The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture, and Design  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture, and Design

ISBN 9781138189232
Published August 29, 2018 by Routledge
464 Pages - 80 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture, and Design presents an in-depth exploration of criticism and criticality in theory and practice across the disciplines of art, architecture, and design. Professional criticism is a vital part of understanding the cultural significance of designed objects and environments that we engage with on a daily basis, yet there is evidence to show that this practice is changing. This edited volume investigates how practitioners, researchers, educators, and professionals engage with, think about, and value the practice of critique. With contributions from a multi-disciplinary authorship from nine countries - the UK, USA, Australia, India, Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, and Denmark - this companion provides a wide range of leading perspectives evaluating the landscape of criticality and how it is being shaped by technological and social advances. Illustrated with over 60 black and white images and structured into five sections, The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture, and Design is a comprehensive volume for researchers, educators, and students exploring the changing role of criticism through interdisciplinary perspectives.

Table of Contents

Part I

1. Criticality; or woe is me, what is it good for!

Chris Brisbin and Myra Thiessen

Part II

2. You, me, I, or we: criticality through situated creative practice/s

Chris Brisbin and Myra Thiessen

3. Crits, consensus, and criticality: making artists in the contemporary art school

Michael Newall

4. Memories bind us together: staging dementia

Russell Fewster

5. Curatorial practice as a critical agent in urban contexts

Signe Brink Wehl

6. How to be a good witness: the architecture curator

Sam Spurr and David Burns

7. Deviant theory

Gavin Perin

8. An outline politics of the critical

Tony Fry

9. Configuring critique (or ‘the art of not being governed quite so much’)

Jane Rendell

Part III

10. Looks aren’t everything, except when they are: the critical aesthetics of un-critical and post-critical artefacts

Chris Brisbin and Myra Thiessen

11. The After Critical

Thomas Forget and Mark Thorsby

12. On architecture’s metacriticality

José Araguez

13. Horse horse tiger tiger: the critical functioning of Chinese copying and assemblage aesthetics

Chris Brisbin

14. A Marxist critique of iconic architecture

Simone Brott

15. Performance-critical architecture

Sang Lee

16. Ungraspable criticality: surface in architecture

Anuradha Chatterjee

17. Reading resonance: post factum documentation as creative criticism

Marian Macken

Part IV

18. Don’t take this the wrong way, but … : the changing nature of media, medium, and message in art, architecture, and design criticism

Chris Brisbin and Myra Thiessen

19. The landscape of practices: decolonizing landscape architecture

Julian Raxworthy

20. Of neon, road signs, and head shapes: a case for generative criticism

Peter A. Hall

21. Best Made Re Made: critical interventions in the online marketplace

Rebekah Modrak

22. Professional reflection and visual arguments for patients: is graphic design really a critical practice?

Karel van der Waarde

23. But, it won an award: a look at communication design ‘excellence’

Myra Thiessen and Veronika Kelly

24. On the expert and the amateur in online architectural commentary

Naomi Stead

25. Insta-critique: critical practices in the moment of social media

Tania Davidge

Part V

26. Less woe, more wow! Shifting disciplinary viewpoints to make a critical cultural difference …

Chris Brisbin and Myra Thiessen

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Chris Brisbin is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture History, Theory, and Design at the University of South Australia and is Program Director of undergraduate and postgraduate coursework studies in Architecture in the School of Art, Architecture and Design. He holds a PhD from The University of Queensland, Australia. His research interests focus on the critical functioning of vernacular and contemporary architecture across the Australasian region.

Myra Thiessen is a Lecturer in Communication Design at the University of South Australia and is Program Director of Honours studies across the School of Art, Architecture and Design. She has a PhD in Typography and Graphic Communication from the University of Reading, UK. Her research interests focus on design for reading and how theory and research can inform and improve design practice.


"This is an exceptionally carefully assembled book. Its editors have a well-defined purpose: they want to show how design can look to architecture and fine art for models of critical practice, and how architects and artists can see how they might learn from the ways design is socially contextualized. Criticism inhabits this book in Protean fashion: as a profession, an historical artifact, a philosophic position, a hope, a form of experimental writing, a family of theories, a material practice, and above all as conversation and a sense of community."

James Elkins, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, USA


"‘Like,’ Facebook’s ubiquitous and reflexive sign of thumbs up affirmation, is as close as many people get to a critical discourse in the age of the Internet. So, it is timely, and critical (in all meanings of the word), that The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture, and Design offers readers a compelling array of essays on its topic. The book’s organizing principle – considering criticality ‘of,’ ‘through,’ and ‘in’ – considers the roles of artifacts, the creative process, disciplinarity, media, historical precedent, theoretical basis and social, economic and political contexts. Informed, thoughtful criticism of the built environment and its implications, and of the interwoven systems it resides in, is necessary now more than ever. The Routledge Companion to Criticality in Art, Architecture, and Design will help scholars, faculty and students learn about criticality, and more importantly, to develop their own critical voices."

Steven McCarthy, University of Minnesota, USA