(Visual) Notes on Culture
  Where Design and Theory Meet

Archinect (http://www.archinect.com - "Making Architecture More Connected Since 1997) is a unique site. A very unique site, in fact. It is a community hub for architects and designers (and architecture students and design students). It has one foot planted firmly in the job market, one foot in academia, and a third foot (!) planted in some obscure space for interested parties who are neither.

The site was initially founded and developed by Paul Petrunia, but now has a worldwide staff of nearly 30. While the mission of is vague - "Make architecture more connected" - the effects are solid. Archinect has a booming jobs listing site, making it the Craig's List of the architecture world. There are details about design competitions, the bread & butter of up-and-comers for instant recognition. The site reminds that the architecture job market is actually driven by an intense kind of cutthroat competition that reminds one more of the "business" world than other art industries.

But Archinect rounds out the discipline with an erudite listing of recent architecture books, complete with user-generated reviews. Complete with their features about people, designers, cities, and firms, I feel that the site paints a very fair picture of the discipline.

What ices the sweet, sweet cake is the site's strong design sense. My friend Bokista recently completed a job with a web design firm. A great part of each weekend was a chance to see all of the horrible design ideas that customers wanted, in action. Archinect adopts a design approach acceptable to the topic at hand - at times minimal, but sharp, uncluttered, and very contemporary.

My one complaint about the site is its over its lack of original historical material. I think that the readers - casual and hardcore alike - could gain a lot from fresh, well-researched historical writing. A small blemish for an otherwise masterly site!
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