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Architecture: Architectural Journalism

This guide presents resources on various aspects of architecture including history, theory, design and technology.

Definition

In a prepared speech given at Butler University on November 12, 2003, Paul Goldberger is quoted as saying; “Architecture criticism is aesthetics and it is politics and it is sociology and it is culture…”

While the dictionaries do not define architectural criticism per se, the following entry from the GroveArt online database can easily be applied:

Art Criticism

Term that may be defined loosely as writing that evaluates art, although there is no universally agreed meaning. The difficulty in its definition arises from fundamentally antithetical usages. While on the one hand art criticism is understood as a historical practice, embracing such writers as Pliny and Giorgio Vasari and continuing to the present, on the other it represents a kind of writing that is potentially independent of historical conditions. There is still no reliable history of art criticism, and virtually no literature on its nature. Some philosophers deny that art criticism exists as such, and others say it subsumes art history. The disparity of views as to the concept’s nature makes appropriate separate discussions of the alternate definitions.

Subject Headings

When searching SUMMIT, the online catalog, try the following Library of Congress subject headings:

Architectural criticism
Architecture philosophy
Architecture, modern

Databases

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
Vendor: EBSCOhost

Description
: Index to articles in 2,000 periodicals published worldwide on archaeology, city planning, interior design, and historic preservation, as well as architecture. Coverage is from the 1930s (with selective coverage dating back to the 1860s) to the present.

Influential Writers

Past:

Jane Jacobs

Le Corbusier
Lewis Mumford

Frederick Law Olmsted- this central park designer was one of the founders of both Putnam’s Monthly and the Nation

John Ruskin

Montgomery Schuyler

Russell Sturgis

Giorgio Vasari

Frank Lloyd Wright

Modern/Contemporary:


Robert Campbell- Boston Globe, Architectural Record’s Critique

Martin Filler- formerly at the New Republic
Paul Goldberger – New Yorker (Skyline), formerly at the New York Times
Christopher Hawthorne- of the Los Angeles Times

Ada Louise Huxtable – former New York Times architecture critic

Blair Kamin- Chicago Tribune

Herbert Muschamp – formerly at the New York Times

Nicolai Ouroussoff- current New York Times critic

Michael Sorkin- writer, contributes to Architectural Record’s Critique Column

Allen Temko- recently deceased critic for the San Francisco Chronicle

Reference Sources

Encyclopedia of Architecture, Design, Engineering & Construction. Joseph Wilkes, editor. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1988.  See entries for:

"Architectural Press, U.S," vol.1, 266-294

"Criticism, architectural," vol. 2, 170-185 

 The Architecture Critic; A Survey of Newspaper Architecture Critics in America. New York: Columbia University, 2001.

Bender, Thomas, "Architecture and the Journalism of Ideas" Design Book Review: DBR no. 15, (fall 1988): 47-49

Morrone, Francis, "Do Architecture Critics Matter?" The New Criterion v.20. no. 8 (April 2002): 1-9

Ockman, Joan, "Current Criticism" The Architect's Newspaper issue 19 (November 16, 2005) 1-8

Newspapers

In addition to newspapers like the New York Times, newspapers contributing to architectural criticism include:
Newport News
Daily Press
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
San Francisco Chronicle
San Jose Mercury News Post-Gazette

Major Architectural Journals

Architectural Design (A.D.) – semi-monthly, theme based
Architectural Record – the longest running U.S. architecture journal, which began in 1891- building types emphasis
Architectural Review – the leading British architecture journal, which began publication in 1896
Casabella- leading Italian architecture journal
El Croquis- profiles comtemporary architects/firms
Domus- major Italian arts publication
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians- a scholarly quarterly publication devoted to history topics
Kenchiku to toshi = Architecture and urbanism: A + U.
Significant sources of criticism
AA Files
ANY
Architect’s Newspaper
Architect- the journal of the American institute of Architects
Assemblage
Azure
Dwell
Metropolis
Praxis: a journal of writing+ building
Surface
Wallpaper