Check out the comments on the first post to see a list of blogs that we have pulled up for your perusal. You should all have permissions to post your own response, here on our public blog.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Uses of the Architectural Blog

If this seems confusing, it's probably because I'm not a very good blogger. One annoying thing about blogs is that they're chronological, so you should really read the first blog post before you read this one and then read the comments on that post where Michael and I listed a bunch of blog entries to read.

In addition to the questions we asked on the first post, I am also curious how blogs serve various architects, for example:

François Roche
Lebbeus Woods
Ron Rael
Liam Young

and how they differ or complement other books and texts from the same architects. We are hoping to contextualize the blog in relation to manifestos and monographs.

You should, of course, write your paper here as a blog entry. And please post other interesting blogs for us to look at.

1 comment:

  1. I think blogs are better suited for people with poor long term memories, like myself. I had an advisor once, and when I saw him after three months of summer vacation, I couldn't remember his name. Luckily, I was outside his office so I could peek at the name tag on his door. When I read a blog, I don't need any context. Most of the time, I don't need to know what was written yesterday or the day before. Like flash cards, I can peruse the random thoughts on a blog like “Tomorrow's Thoughts Today” any time I want to, in no particular order and for no particular reason. I don't really need to remember the first blog post in order to understand the latest.

    As a consequence, I would argue that blogs seldom make coherent arguments. Because blogs are like a collection of random thoughts, bloggers are not forced to sit down and work through all the content in order to form a thesis. In fact, there isn't even a defined set of content to speak of – it is an ever changing stream of conscious thought. Books, articles, papers, on the other hand, are confronted with contradictions that naturally arise from a defined set of material. The writer crafts an argument for resolving these contradictions, which is presented to us as a story.

    An analogy in music could be albums versus singles. Many musicians today prefer the single, while some still hold on to the idea of a defined set of songs which form an album. The belief is that the album is dead; people download MP3 singles and purchase digital singles on iTunes. I buy CDs still, but people laugh at me. Interestingly, when iTunes started offering albums, their sales took off. But I still bitch about the music industry and how I'm forced to buy 10 songs for 1 decent one. The reason why? because occasionally you find an album that makes a statement.

    Another analogy could be snacks versus dinner. Many people snack all day and hardly ever eat a meal. We eat whenever we want to; a bag of chips here, a banana there, a coffee break here, some candy there. Why not? It's easy and fast and it gets the job done. Unlike a meal, I don't have to sit down and dedicate 30 minutes to an hour. I don't have to eat several courses. I don't have to set the table. I don't have to wash the dishes. I think if we all snacked instead of eating meals, we could increase our work efficiency by at least 15%. Like the Generic City, it's just easier.

    What does this mean for architecture? I think perhaps blogs could be a blessing in disguise. Like the monograph, no one is trying to convince you of an argument. Instead, you're forced to form your own opinion from different posts across different blogs. It's a much more complex web of connections with much more potential. All that it requires is the patience to sort through all the garbage out there and a good memory (yes, I ended by contradicting my first sentence).