Friday, April 8, 2011

Why Architecture Matters with Paul Goldberger

“Like the best art criticism, the education of Goldberger's eye explains much of what one feels but had not fully understood in looking at them.” -- John Berridge

We all need a place to sleep; it seems like one of the most basic needs—shelter.

Paul Goldberger discusses the places in which we shelter, work and play. He discusses when architecture is necessary and aesthetic, and goes beyond necessity to architechture’s function, sustainability, beauty and effect on our emotions. So we all need, want and like architecture—but do we need criticism?

Right before the Tenement Talk with Paul Goldberger, and as guests streamed in and took their seats Paul looked carefully at the Tenement Museum’s books, toys and cultural objects. He stood in front of the shelves, diving into the details and continued that scrutiny until right before the Talk began. Mr Goldberger is known for this detailed observation as a writer and architecture critic, from his work at the New York Times to his “Skyline” column in The New Yorker. The Talk began. There was laughter and detailed answers to complex questions related to his work as a critic. As he spoke, the detail and description he provided about buildings like those at Astor Place or Columbus Circle displayed a never-ending search for the specific ideas embedded in architecture and which his criticism aims to illuminate.

Architecture matters for a variety of reasons: because of need, function, beauty and even emotion. The discerning and critical eye of writers like Goldberg bring those reasons to the forefront and draw our attention inward to the ways architecture makes us feel and upward to the buildings themselves.

Criticism comes in many forms, including humor. In the clip below from The Colbert Report, Paul Goldberger and Stephen Colbert trade criticisms, and jokes about Why Architecture Matters.

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Paul Goldberger
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Posted by Patricia Pforte

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