When you study architecture, you are subjected to intense debate and criticism. The stakes are high because people actually have to live in your creations, the thinking goes. But when you leave school, this critical milieu disappears. Much of what you then see, read, or hear publicly about architecture is boosterism put out by PR departments and a press dependent on dollars coming from the very trade they review. Can you remember the last time you read a really critical article in a US architecture magazine?
So, it was refreshing when I stumbled across the blog written by Graham McKay, called Misfits' Architecture. Graham has been sitting in his own corner writing independent architectural criticism for 16 years. He analyzes specific buildings and architects, but he also writes about fundamental architectural issues and how they are or are not manifest across the world. This man knows how buildings are constructed and he obviously cares a lot about the integrity of the profession, because I'm pretty sure no one has paid him for his many well-written pieces. The name misfits is a misnomer because it implies discourse and criticism lie on the margin. But this type of reflection is essential to architecture. Here's his site.