blueprint magazine — architecture & design

mainthe british mag­a­zine blue­print has in the past pro­vid­ed a key forum for  the renais­sance of design mod­ernism in con­tem­po­rary british archi­tec­ture. dur­ing the 1980s under the edi­tor­ship of deyan sud­jic, who recruit­ed writ­ers includ­ing jonathan glancey, james woud­huy­sen, rowan moore, mar­tin paw­ley, and rick poyn­er, the mag­a­zine became syn­onomous with britain’s bur­geon­ing accep­tance of mod­ernism and grow­ing obses­sion with design dur­ing the ‘eight­ies and ‘nineties. what marked blue­print’s approach and set it apart from oth­er design and archi­tec­ture pub­li­ca­tions such as the riba jour­nal, was its inde­pen­dent, some­times mav­er­ick, and often icon­o­clas­tic approach to the design field. blue­print was also very cool. it rec­og­nized that archi­tec­ture and design were a nexus and focus for wider cul­tur­al issues of post­mod­ernism, art, design and archi­tec­ture as tex­tu­al prac­tices, in a fruit­ful dia­logue with the cut­ting edge of oth­er arts, pho­tog­ra­phy, cin­e­ma, pop­u­lar cul­ture. along with its unusu­al large-size for­mat, blue­print stuck out head and shoul­ders from oth­er archi­tec­tur­al pubi­ca­tions.

BPCoverin recent years, under new cor­po­rate own­ers and changes of edi­tor, togeth­er with indi­rect com­pe­ti­tion from mass mar­ket pub­li­ca­tions such as wall­pa­per*, and more direct­ly from new design titles like icon it has had to do some seri­ous soul search­ing. this is par­tic­u­lar­ly so in these very dif­fi­cult times for spe­cial­ist print media. under the edi­tor­ship of vicky richard­son, a for­mer writer of the riba jour­nal, the mag­a­zine relaunched in 2006 and its con­cerns have been mov­ing into a more sober appraisal of the con­tem­po­rary archi­tec­ture scene.

in these strait­ened times, where even the future of nation­al news­pa­pers such as the observ­er has been called into doubt, it will be indica­tive of the health of this pub­lish­ing niche to see if blue­print can sur­vive. as some­one who has been asso­ci­at­ed with the mag­a­zine in the past, as avid read­er in the ‘nineties, and occa­sion­al con­trib­u­tor dur­ing the ‘noughties, it’s some­thing dear to my heart. my own view is that it needs to move itself away from being seen as an upmar­ket spe­cial­ist trade jour­nal, and return to the fore­front of art-design-media exper­i­men­ta­tion, and get back some of that punk spir­it and icon­o­clasm it had in the past.

one tra­di­tion in blue­print which has been main­tained is the pro­mo­tion of inter­est­ing new pho­tog­ra­phy in its front pages. 8220DEB3-2910-4F74-8541-6A7A19E3B96B.jpgthe image here is tak­en from work select­ed for a com­mis­sion set to stu­dents on the theme of ‘new or crit­i­cal aspects of the built envi­ron­ment’ — a nice­ly flex­i­ble brief.

For the Jan­u­ary 2010 issue of Blue­print, our Open­ing Shot was pro­vid­ed by Chris Green­away, a third year pho­tog­ra­phy stu­dent at Win­ches­ter School of Art. Blueprint’s art direc­tor Patrick Myles set a brief ask­ing the stu­dents to cap­ture strange, new or crit­i­cal aspects of the built envi­ron­ment. Pre­sent­ed here are the series of pho­tographs tak­en by the stu­dents with an expla­na­tion of their shot. Chris Greenaway’s pho­to­graph (below) can also be seen in the print edi­tion of the mag­a­zine.

(Via blue­print mag­a­zine — archi­tec­ture & design.)

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