news stories i’m sick of and ones i long for…

what would you like to hear about?

A question prompted by Plinky made me think of how I am tired of the same old architectural rhetoric in the news. A new $200M museum here, a new concert hall here, and the latest skyscraper that’s bigger than yours is really getting old. Why does every magazine (architectural or not) have to feature something that I don’t have, don’t need, in a city I’ll never live, in a house I’ll never afford, with someone I’ll never look like driving a car I’ll never own?

Where is the story about how the new rural school design is helping students have a better learning environment? What about the part where the design gives back to the teachers too?

Where is the story of the small business owners in the small town who invested in design to make their new storefront capture the brand of their new coffee shop or diner without spending their life savings?

Where is the news story of the small architectural firm whose pro bono work for the church camp or non-profit group has helped them realize their long-lost dream to expand?

Is there a story about a rebuilding urban community that worked with local architects to design houses that respect the tradition of the neighborhood rather than the out-of-towners who injected their narcissistic expressions on those grateful just to have a house?

Where is the story about smart, practical, and affordably sustainable design for the average person?

And where is the story where the local arts community hired a local architect and a local contractor to add onto their one hundred year old historic property with a respectable but exciting new addition that fit within their modest budget?

Where are the stories where we hear from the people who use our architecture rather than the architects for a change? We know what the architects are thinking about themselves. What do the people think about us and the architecture we make?

Yes, these stories appear…occasionally as features in the back. When will news ever be real more often? What do you think?

news stories i’m sick of and ones i long for…

7 thoughts on “news stories i’m sick of and ones i long for…

  1. I agree that some times what makes the news these days makes me wonder about what exactly is newsworthiness. Hopefully, those small and often unnoticed features in the back of the paper might inspire writers to seek out and share more “personal” stories.

  2. Don’t see many of these types of stories in Architectural Record – Architect magazine is much better. Depends on the publication. I think one issue is that the work that gets in these magazines is the work that gets promoted. Period.
    Journalists rarely have time to track down a story – their inboxes are innundated by PR releases and promotional project spreads.
    Maybe the question is, why aren’t these kinds of projects being promoted? If you know of such a project, let me know, I’m sure we can get it in one of the magazines.
    I, like you, would love to read more of these stories. This is the reason I got into architecture in the 1st place (i.e. to change the world).

    1. You are right I presume when describing how magazines choose their work. I also believe architectural journals are not far from fashion magazines and newspapers. They choose what sells or what they believe will make them sell more copies. I still believe people enjoy reading about things that are not so far away from themselves.

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