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“On Reading & Writing Architecture: More Questions than Answers”
FLOG no. 38 (May 2016)
It is a sweltering night in Melbourne. In the hours that follow the quietly intriguing ‘Editing Architecture’ talk at MADA, Monash University, I give in to the compulsion to do some writing of my own. In spite of the living room transforming into a sauna in my absence, under the influence of my laptop screen’s fluorescent glow, I begin to type.

The architect’s mutating relationship with writing is simultaneously fascinating and concerning as we appraise it in its present state. Spontaneous architectural writing seems a somewhat concerted extracurricular effort in the 21st century for those who do not write professionally nor have to turn in an academic essay. Students are taught to conceptualise quickly via diagrams and renders; words fall to secondary to the hero image. For the average architect trying to run a practice and sustain a business, text may just be a news headline or supplementary tool for prefacing, rationalising or contextualising a project. Architectural writing is many things in today’s fast-paced and highly malleable industry: symbiotic, sympathetic, parasitic, antiseptic... These days the vast majority of written content about architecture appears synthetic (perhaps even apathetic). Architects are growing more detached from the value of words and distanced from their manufacture, perhaps a subconscious consequence.
Rumination includes using an AA magazine to swat a fly.

© 2022 Amelyn Ng