RIBA Building Futures Debate - Has the Architectural Media Lost Its Backbone?

RIBA Building Futures Debate: Has the Architectural Media Lost Its Backbone?

Architectural criticism is the recognised critic and champion of the profession, but is it in danger of losing its way?

New media is steadily growing into the traditional critics' arena, with blogging and tweeting suggesting an alternative format for public criticism and debate. Are critics in the traditional sense necessary or have they been superseded by the more informal and autonomous tone of the encroaching blogosphere? Does the traditional architectural press merely reinforce the views of an inward looking profession - or can it still be considered a critical medium? Is this the natural evolution of the architectural journalist in 2011, and if so, does this pose a threat to an already unstable profession?

Furthermore, with publications continuing to place a higher emphasis upon advertising and aesthetics, many prioritise the visual and the technical over the more complex aspects of architecture; how does this affect their independence and does it challenge publications' autonomous spirit?

Arguing for the motion is Hugh Pearman, Editor of the RIBA Journal; Will Hunter, Deputy Editor of the Architectural Review and architect Will Alsop; arguing against the motion is The Guardian's Architecture Critic Jonathan Glancey; Building Design's Executive Editor Amanda Baillieu and architect Piers Gough of the practice CZWG.