“If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representation of your culture that you are a victim of it”
We all have our architectural idols. Foster, Hadid, Corbusier, Mies, Holl, Piano, Gehry, Koolhaas, etc.
We marvel at their creativity and wonder at their skills. We pore over their works in magazines, travel to see their buildings and gush over their drawings, details, material choices, etc.
What makes these “starchitects” special? Are they born with more skill than the rest of us? Are they more fortunate to have better projects than the rest of us? Are they simply better at the business of architecture than the rest of us? Or is their success a mix of opportunity, chance and “connections”?
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations.. the new needs friends.
Anton Ego, Ratatouille
Gone are the Kenneth Framptons & the Charles Jencks’. The new critique of architecture is happening in blogs, on forums and in webinars. We no longer have to wait for the epic tomes in complex, unintelligible jargon by hallowed and stratospheric critics to know the reactions to our buildings, or those by others. Everyone has an opinion, & now everyone has a way to voice it.