Andrej Radman, one of the panellists framed the current condition of the editorial practice via Marshall McLuhan’s theory of HOT and COLD media. Hot media showcases a lot of well-sourced data, high resolution, and leaves no room for further interpretation from the audience (podcast, lectures, Facebook); whereas cold media provides less data, low resolution, and allows the audience to fill in the blanks with their own conclusion or opinions (seminars, TikTok, Twitter). They both exists and evolves in the disseminating bubble, however, the audience has become restless, where they want high resolution information and rooms for interpretation.
Most of us suffer from hyper attention disorder, we need to be fed information all the time... but at the same time, we don’t have the attention span of reading more than two pages.
These words of Andrej leaves us wondering if we need to introduce a third category… LUKEWARM media in order to satisfy the audience? The answer is no. The “audience” we are introduced here are not ready-made, they represent an entire spectrum of readers and consumers, where they digest media similar to the way they digest food, everyone has their own preference, which allows for all types of media to exist. Ethel Baraona Pohl of dpr-barcelona sees the practice of writing about architecture as means to create new narratives that tie it with other fields such as daily lives, politics, social issues, and the economy. Cultivating the experiences of a new library, a social housing project can transcend its physical form by connecting the work to its archaeological matters, or to its political stance. Personally, these links are what makes architecture exciting as it permeates into the metaphysical form of the concrete world around us. When these agencies are considered when publishing, the work of disseminating can become more holistic and more involved in the daily lives of the audience.
Even with the rise of social media and digital space (and very soon, the Metaverse), the panellists do not see that this is the end of architectural criticism. Writing, curating, and criticising is part of growth for the practice, and when they are not in the form of written articles, they are in the form of memes. Entering the digital space of criticism one must recognize the post-ironic energy that encapsulates the platform. Surprisingly, embracing the flaws and exposing the mediocre aspects of architecture can be quite educational. By applying the hot-cold media concept to this matter, a page with full democracy and no curation like Arch-daily can be a great resource for everyone who wants to learn more about architecture.
The conversion concluded with us questioning the role of digital images and renderings within the context of publishing. Carlo Menon, who has been researching small publication houses for his PhD at Bartlett, talked about how a writer/blogger/influencer should aim to create a zone where the project can be discussed without beautifying it too much and deliver the images through the eyes of the creator/photographer. The routine is in unison with small or large scale magazine, and seeing these images in different mediums like digital screens, newspaper, or book, can bring another layer to the process of disseminating. The instant gratification one can get from a rendering should not be taken for granted, but at the same time, learning to use these images carefully is an essential part of being a disseminator.