Critical Shifts is a one-day, student-organized symposium dedicated to exploring the ongoing transformations of critical practice in architecture. The event brings together a diverse group of practitioners in order to investigate how their work (which often combines the activities and approaches of curation, editing, writing, design, teaching, and research) can begin to trace a nuanced map of the fieldʼs current critical terrain.
Understanding this terrain as an active landscape perpetually in formation, the symposium is not concerned with developing totalizing statements about the state of criticism or criticality in architecture. Instead it intends to survey the terrain mapped by its speakers in order to identify, describe, and assess the multiple processes and energies that are actively shaping it. What sorts of critical shifts are happening within the discipline today, and how do they help expand and redefine our understandings of “criticism,” “critique,” and “critical”? What changes in modes of architectural practice do they evidence (fractures, amalgamations, transformations, etc.)? And what do these shifts indicate about architectureʼs current relationship with the public, and thereby the scope of its critical concern and reach?
The symposiumʼs speakers will help us consider these questions across traditional sites of production—the School, the Journal, the Institute, the Studio, the Magazine, and the Museum (fully recognizing that their operations may no longer be so traditional)—as well as contemporary sites such as the Blog and Biennale.