CLARA n. 7, “Architectural Criticism and Public Debate”

The Mapping Architectural Criticism network is pleased to announce the publication of CLARA. Architecture/Recherche n. 7: “Critique architecturale et débat public / Architectural Criticism and Public Debate”, under the scientific direction of Hélène Jannière (Université Rennes 2) and Paolo Scrivano (Politecnico di Milano). The journal’s issue questions the ways in which architectural criticism engages in public debate.


Architectural criticism is often seen in exclusive relation with the professional world of architecture and with academia, originating and descending in large part from theory or history of architecture. Challenging these assumptions, architectural criticism, in its multiple forms, is considered here from a different perspective: it is placed within the wider arena of public debate, exploring its disciplinary boundaries. Engaging in public debate, in fact, architectural criticism broaches themes and questions that go beyond professional and specialized interests: criticism can therefore be seen as acting as an “interface” between different stakeholders, with the critic assuming the role of mediator. Hélène Jannière and Paolo Scrivano argue that it is possible to address the question of what is “public” in criticism by using examples drawn from recent history. The seven studies assembled in the volume prompt a reflection on cases where architectural criticism has been able to appropriate themes of public debate, offering specific viewpoints on the relation of architectural criticism to public opinion and to the public sphere.

Essays by Valéry Didelon, Rute Figueiredo, Jasna Galjer, Sebastiaan Loosen, Jim Njoo, Michela Rosso, and Erik Wegerhoff. With an introductory text by Hélène Jannière and Paolo Scrivano.

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About Clara

CLARA Architecture/Recherche (ISSN: 2295-3671) is a double-blind peer-reviewed scholarly journal, financially supported by the FRS-FNRS (Belgian) Fund for Scientific Research and by the Faculty of Architecture La Cambre-Horta at the Université libre de Bruxelles. Each volume comprises a thematic section of 6 to 8 papers dealing with a predetermined topic in the field of architecture. In addition, a special section is dedicated to the presentation of documents from the Archives d’Architecture held at the ULB, and two miscellaneous papers provide accounts of teaching and cultural activities at the ULB’s Faculty of Architecture.
Each volume comprises a detailed summary and abstracts for the main sections articles.
CLARA Architecture / Recherche attaches a privileged importance to research methods and tools derived from the field of architectural design, in particular to original drawings, graphics, and pictures both as means of inquiry and as non-textual support to a papers argument.

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