By: Lorenza Sierra
Criticism according to the RAE (Royal Spanish Academy): “f. Judgment expressed, generally publicly, about a show, an artistic work, etc.”
It is important to reflect on why we avoid, and are so afraid of, criticism and give it a negative connotation when it is ultimately constructive. Why is criticism in our country replaced by flattery that leads to the repetition of the same thing? Is it because of the ego that characterizes us so much?
I think in my case, starting a media outlet that quotes in its first publication: “we decided not to take a position that imposes or affirms, but to approach 16 different practices to share the world of which we were a part in each of these talks, generating empathy between the interviewees and the reader. Being witnesses rather than critics, we seek to diversify what is understood today by being an architect…” In reality, it is a combination of factors that initially provoked this thought. It is the fear of speaking without having sufficient knowledge, but it is also the need to belong, not make enemies and please others with your work.
On the other hand, I have confirmed that our purpose as an emerging platform has been fulfilled in a more successful way through those who have not agreed and question what we say and how we say it, because that is when we have really been able to generate a conversation, a I find that it unfolds in controversy and consequently when there is a reason to talk about our work (either for or against). It is when someone criticizes your work that you are promoting internal change, but also external change, and in my opinion, that is the greatest success. I believe that the reactions you seek in your audience should not be limited to applause, but seek criticism as an opportunity to grow. It is important to achieve disagreements, listen to different points of view, and know how to separate the personal from the work.
In a profession like architecture it is easy to limit the understanding of criticism towards the aesthetics and functionality of those we design. I want to be clear that our efforts within MENTES are focused on everything that being an architect entails in our country today. Who is behind what we see, what we teach and what we inhabit? In this aspect we still have a long way to go.
It is the right of a student to know what he is going to face in a career such as architecture, it is the right of a graduated architect to know how offices work today to know how to choose his working conditions, it is the right of an architect with experience being able to say the things in which you do not agree to seek a more convenient lifestyle according to the hours of work and the effort you dedicate to your work. It is urgent and necessary that we architects learn to communicate our work, how we work and what we work for, it is important to look for a domino effect where the client realizes what the true value of our work is, that the boss knows how to express it and consequently the employee receives a better remuneration.
It is urgent that we learn to know each other as individuals, that we learn to communicate, that we seek to trace a clear path from our academic training to be able to permeate our knowledge in the challenges we face along the way, whether as an employee, as boss and as provider of a service. A large part of our mission in this project lies in breaking the barrier of anonymity, creating a space where things are shared face to face, where we can freely express what we agree with and what we don't. That things are put on the table and there are meeting points to truly generate the change that many of us seek in this profession.