Book Review: A New Kind of Bleak by Owen Hatherley

Cover "A New Kind of Bleak" - Owen Hatherley

Cover “A New Kind of Bleak” – Owen Hatherley

Owen Hatherley is on his way to become a force in architectural criticism in the United Kingdom. I prefer his shorter pieces on his blog and in magazines to his books, as he has the tendency to become repetitive in the books. I found that when he assesses European modernism this is done through a particularly British lens, perhaps in the same way as I look at British modernism with incredulity at times. This review was intended to encourage Hatherley to ground his thesis better, to do deeper and more original research and, perhaps most of all, that the narrative and argument will follow an arc throughout his future books.

I say this from a position of modesty, however, as I have yet to write my first book myself.

On a funny note, there is a soundtrack to accompany the reading of the book, by the collective GOLAU GLAU ->

On a final note, to underscore that Hatherley does address the right issues, read this article in the Guardian.


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About thomaswensing

Architect and Activist. Over the years I have become increasingly aware that I need to actively engage with the issues I care about. My passions and irritations are many and change often, but a red thread is always a deep concern over the fact that capitalism does not work as it is claimed it does, democracies only serve the needs of the few and environmental resource depletion and pressures continue to mount. I think it is time for citizen's activism to create pressure, to bang on the doors of established powers and interests until we get it right. As you will notice, if you continue to follow my blog over time, there are certain fetishes I have; modernism, social housing, the avant-garde. I propose to recuperate the Modern Project from the dustbin of history and re-establish the link between social engagement and architecture. Watch it all come down needs to be followed by let the good stuff blossom!

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