A kritika mint az építészeti gondolkodás lehetséges médiuma

Szabó Levente DLA
Cságoly Ferenc DLA

This thesis deals with the concept of the architectural critics. Since the meaning and content of this term is diverse, I investigated three different aspects of it, by modelling the problem from three different sides. I tried to shape the corresponding three „chapters”, structured in a spiral way, as three independent but naturally partly overlapping essays. First, the problem, formulated in the title of the thesis, is positioned and narrowed by using the consequences drawn from the national overview. The second part is an attempt to summarize the key points at the level of principles. Finally, the closing chapter of the thesis summarizes the lessons learned from personal experiments.

Analysing the national situation first, I was relying on a case study I made in summer 2007, using a sample of size of 100, composed typically of colleagues-architects. I concluded that there is a demand to change the present situation of architectural review within those who determine the architectural publicity these days, while some exciting contradictions can be seen from the expectations.

Secondly, I interpreted the architectural review based on the interesting discourses of the art reviews. While the charecteristics of art reviews are partly valid also for archtiectural reviews, it is a specific area from several points of view.
Specifics include the problem of the personality of the reviewer, the issues related to the perspective and time of the review. Another special issue is the ease to understand and professionalism of the review as a translation, due to the tensions of the verbal and temporal character of the review.

Finally, I have summarized the lessons learned from my own review writing and education experience. The practice of critics, the experience gathered from the communication with editors and the designers of the subjects of my reviews to a great extent determined my views on the possibilities and objectives of the architectural review. The feedback from my teaching architectural critics in practice has been determining and essential for me to the same extent.

The main lesson of my thesis is that critics is a natural medium of the architectural thinking. Critics and critical thinking in architecture is a self-evident, natural phenomenon, a natural representation or method of expressing ideas, concepts, theories. Although some of its segments are problematic and incomplete in our country, we cannot give up the intent to change them, both from theoretical, abstract and from real practical point of view.

It has been almost seven years since the publication of my first review, and since then I have published around twenty architectural articles, mostly reviews. Since I consider my reviews as an integral part of my architecural activity, this thesis has been build primarily on lessons of general character learned from my personal experience. I had to realize that if I think about the present state of the affairs of the Hungarian architectural critics, the lessons learned from them could be sometimes spontaneously organized around well-defined theses.
I am first of all a practizing architect. I hope that some of my eventually novel statements that originate from an undoubtedly personal viewpoint somehow compensate the undeniable and serious limitations resulted from the same fact. My master work and this thesis are not closely related to each other. My regular practice is, in addition to the everyday designer’s activity, the writing and teaching architectural critics. These paralel activities do not result in direct interconnection results, but – hopefully – in a more refined architecture and more precise formulations. This way by my master work and this thesis I intended to document the present state of this double practice in paralel, like a snapshot, both from practical and theoretical viewpoints.