The trend of architecture journaling has been in practice since the times of the Greeks and Romans. Oftentimes architecture journaling is closely linked with the aspects of criticisms in design and construction. The nature of journaling being closely linked with criticisms impacts design and architecture directly or indirectly. Criticism is therefore believed to shape the process of architecture and design.
History of Architecture Journalism | Architectural trends
Earlier accounts of architecture journaling date back to the time of Vitruvius, when he first published his book manual named De Architectura ( Ten Books on Architecture). The book survived the dark ages and thus became the basic document of architecture theory with multiple editions shaping the future of architecture. Another notable instance of architecture journaling is a direct contribution of Leon Battista Alberti in his book, On the Art of Building. Alberti being a man of arts and architecture saw through the importance of writing about architecture to appreciate it truly. The action of undergoing the depths of architecture contributed to a design that would directly be linked with society. Architecture would thus form an integral part of the people and their surroundings.
In the context of the modern world, Architecture Journalism is promoted by direct sources of media such as television, radio or newspapers. The coverage of such forms of media is vast and reaches a wider audience, thus allowing for public discourse in the design process. The limited viewpoint of critics and academia is brought into a wider perspective by the involvement of the public. One area of influence by architecture journalism is on conservation trends and practice; the popularisation of UNESCO heritage lists and their journaling has allowed the people and the nation as a whole to be more responsible towards the preservation of cultural emblems.
Refining the Journals
The irregular and unsystematic run of the journals could lead to an adverse effect on the architecture profession. Journals have the power to grasp the entirety of a community and influence its decision-making process. With the need to regulate Architecture Journalism, the prestigious American Journalism Prize, Pulitzer Prize has established a criticism category specifically dedicated to architecture and its writings. Since then, half a dozen newspaper architectural critics have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
Several nations have a system of journaling where national monuments and heritages are architecturally written and archived for future use. The system of having archives of architecture journals allows for a future to glance into a past framed with factual data. Regulations in architectural journaling allow for a stronger case study and literature review of monuments and heritages of a nation.
The recently developed GULF nations have had a significant impact due to architecture journaling. The investments in the building of structures are a direct result of architectural adverts in newspapers. The architecture had a direct impact on inviting foreign investments in mega projects. The glamour and the conceptual form of the buildings published in the newspapers would attract the eyes of investors who would in turn make the project into a reality. Similarly, the development of urban regions of Turkey in the last decade is said to be a result of architecture magazines popularizing sustainable designs.
On a smaller scale, an individual is also affected by Architecture Journalism. The basic human tendency to mimic the things in trend has allowed people to commission designs one would normally not think of. A trend of exchanging design ideas that aren’t limited to designers and architects has been established. Although, the amenities of the fast trends are overlooked which brings in an unsustainable and ambitious practice.
Commercial journals reach their way to the public eye and help with the indirect decision-making of several design processes. On the other hand, systematic academic architecture journals inspire creativity and motivation among students. Several magazines such as Architectural Digest, Casa Vague and Domus have a great public reach but they fail to reach the hands of the flail and poor. Academic Journals primarily focus on making the profession of architecture and its practice more standard and regulated.
The documentation of the thesis and design projects of students allows for an accessible literature review. One could always go through the journals and understand the emotions of an architect and correct any elements if necessary. The ease of studying past projects makes the profession of architecture more reliable and efficient.
Impact on Public | Architectural trends
A close observation of the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal sheds light on the importance of Architecture Journalism. The devastation of National Heritages and buildings brought about sorrow in the lives of the Nepalese. Journaling the records of the devastation was the primary source of sharing grief in such tiring times; later, this sentiment would be turned into a proprietary brand of unity. Journalism led to the built masses being renovated at a rapid pace.
Similarly, the need to approach sustainable architecture has been promoted by architecture journalism. The popularity of green roofs and balconies has made people knowingly or unknowingly adopt sustainable measures thus adapting for a better future. The public is just as affected by architecture journaling as much as architecture is affected by public opinions. Apart from words and futile writings, the photographs used in architecture journals carry a deeper message and meaning. In times of crisis, a simple standing building from one’s hometown could relieve the emotional burden.
The rising popularity of low-cost housing is also an impact on architecture journaling. Underdeveloped countries have embraced mud and earth architecture with the feeling of pride as magazines and papers endorse such sustainable works. Internet Journals and online magazines similarly influence the online audience thus reshaping the world of architecture and the people living in it.
Al Asad, M., & Musa, M. (2005). ARCHITECTURAL CRITICISM AND JOURNALISM: GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES Proceedings of an International Seminar organised by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in association with the Kuwait Society of Engineers 6-7 December 2005, Kuwait EDITED BY MOHAMMAD AL-ASAD WITH MAJD MUSA UMBERTO ALLEMANDI & C. for Aga Khan Award for Architecture. [online] Available at:https://s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/media.archnet.org/system/publications/contents/5283/original/DPC2021.pdf
[Accessed May 4, 2023]
Bhattacherjee, S. (2021, January 11). A brief history of architectural journalism. RTF | Rethinking the Future. [online] Available at:https://www.re-thinkingthefuture.com/2021/01/11/a2801-a-brief-history-of-architectural-journalism/
[Accessed May 4, 2023]