Architecture comes not only with a visual experience but also a physical experience. Whenever a good work of architecture is appreciated, the greatest power of visualization is also appreciated. This appreciation, when translated into words, possesses the capability to reach thousands of people and thus creates an impression. Therefore, it becomes extremely important that this translation is portrayed accurately across all the platforms. This article discusses mainstream media covering architecture and it also tries to find out where these portrayals lack in terms of technical details and specifications.
The mainstream media covers most of the architectural news based on popularity and reader’s optimization. Also, famous buildings like historical monuments or the ones that are owned by the elite class or the ones with strong political backgrounds are covered by the mainstream media. That can be considered pretty much fair up to a certain extent as this phenomenon leads to the lack of depth in information and technical details. Various other factors like cultural, social, economic are highlighted which overshadow the architectural details of that particular project or topic. Now, it is high time that Architectural journalism should be an integral part of mainstream media that should be headed and run by architects and researchers themselves. This first-hand data should target the common people by providing accurate information on architecture, design, materials, concepts, and theories behind them.
“An Architectural Journalist is someone who not only has advanced architectural skills but also can interpret his design methodologies and process.”
Architectural Journalism is widely explored in recent times as the scope of reaching out to people has widened due to the impact of social media. With the availability of numerous digital platforms, it is easier for writers to target all the types of readers with a multi-disciplinary approach. The categorization includes design interpretation, perception analysis, Ideation, technical writing, research and working papers, documentation, in-depth research. At a global level, an architect is much more valued who possesses both skills i.e. designing as well as explaining the same through writing compared to a conventional architect.
A very famous Architectural Journalist Apurva Bose Dutta once said that Documenting one’s project is one thing; writing with flair and objectivity about them is another and this is what Architectural Journalism is all about. There should be an urge to write more than just a description or narration about the project. Discussions should be incorporated from one’s side to raise and sustain an opinion. The editorial voice should raise the aspects for a material, a trend in architecture, a movement or revolution in architecture, or innovation in the structure of a building. So, it is needless to say that buildings don’t have to be appreciated always but critically analyzed too. The purpose of architectural journalism should be on the lines of making a difference in and for the society which means that the criticism of a design can happen pre or post-construction. There should be a constant effort to acquaint everyone to understand the kind of architecture that is happening in the society which will increase the demand for a good design. This will not only make people more critically aware of analyzing the pros and cons of an existing building but also make an appropriate choice for a new design. Along with that, this subject will help in bringing forward the voice of common people, thus making architecture and design more accessible to them.
The scope of this profession seems wide because it is not only limited to buildings but it explores topics like materials, current trends, architectural photography, events, research, interviews, etc. These can be published at various levels with a different type of audience as a target user. These publications are not just limited to magazines and websites but it also includes trade magazines, academic magazines, open journals, or some specific topic related journals like landscape, green building, photography, sustainability, and construction. Recently blogging and architectural documentaries have gained tremendous popularity due to its ability to reach tons of people easily; without having to wait for months to get published. WordPress and YouTube are one such medium for the same. This draws our attention to the power of communication which reflects that writing is one of the most creative forms of communication. Hence, it should be included in architectural education that will form a base as well as provide exposure for future architectural journalists like us.
Hence, it is high time now that architects should completely collaborate with the mainstream media to portray a clear picture of today’s architectural world. This would not only benefit the society but also bring awareness for the generations to come. One should realize that architecture doesn’t stop at making buildings but it transforms into architectural writing, research, and education.