REVIEW ARCHITECTURE is an online journal of architecture books updated weekly
a meaningful dream...
I first had the idea of starting a website such as REVIEW ARCHITECTURE around 2014 while I was working in Berlin at Barkow Leibinger Architekten. I remember that at that time I had no place of discussion to debate and exchange ideas about architecture and whichever book I was trying to finish; no outlet to discuss with the world what I was learning. I could write a facebook post but I knew that 99% of people would ignore it. I also realized that whenever I wanted to find out about a book I would have to go through other websites such as Amazon and read reviews there, whenever available, these reviews were often not so attentive and not so detailed on their verdicts.
I thought there must be a website that puts together many reviews for people to read one after the other, and to not have to look for every book individually, to my surprise there wasn't any I could find; no one had taken the titanic task of reading everything and report about it. Perhaps this is due to the fact that writers and theorists that read plenty use that knowledge to write their own books, there are indeed many magazines that have their own specific interests, and there are of course many conferences around the world that publish their proceedings on a yearly basis (i.e. ACADIA, eCAADe) yet there is not one place where books and publications would be discussed and appreciated. I had to put myself in a corner with only one escape: I would read all the books and write a review about each and every one.
Long-term goals are very difficult for a reason, their rewards are substantially greater, this would not be an easy task for a person with low grit levels and a true procrastinator. I had to create it myself but how? I don't even consider myself a very knowledgeable person and English is not even my first language. Architecture writing is quite specific. It requires a huge deal of arcane knowledge and uses obscure references that often feel remote, even dull and so I thought of at least creating something informative and entertaining. Something that would create a spark in people and make them become interested in reading and find about new publications, my dream would be to foster more educated opinions and become an erudite in the process. And that in a nutshell is my life's intellectual mission. It is 2018 and I now work in the dutch architecture office UNStudio located in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.
In order to continue this passion project I will look out my window to an often overcast sky and review an architecture book every week to continue this dream.
So welcome, welcome to the dream of only one person.
Review Architecture is an online catalog of informative essays about architecture books. On a weekly basis, Review Architecture extracts the value of a given publication, presenting a detailed summary to the reader. Aiming at engaging in a wider conversation about a specific publication and its author, his or her values and most engaging points of view, as well as his/her intellectual contributions to the topic and specific ideology, career path, and built work. Review Architecture aims at finding the best architecture books and displaying in full length their most potent ideas. Politics, activism, construction, parametric design; these are all topics engaged cross-disciplinarily as avenues for the exchange of knowledge. Review Architecture is a way of paying respect to the dedication of those researchers, writers and editors that dedicate their lives diligently pursuing deep knowledge in architecture on the most disruptive of mediums: the publication and distribution of books. Review Architecture is a delamination exercise, an intellectual discovery of worthwhile ideas in architectural publications.
Comments? Suggestions? anything, please let me know! I would love to hear from you.