Architectural Writing: Everything About Effective Architectural Journalism

Architectural Writing

What is Architectural Writing?

Architectural journalism is a kind of journalism that focuses on architecture or design. Simply described, architectural journalism is independent writing and criticism in the domains of architecture, design, and urbanism. Architectural Journalism is followed by many architects and designers that have a writing style. Architectural journalism aids in the comprehension of design principles so that one may easily construct their own design thoughts while maintaining an aesthetic sense. 

In today’s world, where people are driven by the material they consume and are reliant on the internet for products and services, harnessing the power of digital and print media to connect and interact with them is critical, especially in architecture and design. There are a variety of ways or outlets to connect with others, but writing is perhaps one of the most important. Using the correct phrases to attract people’s attention may be a game-changer, especially now that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. 

Design Writing differs from Architectural Journalism in that it can be commercial, whereas Architectural Journalism is independent and community-oriented.

Architectural Digest, Architectural Records, A+D, and other design magazines that cover buildings, space planning, and other topics fall under this category. They get an advantage by criticizing or discussing an architectural work or design concept. Architectural journalism aids in the comprehension of design principles so that one may easily construct their own design thoughts while maintaining an aesthetic sense. It covers up-and-coming trends in the business and professional architects, as well as admiring and criticizing architectural works. 

Architectural writing is a vital talent for architects and professionals who want to work in architecture journalism. This sort of writing requires deciphering abstract or difficult architectural principles and presenting them in a straightforward, intelligible manner. 

De architectura by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio is the earliest book on architecture, and it is a group of ten books that teach every aspect of the building, including materials and methods of construction in ancient architecture, as well as Greek architects. It is an essential book since it discusses several forms of Roman technology, such as aqueducts and mills, dewatering machines, and a force pump.

Architectural journalism is gaining a lot more traction compared to being a traditional architect all around the world. This is because, besides designing, describing the same is extremely important in creating a brand.

What exactly is the purpose of architectural writing?

The ability to write is important for a variety of reasons: it facilitates effective communication; it encourages the exploration and expression of ideas; it promotes critical evaluation of previous architectures and precedents, and it aids in the development of the mental skills required for creative thinking.

This facet of architectural journalism is the realization of buildings, their structures, and their expression via the power of words. It is a profession that expresses many architectural marvels through comprehending their purpose, principles, and service. And this may be accomplished through technical and logical ability, as well as a linguistic style based on a thorough understanding of the technological, architectural track that the writer should have taken. It is a profession that puts the architect’s personality and nature to light, as well as his architectural piece’s functioning and design characteristics, for the benefit of the public.

As a general rule, all architectural journalism is design writing, but not all design writing and communications are architectural journalism.

Architectural Journalism is the community’s way of holding itself accountable, besides understanding how architecture fits into the ethos. Unfortunately, the sector is still completely unknown, particularly in India; this provides us, the current generation of designers, the best chance to shape the profession for decades to come.

Design writing is an essential ability that every architect needs to some extent.

What distinguishes an Architectural Journalist piece is people who are enthusiastic about writing about it. With the surge of various students each year, each kid has their own tale to tell. Each of them, besides having a personal perspective, is a part of a collective effort that falls under the umbrella of architecture.

Different types of Architectural Writing?

Typical six genres of architectural writing – i.e., typical methods in which architects and critics convey ideas about buildings – are identified as observation, analysis, reflection, critique, manifestos, and storytelling.


This genre mainly deals with the details that are observed by the onlooker. These may include main architectural elements, forms, colors, and features that may catch their eye. The spectator/critic may also express his observations as emotions. They may express the initial understanding their bodies felt while in the space. These seem to have a very strong and lasting impact on the observer/reader. 


Analysis part of an architectural journalist piece comprises a close examination of a certain architectural structure or structure of importance conducted by the observer. It may investigate upon the findings of the structure and their point of view may be brought forward. Some of the analysis part of Architectural Writing is subjective and opinions vary from person to person. 


This part of Architectural Writing investigates upon the tangible part of a 3d space. What the author felt, experienced, sensed, etc. are the topics of discussion under this category. 


This is probably the most important part of Architectural Writing or journalism. It categories the structure into the viability of the manufactured designs. It directly challenges the architect or designer’s capacities, aptitude and dexterities.  


Storytelling is probably the most enjoyable part of Architectural Writing. It comprises conveying to the reader, in a very hands on manner, the structure and its tangible elements. An excellent piece of Architectural Writing written in this style should directly transport the reader to the structure’s womb and at the heart of the visitors’ experience. 

How to efficiently write about architecture?

  • Make a captivating scenario.
  • Put provocative questions in the mix.
  • Facts and information should be included.
  • Use a quote.
  • Use metaphors and similes in your writing.
  • Your personal opinions should be expressed.
  • Make advantage of images that come to you naturally.
  • Be clever.

Architectural journalism may be divided into several subcategories, including design interpretation, perceptional thinking, creative writing, paper writing, photography documentation, investigation, preliminary research, and eventually, a research paper.

Career growth and development

Although the impact of this profession is great in India, it is receiving less exposure among students and in the institution itself. Although India has over 450 architectural institutes, only a few of them offer Architectural Journalism as an interdisciplinary subject. Some of those academies are CCA, CEPT, NIT-H, SPA Delhi, KRVIA, Rachana Sansad, PVPCOA Pune, and McGAN’S Ooty School of Architecture, etc.

As a result, we recognize that raising awareness about this new emergent discipline is critical and that much more work is needed to achieve this goal, especially given the growing number of Architectural Colleges in India in recent years.

career growth
Career growth and development in Architectural Writing/Journalism

It’s disheartening to learn that a good deal of architecture institutions have yet to incorporate these sorts of courses into their curriculum. If our architectural institutions include such courses as a cornerstone of the curriculum or at the very least as an elective, it will undoubtedly give a lot of opportunities for architecture students in the future.

Working in a subject like Architectural Journalism allows you to combine your technical understanding of architecture from a degree with your love of writing, making it a far cry from practising architecture. 

This is a platform where anybody with a secret gift for writing may showcase it in front of the public, and most architects are boosting the worth of life by improving the urban layout, architecture, and landscape design, as well as via writing. It also has several advantages and benefits over traditional architectural practise, which is recognised to be a difficult and demanding career. Articles, editorials, and personal opinions may all be motivating in magazines. Individual thought participation in a certain issue or structure may be achieved via journalism in a variety of ways.

Here is a short list of the potential career opportunities should you select this field as your career option:

  1. Content writer 
  2. Editor/ Editor in chief 
  3. Social media handler
  4. Journalist/blogger
  5. P.R. Official
  6. Writer for blogs and website
  7. Magazine article editor 
  8. Webpage manager
  9. Communications head

The International Committee of Architectural Critiques has no Indian members. Critics, theorists, and historians from all around the world are invited to take part. C.I.C.A. and its members consider themselves as working with professional architects to improve architecture and cities. Architectural journalism is more of a pastime for architects than a real career choice, hence there are fewer architects or architecture students who choose it as a serious career option. It elucidates a wide variety of ideas or concepts and provides readers with the opportunity to consider them.

The major role of architectural journalists is to assist architects in not only comprehending their own projects, but also in making critical decisions about them. While each project contains a variety of individual thoughts and perspectives, how architectural journalists explain their perspective on that project is a kind of best explanation. He has a deeper understanding of things and can transmit technical information through his writing and thinking.

Although this profession is steadily gaining popularity in India, many architecture schools do not provide such degrees. Including such courses in the core curriculum, even as optional, would provide architecture students with a lot of opportunities.

Courses and workplaces 

Many schools and universities throughout the world offer these types of courses. You may enroll in a diploma or certification degree in architectural journalism at colleges such as McGill University’s School of Architecture in Canada, Goldring’s Arts Journalism program at Syracuse University in New York, and a few others in the United States United Kingdom.

In this profession, India is clearly a step behind. Only a few experts have made a career out of architectural journalism and have been acknowledged for their efforts. People like Apurva Bose Dutta, a Bangalore-based architectural journalist who has written many articles for publications such as A+D magazine, Livingetc, Times of India, Architect & Interiors India, and whose work has been recognized and awarded for Creative Excellence in Architectural Journalism, Oct 2010, A3F award in Architectural Journalism for the year 2009–2010, and others, have stood out and are role models for many aspiring architectural journalists.

Taking part in online internships at architectural and design websites such as Arch2O, De-zeen Magazine, Arch Daily, and others can help you learn more about the subject as an architecture student. Following graduation, full-time summer internships/training in major Indian architectural publications like Architectural Digest, Architecture Update, A+D, W.F.M., I.A.&B., and others are other alternatives. We’d be surprised, if not outraged, to hear that the International Committee of Architectural Critiques is devoid of any Indians.

The Richard Solomon Award for Architectural Journalism, the International Building Press National Journalism Awards, the President’s Award in Architectural Journalism (by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada), and the Haskell Awards for Student Architectural Journalism have all been given to architectural journalism.

If one recognizes the sensitivity of the issue and leads oneself to the latter portion, one will have the maturity to begin architectural intervention analysis, documentation, investigation, study, and research. In India, one can join architectural research groups such as C.S.I.R., C.B.R.I., Research Cell at The C.C.A., C.E.P.T., and building centers such as L.B.C., Trivandrum, and Anangpur Building Center, Faridabad. 

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