A fond farewell

How important are journalists to the architectural profession? They certainly have a part to play in making their work better known, and in shaping the public face of the profession. Not to mention that sometimes they can destroy or at least seriously dent reputations.

And over the past few decades there have been a number of commentators who have taken both themselves and their roles seriously and in the process have become part of the landscape of many professionals. One of those was Martin Spring, who did his longest stint at Building but, as the pieces here show, had significant experience elsewhere as well.

With Martin, who had surviving several hair-raising escapades on his bike, one somehow forgot that mortailty was real. What is most sobering about the pieces is the discussion of how he set his own agenda, appreciating the buildings that he personally found interesting rather than following trends, and also the mention of how he often delivered copy late because of the time he took. In today’s quickfire, business-driven world, how many critics have the time to do that?I know some who do but they tend eventually to be forced out of the relentless maw of mainstream journals.

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