Dezeen Wire: a panel of experts and an enthusiastic audience discussed the relationship between journalism and architecture at an event hosted last night by RIBA think tank Building Futures.
The debate put forward the motion: “This house believe the architectural profession has been let down by its press. Has the architectural media lost its backbone?”
Arguing for the motion, architect Will Alsop aserted that editors focus too much on style and there needs to be a dialogue between architects and journalists to ensure interesting projects makes it to press. Hugh Pearman, editor of the RIBA Journal and architecture critic at The Sunday Times, outlined his three disgraces of architectural journalism: elitist coverage, allowing architects to control the market and being influenced by advertisers. Deputy editor of the Architectural Review Will Hunter claimed that online media lacks depth of analysis and said that architecture has moved on while its press has stagnated.
Against the motion was Amanda Baillieu, executive editor of Building Design magazine, who stressed that journalists are not in the business of supporting the architecture profession and that online media has challenged the authority of the traditional press. Piers Gough of CZWG Architects explained the enjoyment architects take in the praise they receive from the press and accused periodicals of being "newsy," while deputy chair of the Design Council Paul Finch stated that architecture has become a luxury, is too introverted and has given away too much responsibility to other professions.
We’re happy to report that the motion was comprehensively defeated.
Have your say in our comments section below or see how the debate unfolded on the Building Futures Twitter stream.
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