This unnamed blogger has been sharing with us their collections of vernacular architectural photography from the post-war period. Dusty & lugubrious, their hoards of images are glimpses of the frequent surreal drabness of Britain's social democracy experiment, of frequently beautiful marketplaces and new town shopping centres.
Stevenage and Wembley 68
Covered Markets of Olde England
Friars Square Shopping Precinct (part 2)
The Medium and the Message
Technically this isn't really a blog, in that it is the online page where BBC employee Adam Curtis posts up notes from his researches, but that's not such a problem when it is so relentlessly interesting. In 2011 Curtis became pretty controversial amongst the left for his sprawling, ludicrously ambitious, but frequently tenuous 'All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace', but he also regularly posted up fascinating archive videos dredged up from the BBC archive, reflecting upon the various unfolding shocks of the year.
The Curse of Tina (I)
The Curse of Tina (II)
The Ghost of the Colonels
It wasn't really a good year for architecture writing online, as output slowed to pretty much nothing more than a dribble. One bucker of that trend was Charles Holland's 'Fantastic Journal'. Charles managed to keep the 'mordant photo essay' flame alive, as well as various posts which were great reading, including a really great piece on the palm house at Kew Gardens.
This is a Gateway
Guide to the Not So Modern Buildings of London
Pre and Post Modernism
Around the World
Another trend-bucker, Bauzeitgeist was both reasonably new and reasonably prolific, with some excellent analyses of American architecture, and also, perhaps more useful for ignorants like myself, of African architecture and urbanism. Strong, systematic and frequently excoriating.
Guardian of Guangzhou
The Corporate Parks of Kevin Roche
Speaking of systematic; nobody has has been providing more in-depth architecture writing than Ross Wolfe. A brilliantly generous scholar of early Soviet architecture, he has been posting up all manner of essay, research, analysis and image scans, which if you can give it time is unsurpassed. However, if ultra-left purism is not your thing then you might find his frequent arguments and intellectual hatchet jobs a little hard to digest, but it's more than offset by the density of the academic work.
At the Intersection of Nature and Architecture -Modernism’s Response to the Alienation of Man
Once a week, Giovanni Tiso publishes an essay on all manner of topics, although with a particular focus on technology and memory. I simply cannot recommend his writing enough.
A consensus amongst those I know seems to be that one of the only positive developments in blog-writing this year was the institution of the decade blogs:
With a rotating cast of writers and an open editorial policy, if you want to find idiosyncratic and intellectually exciting historical and cultural analysis I don't know of anything better right now. Sometimes it can be utterly off the wall in ways only blog writing could ever be (the Heideggerian implications of Level 42, anyone?), but that is said as an entirely positive thing.
The Future (according to Google)
XKCD's utterly terrifying graphical representation of the googlemind's vision of what is to come.