Yes it is true. I don’t know them anymore than they know me – yet.
It is true I have my favorite firms and I enjoy seeing and following their work despite my ongoing criticisms of the starchitect firms. I look for consistency and how they interpret different project types, sites, and other factors. I do appreciate the work of many well-known architects (of star status), but in recent years I find myself getting bored – much like I get bored with hearing the same song being played over and over again on the radio.
Nevertheless, I’ve recently discovered about myself that not recognizing the firm name causes me to look a bit harder at the architecture and judge it for its merits rather than make assumptions either way merely because I recognize the author. Besides satisfying our clients’ needs and improving the local environment, it’s all about the work right?
I think there is merit in getting published and I have nothing against getting published by the big dogs of architectural journals. They do seem to publish everything and anything from a few select well-known firms – despite the quality of the work. Yet there is something about turning a magazine page, seeing something striking or perhaps merely curious only to peek at the credits to see a name for the first time. Part of me thinks “who is that” and part of me goes “good for you.”
Here is an interesting polling question.
- Do you automatically look at the project credits BEFORE looking at the pictures or reading the text?
- Do you review the work, perhaps read the article and then look at the credits if the architect’s name hasn’t appeared somewhere prior to the end of the article?
- Is your opinion of the work (based on the carefully cropped images of the photographer) influenced by recognizing the name of the architect/firm?
- Would you be equally critical of work from a firm you recognize than a firm you’ve not been exposed to yet?
- Have you ever admired a project in a magazine only to have later visited it with disappointment?
I could go on about projects in my region, done by well-known architects that are mediocre compared to other, more well-known or higher profile projects done by the same firm. In fact, my opinion is our region is full of mediocre work from outside firms and wonderful work from local architects. Perhaps that’s another post – when I’m feeling exceptionally cranky. I don’t want to necessarily have a blog with a negative slant – just one that is honest and judging all of us by the same standard.
After all, it’s all about the work right?
I can’t make it to AIA Chicago Convention – but say hello to someone you’ve never met. They might be featured in the next magazine you pick up. Now you know them.
photos are from stock photo galleries on FreeImages.com – click on photo to see author (used under the Standard Restrictions)