Just as architecture precedes architectural writing, critical writing cannot exist without a critical architecture that feeds it and stimulates it. Critical attitudes depend on a certain critical mass. The essence of any critical attitude is that it reaches the audience. Critical voices need to be heard to possibly have an impact. That is why in places where critics are a singularity, their isolated voices have little or no impact.
Besides critical mass, what is required is a critical framework, a worldview or ideology. Every critical position is at least implicitly connected to ideology. The apparent absence of firm ideological stances in this post-postmodern era is one of the explanations for the lack of a strong critical tradition today.
This issue of SAJ revolves around a variety of interpretations of notions linked to the adjective critical and the noun criticism. All contributions explore the problems, pitfalls and possibilities of developing critical attitudes, critical practices, critical discourses, and critical projects in relation to architecture. There are four focal points: critical theory, critical history, critical criticism and critical architecture.
[Hans Ibelings, guest editor]
CONTINGENCY OF AN ARCHITECTURAL CRITICAL APPROACH
WEST(ERN URBANISM): A PART OF SOCIAL FANTASY SPACE