AR September 2020 on Letters to a young architect
A special issue of The Architectural Review featuring the collected letters of 46 architects, critics, curators, writers, illustrators and editors to the eternal figure of the ‘young architect’
We have been apart from one another now for quite some time. The video conference still offers its own surprises, its voyeurisms and unveilings, but its technological thrall has also begun to wear thin – the pixellated windows into the lives of others becoming gradually subsumed into the everyday. For this issue, we have turned to an older means of making intimacy out of distance: the letter.
In the keynote for this issue, Edwina Attlee writes that ‘Until the early 2000s, you could measure the growth rate of the economy by looking to the growth rate of letter volumes; letters meant business.’ But what does a letter mean today, and what can be gained by reading letters meant for someone else? We have asked architects, critics, curators and other enthusiasts to write a ‘Letter to a young architect’ – whether dispensing advice or recounting experience, offering optimism or words of forewarning, these letters look to the future as much as they draw on the past. We may be unable yet to truly return to public space, to visit new buildings and bring you rigorous responses from critics around the world, but in the meantime we are able to offer a collection of voices with something to tell about the state of architecture, and some ideas about where we might go next.
Letters to a young architect
Keynote: Open letter, Edwina Attlee
Barclay & Crousse
Klaus, also known as Luis Miguel Lus-Arana
Byoung Soo Cho
Alicia Olushola Ajayi
Alberto Campo Baeza
Denise Scott Brown
Anna Mill and Luke Jones
Davide Tommaso Ferrando