Bakkegard School by CEBRA
It is a debate that has raged for decades among architects and architectural journalists alike: How can words encapsulate the intricacies of the built environment without becoming stuck in a quagmire of esoteric soundbites and pretentious clichés? Writing for Architectural Record, renowned critic Robert Campbell coined the word “ArchiSpeak,” a compound word that has come to define the obscure and alienating language that architects are frequently accused of using when describing their work to clients and the wider public.
Thankfully, Phaidon’s book 10x10_3 — an expansive volume on emerging architecture firms by 10 preeminent writers — goes to show that it is in fact possible to succinctly write about buildings and their designers while remaining engaging to those outside the realm of architectural design. Exploring the texts by this distinguished lineup of journalists, editors, curators and architects, certain stylistic traits and linguistic devices can be picked out that serve as a guide to how good architectural writing can emerge.
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