So, You Want to be a Critic?

Norman Weinstein reviews Alexandra Lange's new book on "Writing About Architecture", and finds a miraculous achievement.
February 5, 2012, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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In a time in which the number of full-time architecture critics writing for general audiences in the pages of metropolitan newspapers is ever dwindling, one might ask who the intended audience, and purpose, of such a book may be.

According to Weinstein, "Where Lange appears to go with her book is in the direction of architecture critic as designer's ongoing mentor, a second discerning eye. At their best, architecture critics ask necessary questions of architects that colleagues and friends dare not ask, having too much to lose in potentially embarrassing confrontations."

Unfortunately, for the hundreds of amateur critics out there crafting thoughtful essays on enumerable blogs, Weinstein surmises that, "unlike architects who can anticipate an economic upturn, the rise of the Internet has guaranteed that future architecture critics, now informal groups of hundreds crafting blogs, will earn nothing for their labor in any economic climate."

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