Alexandra Lange | Essays

Now What? Or, Beware Panels

Last night after I got back from The Changing State of the Design Press: Now What? I wrote a long crabby post about how boring it was, and also tweeted to that effect. The panel, featuring Julie Iovine of Architect’s Newspaper, Robert Ivy of Architectural Record, John Hill of A Daily Dose of Architecture, and Michael Sorkin, of himself, was at the Center for Architecture. But a minute after I posted it, I took it down. Why subject you to the same feelings of restlessness and frustration?

The people on stage could not tell us what was next, nor did I expect them to. What I expected was an exchange of ideas about what could be next, a discussion of what was working for their publications or what they saw working in other parts of the design (really just architecture) press. Yes, some mourning for the death of print (let’s admit it, except in specialized form) is admissible. Yes, we should all be reading more long-form articles and hope an online forum for them can be created.

But, let’s praise some other people, people! Let’s not happy-talk about how Architectural Record is going to be better after the AIA throws its subscriptions to Architect (I read neither)! Let’s not have a panel on the design press without someone who understands the uses of social media (yes, Bob Ivy is on Twitter, but his v.v. low number of tweets marks him as an uneasy adopter). Julie Iovine had the good sense to admit what she didn’t know, but could have indicated what directions AN might consider. Should it even be in print? John Hill seemed unwilling to correct his less bloggy elders. The fact that it apparently took three years for the Center to organize such a panel should have tipped me off: it felt like a last stand rather than a new beginning.

Posted in: Architecture, Media

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