Street-Porter and Heathcote Battle Over the Death of Architecture Week


Building Design has a really great follow up piece to a story we were reporting on last week, the shut-down of Architecture Week in the UK. In it, they take the point-counterpoint route, with writer Janet Street-Porter and the Financial Times‘ architecture critic, Edwin Heathcote. Street-Porter argues that this was an inconceivably stupid move by the Arts Council (the body who finances the ‘Week’) and Heathcote, takes the opposing viewpoint, saying that the whole affair had always come across as sad, desperate, boring and relatively pointless, so it’s no big loss in the end. Even if you’ve never been to Architecture Week, this serves as something of a nice overview of the event, as well as generally speaking to the problems and successes of other, semi-similar events as well. Here’s a little bit of Heathcote’s (which is more fun to read than Steet-Porter’s):

Architecture is a serious subject. It is the one cultural genre which affects us all, which we all have to live with. We can choose not to go to the theatre, the cinema, a gallery, watch TV. The first problem with Architecture Week is that it seems a kind of special pleading, an exceptionalism — “Please notice architecture, it’s very cool, it can be like pop and have its own wee festival.” It’s rather sad.