This post is a species of what Mencken called “Criticism of Criticism of Criticism.” The Architects Newspaper has just published the latest bout of self-criticism. “What do architecture critics think of the state of architecture criticism today?” asks AN. So this post is criticism of criticism of criticism. AN asks a brief series of questions, few of which were answered by the architecture critics asked for comment by the editors.
They failed to contact me for my critical analysis. No surprise there. I would just tell them the truth, which they have no interest in hearing. The truth is that architecture critics never write about the fact that most people do not like most architects or their work. Architects realize this but only mention it on rare occasions, and then only with a complete lack of honesty. They treat the public’s disdain for their work as a feather in their caps. The problems of architecture today would not exist if buildings that people (not critics) could love were being designed and built today.
Mark Lamster, the architecture critic for the Dallas Morning News, writes:
The irony here is that the backlash to the era of ‘starchitecture’ (and I hate that term) has meant a certain vilification of and disregard for the discipline. So I think it’s important to celebrate quality architecture and to make clear how important it is to making places that can improve people’s lives every day.
Way to go out on a ledge, Mark!
Well, you can read AN’s collection of criticism of criticism by seven critics at the link above. It is all pretty lame (pun intended). I only wrote this post so that I could use the headline pioneered by Mencken. I hope that it fits in the WordPress headline space. Oh, the illustration was fun to do, too. It is a pair of critics from a book called Humorous Victorian Spot Illustrations with the Industrial Trust (“Superman”) Building spliced in.
Tip o’ the hat to Kristen Richards and ArchNewsNow for running such a funny piece from AN.