#25 beautiful/ugly

The Strange Death of Architectural Criticism

Why the talk is inspiring?

The shifting cultural and media landscape that has transfigured architectural discourse over the last two decades continues to feed on itself, but certain things are clear. Architectural criticism has become increasingly atomised through the aegis of the internet, a ‘community without propinquity’ in which images reign supreme. Within this visual and sensory assault, architecture has become increasingly meaningless, commodified and dislocated, reduced to the status of an online flick-book. We are all architecture critics now. Olympus has been stormed. Within this still evolving context, what might criticism’s role be in illuminating discourse and igniting reflection in these perilously moribund and dysfunctional times?

The lecture will be held at MO museum (Pylimo g. 17, Vilnius). The start is at 20.00. The event is free.



Catherine Slessor

How the speaker is exceptional?

Catherine Slessor is a London based architecture writer, critic and former (and first female) editor of The Architectural Review, a contributor to Dezeen, Architects’ Journal and The Observer (UK). Catherine Slessor has an MA in Architectural History at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. She has also been a guest critic at the University of Edinburgh and Oxford Brookes University. In 2016, Catherine received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to architectural journalism.


The Strange Death of Architectural Criticism

Martin Pawley

Why the book is worth reading?

One of the most important and entertaining voices in British postwar architectural criticism, Martin Pawley studied architecture before embarking on a distinguished career as a writer, teacher, critic and broadcaster. Spanning his 40 year career, The Strange Death of Architectural Criticism begins with Pawley’s AA diploma thesis and goes on to include writings on contemporary design, ‘iconic’ buildings and the role of architectural criticism, as well as interviews with architects, such as Norman Foster, Buckminster Fuller and Zaha Hadid. By turns poignant, coruscating, controversial and humorous, this book is a reminder of how exhilarating and provocative architectural writing at its best can be.