Monday, December 29, 2008

Brahms and List



Forgive the rubbish pun and for going all list based but here, in the absence of any other inspiration amidst all the social drinking and family bickering of christmas, are my favourite blogs (architecture or otherwise) of 2008. There are many others that I've enjoyed reading which aren't included, either because they have stopped posting altogether (The Impostume) or simply gone a bit quiet (Kosmograd, Candyland) or because I have only just started reading them (Loudpaper) but here we go......

Sit Down Man You're A Bloody Tragedy. Owen Hatherley's blog is the one I read the most consistently. The writing is always elegant but that isn't the best thing about it. Perhaps because he's neither an architect nor a 'proper' architecture critic Sit Down Man remains unaffected by conventional architectural wisdom. He has admirably dubious taste, being a fan of such unloved brutalist behemoths as Owen Luder's Tricorn Centre. Somebody has to be and I mean that most sincerely. As well as architecture, he writes well about pop and politics. Brutalism, techno and The smiths. What's not to like?

Things. A consistently fascinating site that is also an invaluable source of links to just about anything tangentially connected to design from Lego to celebrity cribs to (suprisingly often) the early 1990's shoegazing scene. Unlike most blogs Things is also incredibly restrained and disciplined in its format, regularly posting two or three times a week in a flannel-free style that draws out connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena. Totally admirable.

Pruned. A beautifully put together blog that ruminates at length on landscape issues with a particuarly strong ecological element. Fascinated with disappearing landscapes and the disastrous effects of climate change, Pruned is hugely enjoyable despite its occasionally apocalyptic subject matter.

I Like. A total joy, I Like features design, packaging, places, toys, typography and occasionally music collated with a sharp aesthetic sensibility. Also, as it turns out, a useful source for christmas presents. Stylishly laid out and with beautifuly photography, more of which is on I Like's flickr site. It also has a sister site called Nothing to See Here where Anne writes about the kind of everyday places not normally considered worthy of our attention including power stations and Poundbury.

Aloof From Inspiration. Brilliant recent posts on The Smiths and, in her previous Fan Girl blog incarnation, the wonderful Triffids. Emmy Hennings even manages to make vegimite interesting.

A456. A relatively recent discovery but exactly what an architecture blog should if you ask me. Recently featured long and in depth posts about landscape in Westerns, Madison Avenue chic in Mad Men and a fabulous recent piece on Kraftwerk videos and modernist space.

Blissblog. The first blog I read back when dinosaurs roamed the earth listening to pirate jungle stations. Blissblog's author Simon Reynolds is one of the sharpest and, of late, most perverse (Pubfunk?) music writers around. He writes with a mixture of studious precision and rapturous abandon about anything from 'ardkore to MBV to Ian Dury, thus managing to avoid like the plague any kind of critical consensus.

Entschwindet und Vergeht. Doesn't post that often but when it does E&V is wonderfully acute and enjoyably vitriolic. Wrote a fabulous post on brutalist tendencies within Zaha Hadid's work, a scathing attack on Make's Nottingham campus and also has a nice line on high tech.

The Sesquipedalist. Has been gone for a while but appears to be back. The central conceit of this blog is to look at articles and media representations of architecture rather than architecture itself. The author delves into past publications including old copies of AD and the Prince of Wales Institute's Perspectives magazine to shed a suprisingly illuminating light on contemporary preoccupations.

Architecture In Berlin. I love this blog partly because I lived in Berlin for a while some years ago and remember many of the schemes that AIB writes about. But it is also because he writes about them with an open minded enthusiam, wrestling with liking unfashionable and often beyond the pale Post Modernism while giving a sober judgement on the early work of current stars of architecture such as Rem Koolhaas and Peter Eisenman.

Most Sadly Missed

Part IV. The blog that got me blogging and not only because the late Sir Norman Blogster once suggested that FAT's Islington Square housing should have won the Stirling Prize (although that Justify Fullhelped). Part IV seemed to suffer a terminal meltdown sometime over the summer which is a tremendous shame as it provided an acerbic and astute critical commentary on mainstream British architecture, a kind of alternative Building Design.

6 comments:

joshua said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anne said...

Thank you Charles. I'm delighted to make the list and to be in such good company. All the best for 2009.

enrique said...

Delighted to make the list! Thanks so much! I look forward to more postings on your site in 2009.

architectureinberlin said...

Also chuffed to make the list! Has given me the energy to get blogging again in this cold, dim January...

Jim

Charles Holland said...

Thanks all, happy new year.

a_ said...

Oh, thank you. I am honoured to have won myself a place on your list. If I wasn't so lazy and averse to list-making, I can assure you that I would return the compliment. Now, back to my jar of Vegemite...