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Saskia de Wit, criticising practice practicing criticism,
The vicissitudes of criticism in the landscape metropolis

SPOOL is an open access journal for design in architecture and the built environment. In this issue 'Criticizing practice, practicing critique' we explored the phenomenon of critique and its importance for designers working in the landscape metropolis.

In the field of arts criticism often plays a key role in situating artistic production and instigating debate but especially in propelling theory and practice. As Dave Hickey suggests “Criticism, at its most serious, tries to channel change.” However, in the domains of landscape architecture, architecture and urban design, criticism does not seem to have a strong position and one of the aims of this issue of SPOOL is to contribute to a further strengthening of the role of criticism for the design disciplines that engage with the landscape metropolis.

Criticism can inspire us to visit a place in the landscape metropolis, to challenge our own opinion, to explore what is meant by a design, to explain how we should understand it, to propose potential comparisons, to show by what criteria it could be evaluated and to indicate the larger lessons one can take from this evaluation. This supports disciplinary exchange, in which ideas are shared about the aims, the instruments and the future of the design disciplines operating in the landscape metropolis. It also fosters an understanding of what designers produce and how that relates to what societal ideals promote, what designers dream of, what clients ask for, what users respond to, etc.

In SPOOL. V5/1 2018. pp. 3-6. DOI https// In collaboration with Lisa Diedrich and Tom Avermaete.