A Periodical of Critical Essays on Architecture

The Avery Review is an online journal dedicated to thinking about books, buildings, and other architectural media. We see the genres of the review and the critical essay as vital but still underutilized ways of exploring the ideas and problems that animate the field of architecture, and we hope to push these genres beyond their most familiar forms, whether journalistic or academic. Our aim is to explore the broader implications of a given object of discourse (whether text, film, exhibition, building, project, or urban environment). We are interested in reviews that test and expand the reviewer’s own intellectual commitments—theoretical, architectural, and political—through the work of others. The Avery Review will publish new essays monthly during the academic year.

In the public sphere of the Internet, isn’t everyone a critic? Aren’t we already flooded by opinion? We believe not. Architecture’s digital realm is too often comprised of conventional wisdom, fast-twitch reactions, credulously paraphrased press releases, and a privileging of image over argument. There is valuable work being done by a number of professional architectural critics, but the demands of format and intended audience place certain limits on the scope and style of their work. The most nuanced articles of scholarly criticism, meanwhile—the reviews of record that take stock of the vital contributions of historians, theorists, and curators—are modestly sited in the back pages of the house journals, where their potential for public engagement is curtailed by self-selecting readerships. Nor are we simply “over” criticism. Architecture operates within overlapping frameworks of precedent, adaptation, context, politics, and circumstance, and understanding these interactions is as important as ever. Is there a critical opening between these different models, where we might explore the stakes of academia and practice through thoughtful, informed, and lively reviewing? Is there room within the field of architecture for a digital culture of criticism and commentary like those that have arisen in other disciplines? We believe so.

All essays published in the Avery Review represent the opinions of their authors, and we welcome your responses and contributions. The editors can be reached at editors@averyreview.com

  • James Graham, Editor
  • Alissa Anderson, Caitlin Blanchfield, Jordan H. Carver, & Jacob Moore, Contributing Editors
  • Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt, Managing Editor
  • The Avery Review is an open access journal that allows readers to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of its articles and allow readers to use them for any other lawful purpose.

  • A project of the Office of Publications at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

  • Typeface: Maria Pro, Perpetua Titling

  • Content Management: Kirby
  • Editorial Design and Web Development: Nothing in Common

  • © the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.
  • Essays and publishing rights © the authors without restriction.