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Michael Kimmelman’s inaugural review as NY Times architecture critic – a renaissance in architecture criticism?

September 26, 2011

The New York Times front page review of a new housing project in the Bronx offers hope (or at least common sense) on several levels.  The project described appears to have been designed as homes for people, rather than housing for a waiting list.  It’s the nature of the review itself that is also important. Newly minted architecture critic Michael Kimmelman (formerly a Times art critic) approaches the building complex, Via Verde, as part of a social compact and not just an object.  And to solidify his break with previous occupiers of his current post (and other critics currently writing), he adds the following:

“The profession, or in any case much talk about it, has been fixated for too long on brand-name luxury objects and buildings as sculptures instead of attending to the richer, broader, more urgent vein of public policy and community engagement, in which aesthetics play a part.”

It’s about time.  Thanks for an invigorating first review and here’s hoping future ones will build on its well articulated foundation.

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