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Exuberant and bold, with crisp, fresh, well designed format,
This review is from: Exuberance: New Virtuosity in Contemporary Architecture (Architectural Design) (Paperback)
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It was a bold move to launch the redesign of octogenarian Architectural Design magazine with an issue mostly focussing on virtual and, as the cover describes it, "exuberant" designs. As editor Helen Castle perceptively puts it in the editorial, this is a challenging issue that might split the readership but it's true to the spirit of what architecture should strive for, in that it should make you think and open your mind to new spatial and thematic possibilities.
Not being an architect myself, I'll readily admit that for the first half of the issue I spent more time viewing the pictures and captions than reading the articles, but the further towards the end of the issue the more interesting and relevant to me the articles became. I point out "Biodiversity targets as the basis for green design" as being an exceptionally excellent article. That's not to say that the first half of the magazine was not without merit to me. I found some designs, especially those by Jisuk Lee and Steven Ma, inspirational. Some others I hated, but then again these are mostly desktop studies anyway so I'm not likely to walk into a church with body effigies hanging from the ceiling. Every profession has its tormented souls I suppose, but that guy's in need of therapy.
Not all the articles courted my disinterest; I found the ideas about sculpting a building's form based upon environmental factors intriguing. But I also read enough to see that the Editor had made a lamentable oversight - if you're talking about virtual architecture it's sloppy thinking not to include any examples of building design from science fiction and computer game worlds. Those designs I liked so much? Original designs perhaps, but far from original concepts.
My last comment has to be on the redesign of the format. I don't know what it looked like before, but as someone who used to work at a magazine that went through a redesign I do have to give some praise to the new look, as it is crisp, fresh, interesting, and it makes me want to keep picking it up again.