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The 6 Architects Who Have Won MacArthur "Genius" Grants

12:20 - 22 September, 2016
The 6 Architects Who Have Won MacArthur "Genius" Grants, Blur Building. Exposition Pavilion: Swiss Expo, Yverdon-Les-Bains, 2002. Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Blur Building. Exposition Pavilion: Swiss Expo, Yverdon-Les-Bains, 2002. Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image © Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Today, the MacArthur Foundation announced the 23 recipients of their 2016 MacArthur Fellowship Grants, which are awarded annually “to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.” Each fellowship comes with a stipend of $625,000 for the recipients to use for individual pursuits, paid out in equal quarterly installments over a five year period. Fellows are selected based on 3 criteria: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

This year’s fellows include artists, playwrights, geobiologists, poets, jewelrymakers, novelists and historians, but, for the fifth straight year, no architects. In the program’s 36 year history, just 6 recipients have come from architecture-related fields.

Ada Louise Huxtable: “A Look at the Kennedy Center”

00:00 - 4 January, 2015
Ada Louise Huxtable: “A Look at the Kennedy Center”, Kennedy Center. Image via Wikipedia
Kennedy Center. Image via Wikipedia

Architecture critic Alexandra Lange recently stumbled upon “On Architecture” - an Audible.com collection of over 16 hours of Ada Louise Huxtable’s best writings from the New York Times, New York Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal and more. Displeased with the narration, Lange has taken it upon herself to read Huxtable’s 1971 New York Times critique “A Look at the Kennedy Center” in honor of its “many famous witticisms." Give it a listen, here.

AR Issues: Who Needs Architecture Critics?

00:00 - 12 September, 2014
AR Issues: Who Needs Architecture Critics?, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine's monthly editions. In this post, we take you back to AR's June 2014 issue, which examines the state of architectural criticism in our age of online media and ever-present PR. Here, AR Editor Catherine Slessor argues that "more than ever, architecture is in need of provocative, engaging and entertaining critics."

Ambrose Bierce, the great 19th-century satirist and author of the The Devil’s Dictionary, once defined a critic as ‘a person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him’. Critics occupy a curiously parasitical position in the modern cultural milieu, and an architecture critic perhaps especially so. But in an age when architects can easily find obliging PR minions to dispense their gospel and biddable publishers to churn out infinite, anodyne oeuvres complètes, who still needs critics and criticism?

A Tribute to Ada Louise Huxtable

00:00 - 9 June, 2013
A Tribute to Ada Louise Huxtable, Ada Louise Huxtable, photographed in the 1960s by her husband, L. Garth Huxtable. Image via Hyperallergic.
Ada Louise Huxtable, photographed in the 1960s by her husband, L. Garth Huxtable. Image via Hyperallergic.

“Even though I wished for her attention, I was scared of it.”

The Culture of Landmarks Preservation

00:00 - 30 April, 2013
The Culture of Landmarks Preservation, Courtesy of Time, Inc. via the Frank Lloyd Wright News Blog
Courtesy of Time, Inc. via the Frank Lloyd Wright News Blog

Ada Louise Huxtable was a renowned architecture critic who started at The New York Times in 1963.  Her probing articles championed the preservation of buildings regarded as examples of historic design still imperative to the life of the city. Her arguments were leveraged by research and an in-depth understanding of architecture as an ever-relevant art form ("the art we cannot afford to ignore").  Alexandra Lange of The Nation points to the connection between Ada Louise Huxtable's writing and its influence on the culture of preservation that eventually resulted in the establishment of the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965. 

More after the break.

Architects of the 21st Century: Speak Up, Speak Out

00:00 - 27 February, 2013

"Take Five: A Titan of Architectrual Criticism has Died, but Architects are Best Prepared to Carry on the Conversation" was originally published in AIArchitect.

In a stirring call-to-action written for AIArchitect, Robert Ivy, FAIA and AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer, reflects on the state of architecture criticism today. He recognizes that the late, great Ada Louise Huxtable was unquestionably the best critic of our time. However, the time of the singular architectural voice has passed; in the 21st century, and with the rise of the Internet, we have all become architectural critics - architects, informed citizens, and, often most vociferously, not so informed citizens. In this world of critical noise, Ivy proposes that the architect must step up to take on the role of architecture critic... and advocate. 

Read Ivy's stirring article in full, after the break...

Pioneering architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable has died at 91

19:35 - 7 January, 2013
A portrait of architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable in 1986. Via the WSJ
A portrait of architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable in 1986. Via the WSJ

Ada Louise Huxtable (1921-2013), known as “the dean of American architectural criticism”, has passed away at the age of 91 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. Winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Huxtable began her legendary career when she was appointed as The New York Times’ first architecture critic in 1963. Her sharp mind and straightforward critiques paved the way for contemporary architectural journalism and called for public attention to the significance of architecture.