A semi-detached: Introduction to commentary on architecture

Stead, Naomi (2012). A semi-detached: Introduction to commentary on architecture. In Naomi Stead (Ed.), Semi-detached: Writing, representation and criticism in architecture (pp. 4-11) Melbourne, Australia: Uro Media.

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Author Stead, Naomi
Title of chapter A semi-detached: Introduction to commentary on architecture
Title of book Semi-detached: Writing, representation and criticism in architecture
Place of Publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher Uro Media
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Introduction, foreword, editorial or appendix
ISBN 9780987228130
Editor Naomi Stead
Chapter number 1
Start page 4
End page 11
Total pages 8
Total chapters 44
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Semi-detached: the term refers first to a building type, a pair of dwellings built side by side and sharing a party wall; attached and yet separate, connected yet distinct, the inhabitants’ twinned lives mirrored but never touching. But the idea of being semi-detached, as a state of mind, especially when contemplating architecture, offers something more. Traditionally, pure detachment was the valued term. It was thought that critical appraisal of any form of art or culture required a certain distance and disinterest – a certain detached persona, if not actual objectivity. Anyone who had an ‘interest’ in a work was seen to be too attached – with too much at stake to be a good judge of the work’s absolute quality or worth, too close to represent it truthfully. Attachment was thus synonymous with relativity and bias. But in fact, there is a particular place for relativity and attachment in the  appreciation of architecture, and it takes a unique form for each of architecture’s distinct audiences. The architect’s particular attachment to a building is very different, for example, from that of the occupants who inhabit it every day, which is different again from the engagements of the professional photographer, the architectural scholar and the specialist architecture critic. Each of these figures has their own specific expertise in architecture, and their own way of conceiving, describing and critiquing it. What is surprising then is that these diverse voices are so seldom heard in the same place, or in conversation. [Extract]
Q-Index Code BX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Author has copyright permission from the publisher to make the full text of this chapter freely available as a pdf.

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Created: Thu, 17 May 2012, 11:38:45 EST by Dr Naomi Stead on behalf of School of Architecture