A conversation worth following: the original piece is Matt Jones’s “The City is a Battlesuit for Surviving the Future” at io9, in which Matt draws connections between Archigram, the architecture of science fiction and comics, ubiquitous computing, and the future of mega-cities.
Varnelis responds, arguing that Jones’ rhetorical adoption of Archigram inadvertently reveals an absence of critique in contemporary urbanism. The comments on Varnelis’s post, including those from Enrique (a456) and Geoff (bldgblog), are perceptive. I’d like to think that its possible to be both enthusiastic and critical, or at least that there’s room for both enthusiasts and critics. If one accepts Geoff’s description in which criticism describes problems and enthusiasm locates positives, then it seems rather obvious that both are necessary. So while the presence of only one but not the other is certainly problematic, I’d be more likely to describe architecture as suffering from a deficit of both done well (particularly if ‘enthusiasm’ is defined as something like a BLDGBLOG-ian, wide-ranging sense of wonder, rather than the mere acceptance/promotion of whatever seems exciting) than as being dominated by one or the other.