CLOG : Unpublished
Publications—both physical and digital—receive a constant stream of press releases, project updates, and photographs from architects yearning for the validation of having their work published. But still, the vast majority of buildings go unexamined by the critical press. How many times have we seen the same signature project reviewed? How many worthy unknown projects must, by extension, never receive an appraisal?
There are any number of factors to account for this. It seems undeniable, for example, that certain building typologies and regions remain underrep- resented in the mainstream architectural press, and it is perhaps too easy to imagine that this stems from a widespread editorial bias. It would be a mistake to discount the impact of logistics, however. The constraints of time, staff sizes, travel costs, image rights, formatting and layout requirements, and access to information simply cannot be ignored by publishers, editors, and writers. Equally important is the imperative to sell, or at least pay heed to the perceived interests of the readership. Sometimes a building falls by the wayside due to mere coincidence—another project was just published with the same exterior material, the press release came in on the day an editor was out sick, the photographer only took landscape-oriented images, the PDF was corrupted.
At a moment when new forms of publication are emerging and disrupting traditional models—and the definition of what it even means for a building to "be published" is an open question—it is time to analyze what is being published, why it's being published, and to examine what is being left out of the conversation.