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Article : Architecture and Design Blogs
[ Architecture and Design Blogs ]

Kazys Varnelis / Joris Laarman / Dan Hill / Cassina

Architects and designers are notorious for their eccentrically stylish accessories from eyeglasses to briefcases to toilets and their blogs are no exception. Sleek, minimal, and intelligent, these architecture and design blogs are the new source for up-to-the-minute commentary on emerging talent, broad trends, and nifty new products.

Reference sites such as Archinect offer one-stop shopping for news, reviews, job postings, and discussion groups, while personal architecture blogs provide more specialized information. They range from the dead serious to the impudent. In the former category is Progressive Reactionary, which melds political and architectural criticism, and Kazys Varnelis' site, which probes the intersection of architecture and network society. BLDGBLOG also offers lengthy analysis of trends in architecture, as well as reviews of art and film. At the other extreme, Archibot runs a "Hot or Not" contest for buildings, allowing you to rate canonical and amateur designs just like you rate desperate college kids.

These cyber critics are global travelers, and their efforts connect the architectural communities of the East and West. Brett Steele, the director of the famously experimental Architectural Association School in London, posts his curriculum and photos of student work on the site Resarch. Chicago architect John Hill runs Archidose, a series of sardonic postings on international architecture and Midwestern oddities, and Eizo Okada uploads photos of buildings all over the world onto his Japanese site, The site fabprefab follows the rise of affordable, modernist prefab houses around the world, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation documents the shifting contemporary landscape.

Product-design aficionados are buying up web real estate even faster than their architectural counterparts, generating hundreds of blogs devoted to furniture, interiors, lighting, and gizmos. These sites are dangerous territory for anyone who covets over-designed coffee tables and throw pillows. Designboom and Design Addict offer extensive news, images, interviews, and links, while personal blogs unearth the quirkier inventions (a PC computer in a whiskey bottle?). MoCo Loco, Reluct, and Sensory Impact all select the most alluring products and offer commentary on global design trends. Core 77 finds more bizarre objects, and idgrid highlights the best of industrial design. Perhaps the most useful sites are design*sponge and Apartment Therapy, which showcase affordable home products and solutions for tiny apartments.

And for those of us who just can't shake our loyalties to certain print publications, Domus, Frame, Icon, and Dwell have lively websites with online forums and full-text articles from back issues. (BR)

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