Top Ten The following ten sites were plucked from this list’s topics as the ‘best of the best’ of the blogs that were chosen for this list. You’ll find the topics listed below these top ten blogs.
- A Daily Dose of Architecture: Or, “Archidose,” as blogger John Hill calls it. He’s an architectural student in New York, but his blog covers an “(Almost)” daily architectural musings from midwest American. This blog is intelligent, sharp, well-written, and enjoyed by many architects and designers.
- aggregät 4/5/6: Enrique Gualberto Ramirez, an architecture historian, maintains no qualms about “the messy connections between spatial practice, cultural criticism, technology studies, art history, architecture, and other realms.” A must-read.
- anArchitecture: Christoph Wassmann, who lives and work in Vienna, Austria, writes a blog filled with news, links, and opinions that are centered on architecture and architectural thinking.
- Archinect: The goal of Archinect is to make architecture more connected and open-minded, and bring together designers from around the world to introduce new ideas from all disciplines. One way they accomplish this goal is through their school blog project, where representatives from a collection of architecture programs around the world have been invited to maintain blogs that document their experiences and discoveries from each institution.
- BLDGBLOG: Geoff Manaugh is a writer, grant writer, would-be novelist, essayist, Archinect “team member” and the founding editor of BLDGBLOG. He’s also now a senior editor for Dwell Magazine. This site is an exciting meeting ground for architecture, planning, and landscape issues.
- City of Sound: Dan Hill, director of Web and broadcast at Monocle, blogs on themes of cities, architecture, design, media and culture as he makes logical connections between such seeming disparities as “travel writing and design, or football and architecture.” But, the major focus is on the design of the city as he points to design as the major catalyst between function and form.
- Inhabitat: Inhabitat tracks the innovations in technology and practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
- Interactive Architecture: Ruairi Glynn opens the door to students at Bartlett School of Architecture to interactive architecture, or the merging of the digital virtual with tangible and physical spatial experiences. His blog brings this work on interactive spaces, or semi-permanent installations, to the public.
- Pruned: Alexander Trevi has a good sense of humor. Better yet, he has an aesthetic eye, a knowledge that landscape has everything to do with habitat, and the sensitivity to record environmental issues that basically connect how everyone lives in this world.
- Super Colossal: Marcus Trimble is a design tutor at the University of Sydney (Australia) Faculty of Architecture and he’s involved with the DARCH at the Royal Australian Institute of Architecture. He offers “architectural ephemera” for like-minded readers at this blog, with archives available at his former site, gravestmor.
While many blogs tend to pick up on news from other architectural sites, the following blogs and aggregators make it a business to keep readers informed on daily architectural happenings.
- ArchNewsNow: ANN delivers the most comprehensive coverage of national and international news, projects, products, and events in the world of architecture and design daily to anyone who wants to keep up with the latest.
- Planet Architecture: You can find new architectural ideas, information, and news on this blog, as the owners summarize Web sites daily for your reading pleasure. The topics are wide-ranging and normalized to UTC time.
- dezain.net: A good place to catch up on daily architectural news and blurbs from blogs, press releases and other resources. The quick one-liners are superb for the busy reader.
- Floating Podium: If you’re into Inhabitat, BLDGBLOG, Archinect, and other top blogs (also listed here), then keep this site bookmarked. You can get an at-a-glance glimpse of all the latest additions to these blogs and news sites on one page at the Floating Podium.
- Planetizen: Planetizen is a public-interest information exchange provided by Urban Insight for the urban planning, design, and development community. It is a one-stop source for urban planning news, commentary, interviews, event coverage, book reviews, announcements, jobs, consultant listings, training, and more.
Design and Technology
The following sites merge design with technology, and the results can be amusing, insightful, educational, and inspirational. While some products are mere decoration, others can fulfill a myriad of purposes…
- Apartment Therapy: Oh, sure – you might be an architect – but we bet you log onto Apartment Therapy when you’re all alone. With bases in four major cities and interests as broad as your loft is small, this blog offers miracles for the seemingly mundane.
- Cool Hunting: All of the content in this blog is based upon what tickles the editors’ fancy. Their entries on art, design, culture and technology and weekly videos about the designers are enough to inspire any creative individual.
- Core77: When personal trainers tell you to exercise your ‘core,’ they could be promoting this blog. A daily scoop of this blog’s pickings at breakfast will keep your creativity going strong all day long.
- Design Spotter: This blog offers young designers a platform for publication so that readers can stay on top of young modern contemporary design including: accessories, audio furniture, books, design-contests, exhibitions, fashion, furniture, hotels, lighting, new materials, residential architecture, interior design and prototypes.
- Design Verb: Aaron Tang, an industrial designer, covers “elements in design that excite, inspire, captivate, and rattle our goofy creative minds through curious and refreshing finds in art, design, technology, food, culture, experiences, lifestyles, entertainment, and all the other mind-provoking ideas that come with it!” Phew! Tang definitely has an eye for oddly beautiful and interesting artifacts and activities.
- dezeen: Dezeen is edited by Marcus Fairs, author of the new book Twenty-First Century Design (published October 2006) and founder and former editor of icon magazine. His goal is to bring you news of great architecture and design projects before anyone else, and he’s quite successful with that ambition.
- Future Feeder: Future Feeder feeds into design, design, and architecture on the authoritative spine of the Journal of Architecture and Computation. You can submit, suggest, and contribute to articles or to online entries that focus on the deepest of present and future architectural concepts.
- MoCoLoco: Start from the outside of the abode and work your way in. That’s what MoCoLoco covers in their dedication to everything related to modern contemporary design and architecture.
- pingmag: Sharp, fresh, and innovative, this blog flatters design in all its forms – based upon the premise is that design is unlimited. Based in Tokyo, pingmag looks high and low for design gems and brings them to readers with panache.
- StrangeHarvest: Sam Jacob is a director of Fat, he’s architecture editor of Contemporary, and editor at large for Archis. He also writes for icon and Modern Painters as well as contributing to various academic journals and books. He should write, as he’s got a way with words. On Bose noise-canceling headphones he states, “My ears sink into soft leather cushions like pigs reclining into Italian furniture.”
- things Magazine: Yes, the focus is on “things,” but those things are centered on design, architecture, and information technology. things has built a reputation as a home for new writing about objects and their meanings. The multitude of links in their essays, reviews, short stories and poems could keep you busy for days.
- we make money not art: Régine Debatty, a full-time blogger and new media art curator, has her finger on the pulse of the junction between art, design and technology. A visit to this site might make you feel as though you discovered a sleeper movie. Think Woody Allen in Soho back in the day, but with a fresh lemon twist.
Environmental and/or Sustainable
Architecture has everything to do with ‘greening’ the globe, as this field designs the living and working spaces that earth’s individuals habitate. The blogs listed below cover a broad range of topics, or are topic-specific, but they all focus on the environment and/or sustainability.
- BLYGAD: “Blog like you give a damn” like Colin Kloeker does at this official blog for Minnesota’s Architecture for Humanity.
- Earth Architecture: You can travel the earth from your computer when you visit this blog, which focuses on architecture constructed of mud brick (adobe), rammed earth (pisé), compressed earth block or other methods of earthen construction.
- Eco Tecture: A rural resident comes to the big city to study architecture and then becomes interested in government projects and urban development projects in and around Chicago. The blog is about the complexity of these projects and how they impact social, environmental, and political environments as well as architecture.
- Green Bean: Erik Olsen, PE, is the Green Projects Administrator for the Chicago Department of Construction and Permits, where he manages the Green Permit Program. So, where else can you get a glimpse into built, in-progress, and unbuilt green building projects in Chicago except through his blog?
- greenbuildingsNYC: gbNYC’s mission is to explore the intersection of legal issues and green business, with particular emphasis on the LEED green building rating system and sustainable construction. Although the focus is on New York City, you can also find green buildings blogs based out of Los Angeles, Miami, and in Washington D.C.
- Jetson Green: Preston Koerner – who has an unlikely background of Eagle Scout, a B.A. in History and a minor in Japanese, with a little law and real estate thrown into the mix – has created a blog that has caught the imagination of many readers. The main theme of this website is the “confluence of modernism and environmentalism,” and he invites any professional who’s interested in green building to chime in.
- Resilience Science: Garry Peterson, a professor in Geography and the School of the Environment at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, focuses on adaptive management, urban ecology, responses to crisis, ecological functioning, serious games, visualization, and green design in this blog. After all, it takes more than a green house to make a green world.
- Tools for Sustainability: This website, started and updated by faculty and students at Cal Poly Pomona’s Department of Architecture, is an online forum for architectural students.
- Treehugger: This link for Treehugger takes you to the “design and architecture” section within this online green journal. Within the past two years, Treehugger has walked away with several awards – not just for their green focus, but for posting news about new items and green technology with a positive attitude.
- WorldChanging: This site and its blog operates on one premise: That the “tools, models and ideas for building a better future lie all around us.” The hope is to bring disparate fields together to use these tools, models, and ideas more efficiently. Excellent resources.
Don’t expect to learn how to plant your garden here, although a few tips on how to manage groundhogs might pop up among articles about landscape sculptures, water issues, and vacant lots.
- Aesthetic Grounds: Glenn Weiss, a planner for public art, architecture and urban design in suburban Coral Springs, Florida, believes that the “dialogue on public art and public space has almost no American art critics.” Weiss hopes to deepen the human pleasures of public art and public space with this blog.
- Free Soil: This site and its blog is an “international hybrid collaboration of artists, activists, researchers and gardeners who take a participatory role in the transformation of our environment.” Free soil offers plenty of resources for architects, artists, and landscape designers.
- Land + Living: Beyond the environment and landscape, Land + Living is dedicated to modern lifestyle and design both inside and outside the habitat – and that’s what made this blog difficult to categorize yet a joy to read. The founders and editors, Anthony and James, have backgrounds that cover architecture, landscape and gardening, graphic design, environmental awareness, and more. This link will take you to the landscape entries in their blog.
- My Urban Garden Deco Guide: If you live in the city and you want to do anything outdoors, this blog may inspire your creativity. Anne also touches on some inner beauties, but the outdoor merchandise and ideas are hotter.
- Places and Spaces: David Tulloch, an associate professor of landscape architecture at Rutgers State University, brings comments and news about environmental planning and design intended for all audiences including students and alumni of the Rutgers major of Environmental Planning and Design.
- Terrain.org: This blog is a work that belongs to Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments. While the journal is published twice yearly, the blog is updated constantly on issues relating to the Journal.
- The Dirt: This blog is an extension of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), so you can expect a comprehensive and intelligent discourse on this topic.
- Turned Earth: This blog belongs to O’Connell Landscape, located in Novato, California. We chose this blog because it covers everything from pesky garden problems to outdoor furniture, to outdoor art, sculpture, and construction with discriminating taste.
- Whispering Crane Institute: WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a “Green Industry” think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. Rick Anderson uses the WCI blog to spread some info about the art and practice of Landscape Design. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the ideas, the sketches, and the photographs that make this blog a delight to read.
The following blogs were difficult to categorize, so they were filed under niche topics, where you’ll discover blogs created by activists, students, critics, and dreamers.
- Activist Architect: Graduate students at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota facilitate this blog, which focuses on resources for designers who are interested in “applying their professional skills and abilities in working for social justice and community activism.”
- B.E.L.T.: This blog is about “Built Environment in Layman’s Terms.” But, the photography is by Toby Weiss, an architectural photographer. Once again, this blog was difficult to classify so it ended up as a niche blog since the writing is as interesting as the photographs.
- Continuity in Architecture: Academics and architects write this blog and use it as a studio for teaching at Manchester School of Architecture (UK). The site is scholarly, but fresh perspectives from students keep the site vibrant.
- EdwardLifson.com: Edward Lifson is one of Chicago’s biggest art boosters who studied art and architecture and then went to work for National Public Radio (NPR). Now, he’s known for his show “Hello Beautiful!” on Chicago Public Radio. But, don’t expect his blogg to focus on Chicago – you’ll find a plethora of information here on all sorts of design events and happenings – all infused with Lifson’s enthusiasm.
- eye candy: While the name for this blog might lead you to believe that it belongs in the “design and technology” category, you’ll discover that Eric, an architect, focuses on raising the bar for architecture on any current architectural project.
- fulminate // Architectures of Control: Dan Lockton, a designer and engineer from the UK, writes a provocative blog on products designed with features that intentionally restrict the way the user can behave, or enforce certain modes of behavior. He uses these objects to point out how many systems and environments are also created as controlled or controlling spaces or technologies.
- Offbeat Homes: Jennifer Chait is a favorite because she can really sniff out the unusual in abodes. She recently co-built a passive solar house on top of a New Mexico mountain, but she prefers to write about offbeat homes and Hippie Sounds. Her perspective is fresh and easy to swallow.
- Roundtable: Research Architecture: Goldsmiths, a new and innovative research center brings together architects, urbanists, filmmakers, curators and other cultural practitioners from around the world to work collaboratively around the questions on how architecture can engage with culture, politics, and conflict. The blog mirrors the topics and issues within this focus.
- Tessellar: Mazlin Ghazali, a private practice architect located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is absolutely obsessed with tessellations and how these mosaic patterns relate to habitats and commercial environments. His focus is on how to use these patterns to create better housing for more people.
- The Antiplanner: The author of this blog is directly related to The Thoreau Institute, and the focus is on critiques of hundreds of development plans written by a wide variety of federal, state, and local government agencies.
- The Architecture of Fear: George Agnew began this blog as an independent study at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture. Agnew has since expanded on this study to include “war, art, terror, media, communication, design and destruction to create a relevant architectural theory on how we live our lives under the unconscious umbrella of fear and danger.”
- Unbuilt: This blog was started as a format for dialogue about reviving the city and a land after and often during conflict. Archis hosts the site with Partizan Publik and Pearl Foundation as partners.
Anyone who needs a professional architectural photographer can tap the Association of Independent Architectural Photographers (AIAP) or find someone through a network. Anyone who needs records of decayed and abandoned buildings and landscapes can tap someone who explores urbex through photography (try the Urban Exploration Webring for beginners). We weeded through all the good, bad, ugly, and stunning to find the following photographers, who were chosen because they: 1) maintain an active blog; 2) focus on urban landscapes, and ; 3) have interesting written perspectives on their work or provide links to other independent and creative photographers.
- Berlin Guide: Berlin is not this photographer’s hometown, but the photographer is addicted to this city’s street scenes and architecture. The views are captured as the photographer travels the city by subway, S-Bahn or by foot.
- BlueJake: Jake Dobkin, an amateur photographer who lives in New York City, focuses mainly on urban landscape with occasional diversions. He posts a new picture on the front page nearly every day, and he has archives that stretch back to 2002.
- Chicago Uncommon: Dawn Mikulich, the photographer behind Chicago Uncommon, brings the Chicago environment to the public through several venues. The site contains over 1201 images of Chicago proper and over 320 images in her travel section.
- Desolate Metropolis: A brilliant perspective on the Boston area with topics such as “abandonment,” “industrial,” “surreal,” and “infrared.” Go to the “Get out of Town” section to find great links to other urban photographers.
- fotopromenade: Andy Marshall is an architectural photographer with a background in historic building conservation. He maintains this site where he posts a daily photo, a blog that focuses strictly on architecture, and a Flash Web site that contains architectural photos and commentary.
- Flak Photo: This daily photography blogzine features distinctive work from an international community of contributors. While not all portfolios and images pertain to architecture, the site provides links to photographers who do focus on this genre (such as Carl Corey’s Habitat).
- Funky Side of Town: Maciej Szafraniec is a student of economics, amateur photographer, designer and web developer who cross-processes color slides to achieve unnatural colors and high contrast in his mostly European urban images.
- iN-PUBLiC: According to this site’s manifesto, this site was set up in 2000 “to provide a home for Street Photographers.” The photographers hail from around the globe, and their perspectives turn familiar objects into thought-provoking images.
- jen bekman: Jen Bekman’s gallery in New York City is billed as the “best thing going for emerging photographers.” She provides readers with her enthusiasm for photobloggers and gallery activities through her frequently updated blog.
- joe’s nyc: Joseph O. Holmes is a professional New York City photographer who has exhibited across the U.S., in Berlin, and in several notable photography magazines. His images reflect this professionalism as they also reveal intimate details in urban architecture and landscapes. His blog is concerned mostly with personal and network activities, and his images are updated daily.
- Lee Bey: The Urban Observer: This link will take you to Lee Bey’s official blog. Bey is an urbanist, writer and architecture critic, and his blog offers observations, photography, video links and anything else that deals with Chicago’s built environment – with occasional diversions.
- Rion.nu: One of the first New York City photobloggers, Rion Nakaya has been documenting her photos online in narrative sets for more than six years. She’s now an exapt photoblogger as she resides in Paris and continues her work from that city.
- Running From Camera: This guy named “Muggezifter” has created a game where he puts the camera’s self-timer on two seconds, pushes the button, and then tries to get as far from the camera as he can. In the process, this photographer captures some interesting urban landscapes throughout The Netherlands, mostly in Rotterdam.
- Satan’s Laundromat: This photographer captures street art throughout New York, with an emphasis on “urban decay, strange signage, and general weirdness.” These images are not a wash.
- UrbanPhoto: Although UrbanPhoto is based out of Montreal, the cast of photographers who contribute are located throughout Canada and the U.S., with a peppering of images from Paris, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. The running commentary is as good as the images.
- Worksongs: Where UrbanPhoto brings Montreal’s streets to the Web, Andrew Emond offers images that focus on urban decay wrought by the industrial age from Montreal and Toronto.
The following blogs consist of musings, ruminations, news blurbs, and announcements from individuals who work as architects or engineers or who are architectural students.
- After Corbu: “Quixote” is a “new-fangled structural engineer who likes his earthquakes strong and his politics anarcho-syndical.” But, don’t let this attitude scare you off – Quixote actually blends his personal life nicely into his opinions and perspectives, and that touch of humanity brings a softer edge to a razor-sharp perspective from the structural side.
- Architectural Antifreeze, Part IV: This blog is “for when architecture gets a little too cool for comfort.” The focus is away from corporate structure (in more ways than one) and into more public education that would enable individuals to care for their built environment and “maybe even participate in its design.” Anticipate tongue-in-cheek intelligence.
- Architectural Ruminations: Andrew Raimist, from Raimist architecture, Inc., offers his perspectives on St. Louis, Missouri, modern architecture including works of modern architect Harris Armstrong, and Raimist’s photographs.
- Architecture: This blog, created by Young Pong, covers a wide range of topics, including architecture, urban planning, interior design, 3D rendering, theories, and style. Young, a designer located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, connects readers with a wide variety of online resources..
- Architecture and Morality: A civil engineer, an intern architect, and a pastor ruminate on architecture, urbanism, politics, economics and religion. Their perspectives make for some interesting reading.
- Architecture Lab: This blog is an enigma, and it’s not quite an aggregator – but it’s included as the authors bring interesting news, updates, and resources that are quick and easy to read.
- ArkiBlog: Written in English and Turkish, this blog touches on architecture, design, urban life and other related fields.
- Arkitectrue: Yelda Horozoglu provides this blog platform for design enthusiasts to find items of interest in architecture, interior design, and urban planning.
- Architecture.MNP: This blog site aims to bring readers a daily supply of architecture and design from around the web and the world. They showcase all of the “illest, most interesting, and often times craziest architecture” that they can find.
- Design Observer: Design Observer was founded by heavy-hitters Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Jessica Helfand, and Rick Pynor. Their contributors include Steven Heller, Adrian Shaughnessy, Dmitri Siegel, Alice Twemlow, Tom Vanderbilt, and Lorraine Wild. Need we say more?
- East Coast Architecture Review: Bradley M. Swarts, an Intern Architect and LEED Accredited Professional who is practicing Architecture in North Carolina, brings a slightly different angle to architecture, urbanism, sustainability, and modern design. The site is video-heavy, so if you’re interested in Swarts’ perspectives, you could spend a whole weekend on this site.
- Life Without Buildings: Coming to you from San Francisco, this blog is about buildings despite the title. Actually, it’s about buildings and postmodern culture.
- Loud Paper: Mimi Zeiger, editor and publisher of loud paper, former senior editor of Architecture magazine and author of New Museums: Contemporary Museum Architecture Around the World, blogs on art, architecture and design from an entirely original perspective.
- mirage.studio.7: Architecture is poetry to Calvin Ngan, an architectural student. Mix architecture with Calvin’s love for web designing and photography, and you’re in for a treat. Check out his links – promising students and friends. His archives can be found at his original blog.
Urbanism is the architectural topic for the early twenty-first century. These blogs deconstruct, analyze, critic, discuss, and practice urban architecture, even when that architecture consists of homeless landscapes.
- Brand Avenue: The author of this blog focuses on place, space, and identity and how those spaces are branded for certain uses. While the entries are well written and thought provoking (the book reviews are great), the site also acts as a sort of travelogue for anyone interested in urban identity. This point is emphasized with this site’s long list of links to major North American cities and the Web sites that promote these areas.
- City Comforts: City Comforts is mainly a book on how to build an urban village. The blog, written by the author of the book, writes about cities, architecture, the ‘new urbanism,’ real estate, historic preservation, urban design, land use law, landscape, transport – “etc etc from a mildly libertarian stance.” The book is wildly popular, and the blog brings equally excellent perspectives to the table for urban planning.
- Digital Urban: Dr. Andrew Hudson-Smith, a Senior Research Fellow at CASA (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) and team leader of the Virtual London modeling group, examines the latest techniques to visualize the cityscape via digital media in this blog.
- Neighbourhoods: Kevin Harris set up this blog to explore “issues to do with neighbourhood relations, citizenship, social capital, space and place, and related areas that inform our understanding of what makes a viable neighbourhood.” He began the blog while working for Community Development Foundation, but now it focuses on surface issues and ideas that surround his consultancy work at Local Level.
- Sprawled Out: John Michlig started this blog project in 2006 when he read about a development project that was hailed as progress for a corridor that was previously the main link between Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Now known simply as “27th Street,” this road also acts as the border between two cities. Michlig chronicles all the development happenings from planning meetings to meetings on the street, along with photos and opinion.
- Squatter City: Robert Neuwirth is a writer who spent two years living in squatter communities in four continents. His experiences resulted in a book entitled, Shadow Cities, which is an attempt to “humanize these maligned settlements.” His blog focuses on squatters and squatter cities around the world.
- Subtopia: This is a “field guide to military urbanism,” delivered by Bryan Finoki. As you might gather from the blog’s title, the writings here focus on urbanism and politics, but the underlying theme centers on design and how urban design shapes the city and its politics.
- Tropolism: Chad Smith is an architect, award-winning designer and writer who resides and works in New York City. His passion for NYC and the arts are apparent as Smith and his writers uncover the “architecture and motivations which are right in front of us.”
- Unhoused: Ava Bromberg and Brett Bloom conduct research for a forthcoming publication they are calling “Unhoused,” a follow up to their double-book, Belltown Paradise / Making Their Own Plans, which is available for free through their site. Their journal/blog reflects their research into the global housing crisis.
- Urban Planning Blog: Pratik Mhatre, a doctoral student in the Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University, discusses trends in urban planning and design at his blog.
- Web Urbanist: The collective of writers on this blog are interested in all things urban – “from urban design to subversive art and strange architecture.” But, they go beyond this premise with images and commentary that focus on culture.
- Where: Brendan, who wants to build a boat and travel the length of the Danube, also has a long-running interest in the urban environment and experience. This blog focuses on urban places, placemaking, and the concept of “place.”