22 February 2009


The Nordic Association for Architectural Research and the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art, NTNU, are looking forward to arranging an international conference on the subject ARCHITECTURAL RESEARCH AND ARCHITECTURAL CRITICISM in Trondheim, Norway 23-25 April 2009. Architecture is a cultural expression that to a great extent influences both public and private space. Thereby, in an important way, it creates possibilities and limitations to how people can live their lives. A critical discussion of the quality of architecture is vital to enable the creation of surroundings that give life the best possibilities to unfold and develop. Even if it already exists a public critique of architecture, this has not by far the scope that is necessary to reach this goal. The professional or academic foundations of architectural critique vary a lot as well. Consequently, one question that rises from the point of view of research in architecture, is whether research may contribute to create criticism with a more solid foundation. Consequently, the title and the topic of the conference is ARCHITECTURAL RESEARCH AND ARCHITECTURAL CRITICISM. We will not deal with architectural criticism as such, but with the relationship between research and criticism, in other words how research may contribute to criticism and what criticism may offer research. -- Conference e-mail: Conference url:

01 January 2009

At first sniff ...

Is it possible to review perfume as you would the arts? Novelist Hilary Mantel takes on some of the current bestsellers

Hilary Mantel
The Guardian, Thursday 1 January 2009

In any department store at this time of year there is a reliably comic sight - buyers trying to choose discounted perfumes by sniffing the necks of the spray bottles. Scent makes sense on skin, and only on skin. Why are we such fools about fragrance? Led on by lush advertising, seduced by editorial gush in magazines dependent on their advertisers, we abandon natural discrimination and distrust our own noses. Scents are not so much objects as performances, processes, but we lack a process for appraising them. Book critics can be savagely partisan, opera critics sniffy, and film critics make you choose to stay at home. Could you review a scent as you review these art forms? Yes, I would argue. One word, for example, would sum up Beckham Signature: illiterate. Mitsouko would need a volume of essays.

Where do they lurk, the perfume critics? There are scent blogs on the internet, often well-informed. But most bloggers write carelessly, and, in such a subjective matter, some precision is needed.