Critical Approaches to Culture + Communications

A Weblog by Ron Burnett (Founded in 1994 and now celebrating 23 Years!!)

This site began as one of the first academic sites in Canada when the World Wide Web was in its early phase of development. I have maintained it through many iterations since 1994.

Seattle Public Library

This brilliant article by [Amy Murphy](http://www.usc.edu/dept/architecture/faculty/assist_profs/murphy.html) who is a Professor at USC is well worth reading. Below, you will find an extract. [The complete article is available here. ](http://places.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=813)

Media today is more mediatory than ever, insinuating itself between us and everything else. In particular, digitization has created a situation where media is now not only a means by which we understand the world (as with traditional media like newspapers), but increasingly the means by which we experience it. Even when we visit real urban spaces such as Times Square, the plurality of experience suggested by the two words “public city,” has been slurred into one word — “publicity.” Through this slurring, the larger experiential potentials of architecture, as well as media, more often than not become diminished.

Yet, in several completed projects in the United States, it is possible to see a renewed desire to reclaim architecture’s potential as the actual media interface itself. Michael Maltzan’s MOMA Queens, Zaha Hadid’s Rosen- thal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, Herzog and DeMeuron’s de Young Museum in San Francisco, and Rem Koolhaas’s Central Library in Seattle each try to provide visually engaging urban experiences in real time and space without demoting architecture to mere backdrop for other more immersive digital media. In much of the rhetoric used to explain these works, their architects also reveal a common intention to confront the dilemmas of producing architecture in an age of digital media by using spatially and temporally exciting visual strategies rather than simply decorating a building’s surface.

[Continue reading...](http://places.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=813)