Architecture is profoundly a visual design-oriented field. Information and projects are portrayed via drawings, concept diagrams, 3d models, renders, walkthroughs, and realistic photographic depictions. While the usage of visual graphics and deliverables is the core foundation of working in the profession of Architecture, one of the allied fields concerning Architectural Design in Architectural Journalism.
As Architecture Students and Professionals, we are taught to train our minds to think on a plethora of layers and areas of focus. Therefore, when someone graduates and starts off their career; an Architecture graduate has a variety of options and fields to specialize in and make their career in. Architectural Journalism is one such option, wherein instead of visuals; the predominant medium of work is through words via articles, essays, research papers, and at their greatest: through books.
Many renowned Architects have curated and published books, some as a series of complex texts; and some as a collage of visual graphics and words. Rem Koolhaas: the foremost name in the field of Architecture, has himself curated and collaborated on some of the most well-known texts in Architecture, such as Delirious New York, Junkspace and S, M, L, XL.
Firms and Architects into in-depth research in the field of Architecture also have authored texts that document the various approaches taken by them, highlighting their perspective and approach via the written medium. Rahul Mehrotra is perhaps one of the most known names in the Indian Architecture Fabric, to have authored essays, articles, and books such as The Kinetic City, and most recently: Working in Mumbai.
While Architectural Journalism is a shift from the otherwise graphical medium, into that of words; the impact that it can potentially have is unforeseen. Architectural Journalism as a field tends to have a finite target audience, as the main readers of the texts are usually Architects and Architecture Students. The community of Professionals and Students in the field of Architecture and Design is tight-knit and supportive. The opportunities and possibilities of influence are large.
While the field of Architectural Design is very rewarding and fulfilling due to the type of work involved, and the rigor induced in its projects; the field is known to be equally exhaustive and tiring. Times occur when one encounters creative blocks and has issues moving further on a project, time-crunches add further to the highly-stressed temperament and do not aid in healthy work production. Architectural Journalism can give a strong impact on motivating and making professionals and students aware of the paradigm-breaking work that is occurring throughout the world.
Architectural Journalism is the medium that connects everyone with the latest information on what is occurring the world over, in the field of Architecture and Design. While students at the beginning of their 5-year term are not so involved with reading, the pedagogical approaches undertaken by universities nudge them towards referring and reading many texts. The final design dissertation period in a students’ life does push them towards reading and going through articles, to derive inferences and data that shall aid them in adding layers of in-depth research towards their final design project.
Architectural Journalism provides the students with the possible justifications and terminologies needed to define their projects, it aids in relaying definitions and making students aware of the various concepts and terminologies that architects and designers inculcate in their works.
Given the fact that Architectural Journalism highlights the works of Architects in the written format, every piece of Architectural writing relays great emphasis on being descriptive to the greatest possible level, to communicate all possible information in the briefest method possible. In the age of digitization and post-industrialization, human attention spans are on a constant decline. While Architectural texts aspire to provide the necessary crux of all information, sometimes they tend to be beyond the wavelength of focus for the majority of the readers.
Therefore, as writers in the field of Architecture; one must aspire to keep their texts brief yet informative; on the lines of minimalism: one of the core principles and philosophies in Architecture.
The approach towards Architectural Journalism should be as pictorial as it is written. Given that architects are used to understanding information in the visual form, a purely or predominantly text-based approach has a possibility of working adversely in the favor of writers who want to garner the attention and focus of their readers and audiences.
Architecture Journalism as a field is emerging as a massive professional domain. It is allowing the Designers of the field to train and refine their writing skills, a minor but pivotal aspect in the profession of Architecture. Having adept writing skills is an important component that is reflective of the way an individual communicates their ideas and philosophies; it is one of the secondary mediums that will reflect an individual’s ability to respond to their audiences and clientele.
With the growing community of architectural writers and journalists, perhaps the next collective objective that these communities should aim at shall be that of spreading architectural awareness to the general masses, ones who are not professionals in the field. Once the road to achieve this objective is undertaken, architecture as a profession shall be far more recognized by the people of the world; and Architectural Journalists shall receive the credit for it.
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