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I recently happened across a fairly old article about architectural critique (Why Don’t We Read About Architecture?), not by people like me that has studied the art of architecture, but by the layperson public.
“Buildings are everywhere,” writes Alexandra Lange, “large and small, ugly and beautiful, ambitious and dumb. We walk among them and live inside them but are largely passive dwellers in cities or towers, houses, open spaces, and shops we had no hand in creating.”
We live around and inside of architecture. Our cities are largely made up of buildings that define spaces. So why are most people so passive about it? Walking down the Auckland CBD one day with a friend, I commented on how one of the high rises near the waterfront was sleeker than the rest and elegant against the rest of the skyline. My friend said "ugh that's disgusting." To be honest, in many a situation I've heard that gut gag reflex.

Say for art criticism, you really don't really bump into art, especially the ones more open for layperson flak, unless you enter a gallery. But architecture is everywhere. You can't avoid it, yet there seems to be little appreciation for buildings, more importantly, good design and the effort that is put into it. The dreaded phrase in the architecture industry is a notified resource consent (in which everyone and their dog can comment about something they know nothing about, or give an isolated opinion against the greater good). Of course, this passivity can also act by allowing 'bad architecture' into the field - people just don't care.

What are your thoughts on the matter? I'll be inviting a few planner friends here to comment too.

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