artistic struggles, be it with city authorities, client needs or any other adversities she may have encountered. But most important, she produces new knowledge about the process of creating architecture. In doing so we learn more about ourselves, we are enriched by the insights and discoveries the critic shares with her readers. In short, the critic and criticism as a practice, functions as a conduit by which more knowledge is produced and circulated, much like the function of Archnet - to create knowledge about our environment, about our world. Now if the critic does a poor job, the market will not sustain her work and will be relegated to the dustbin anyway.
Rey Atienza
Critics and criticism in architecture
I believe on "constructive" critics, and also on evolution, so the rule of the critic is analises the architecture production and digests and reduce it into a speach that should help the contemporaneum architechts realise about their projects efects into a urban context. It is about an stranger sight into the architects prodution and this is very interesting. There isn't evolution without critic.
Jose Chou
Critics and criticism in architecture
Criticism in the New Yorker, which has a readership that is mostly non-architects, acts primarily to bring attention to these issues at all. What sort of thing do we want on a corner? What sort do we have on the corner? And mentioning buildings to the general public. Or explaining buildings to the general public who may walk by them and not understand why they look so different.
Architectural criticism within the profession and architectural criticism within the academy have different audiences and different goals.
I think that the public is becoming more interested in architecture and we should help them understand what is going on and why we love architecture.
Joy Knoblauch


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