Architectural criticism is one of the most important aspects of architecture. This involves speaking or writing about different forms of architecture, especially buildings which in most cases are deemed to be of historical significance or buildings that have unique designs. In this respect, this area of architecture is among the most sensitive area and requires critical analysis and proper understanding of different architectural dimensions. One of the factors that play a critical role in architectural criticism is photography. In reference to Woods (2009), photography has created a room for architectural criticism and observation.
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In line with this therefore, architectural criticism has benefited most from the advent of photography. Notably, architectural criticism has focused on understanding the complexity of different buildings and structures. In this regard, photography has played a critical role in laying a foundation for close analysis of both old buildings and modern building that have enjoyed architectural skills. With this in mind, architectures and architectural critics have increased their need to utilize the foundations that are provided by photography in carrying out the necessary criticism that would in the long run enable them to define buildings and structures, monitor their stability and critically analyze their designs. For instance, ancient designs remains as some of the most important fields of study. In line with this, these building cannot in always be accessed. Therefore, photography provides a leeway that allows critics to analyze the designs, structures and the materials that were employed in erecting these buildings.
It is important to note that photography has been used extensively and widely in presenting architectural plans. It has been argued that excellent drawings and photography are important supplements that enable architecture professionals to present their. Importantly, this natural presentation ability faces critical challenges from commercial computer-generated images that have been found to undermine the value of photography in architecture and its work. Therefore, photography has been found to act as a powerful tool of communication in architecture. Therefore, apart from presenting the complexity of cities and other buildings across the globe, photography plays an important role as a tool of criticism in architecture.
In reference to Al-Asad, Mohammad & Musa, Majd (2006), photography has eased the way communication in architecture is done. Currently, the introduction of the internet and other communication devices has increased availability of architectural photographs to people that are interested across the world twenty four-seven. In other words, these communication tools have made it viable for architecture professional to access photographs that represent different buildings both in age and design across the globe. As a result, one can be able to analyze and critic the status of these buildings without necessarily visiting the sites where these buildings are built. This is facilitated by the fact that current, the state of photography has been exploring technological innovations that have enable architecture professional to have an access to very large photographs with clear resolutions. More important is the fact that criticisms can be made based on reliable information that accompanies these photographs.
In this regard therefore, photography plays a critical role in architectural criticism. It is important to one to note the fact that since photography is a powerful tool of communication, more than written work in architecture. Following this point, whether a photograph is taken by a professional or not, it can be able to communicate a lot since it present the actual object that is to be subjected to criticism. In line with this, one can argue that when a photograph is presented to an architectural professional, it does not need further explanation for him or her to understand the object that needs to be clarified or criticized. While photographs cannot in any way replace reality, they provide a basis of understanding of the actual reality.
On the other hand, the work of photography can be able to be transmitted easily across the globe. In other words, professionals in the field of architecture can be able to share important information on any piece of work across the world. This is facilitated by the fact that there are communication tools such as the internet that transmits any information from one user to the other across the globe within second. On the other hand, the digitalization of photographs both modern and ancient has made it easier for a wider accessibility by critics of different buildings and designs across the globe. In addition to easy accessibility, architectural professional can be able to stay in touch or rather are updated on the latest developments in their professional fields.
It is also important for one to note that photography has played the role of storage or rather preservation for a long period of time. Since the invention of photography, man has been able to preserve those moments that were deemed important and therefore worthy remembering in his life. As a result of this, the field of architecture too has found it important to preserve important buildings and structures in terms of photography. This has been found to create room for analysis of both contemporary and traditional forms of architecture that have existed since the development of the architectural field. Therefore, architectural criticism has a basis in the sense that one can be able to access or rather view different buildings and designs and therefore be in a position to make judgments. This therefore remains as a powerful tool of criticism since this is done based on informed pronouncement. Additionally, one can be able to make criticisms whether the building in question is there or not.
Photography in architecture has also been found to represent reality. In this regard, whereas it has been argued that photographs cannot in any way replace reality, they have been found to represent reality in a more accurate way more than pictorial drawings and designs. In actual sense, one can make an accurate criticism in regard to a particular building by observing photographs that have been taken. Note that this representation of reality can be shared by a wide population of architectural professional, thus making it easier to find an accurate criticism on a particular piece of architecture.
There are different methods that have been employed in architectural criticism in the past using photography. These methods have provided a scope that has allowed professionals in this field to make conclusive remarks in regard to their criticism. One of the common methods that have been employed in this field is comparison. It is important for one to come to an understanding of the fact that one cannot in any way separate him or herself from the past. There is always a link that takes a person back into the past no matter the advancements in the life of that person. Architectural criticism is not an exception.
Following this argument, architectural criticism has in the past depended on comparison between the past and the present. In reference to Waldheim & Rüedi (2005), photography has created room for professional in the field of architecture not only to perceive how the past was but also to examine the present. This is done through comparison of past architectural work with the present. For instance, before criticism can be made on a particular design of a building, professionals in this field are in most cases able to compare the past while at the same time examining the present. In line with this, one would be incapacitated in making judgments in regard to a particular building or design without the necessary form of presentation of the past and the present.
Another method that has been widely used is the analysis of the past and the present architectural work in terms of professionalism in designing and building. Whereas this method explores the benefit of comparison, it is based on the fact of professionalism in designing and executing the laid down designs in terms of how superb these designs were done. Therefore, one can be in a position to create a point of criticism in terms of whether there are advances in architectural designs and buildings or whether there is a deterioration of standards in designs and buildings as time goes by. Such focus has also been found to create room for further development of designs and buildings. More so, the impact of technological advances in designing and building can be taken into account when this criticism is done.
In summation, photography plays a critical role in architectural criticism across the globe. To begin with, photography has the ability to link the past and the present thus creating room for architectural critics to analyze the architectural abilities of the past and the present. In addition to providing such link, photography also acts as a way of sharing information on the architectural developments across the globe. With the invention of the internet and digital photography, one can be able to access a wide range of materials that are necessary in making any form of criticism regarding a particular building or design. Apart from this, it also acts as way of preserving history among architectural professionals.
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