Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger lectured on the topic, “Why Architecture Matters,” elaborating on the ideas in his new book of the same title.
Goldberger argued that, like art, architecture functions to make life qualitatively better while speaking volumes about our culture’s values regarding place. On the other hand, he warned against trying to enforce clear lines between “serious” architecture and ordinary buildings. “Both masterpieces and vernacular architecture shape our environment,” he asserted, “and if we ignore one or the other, we ignore them at our peril."
While reflecting on the meanings and effects of architecture, both in the abstract and in everyday life, Goldberger also worked to recreate the architectural thought process, both in how we experience architecture as well as in how we make value judgments about architecture.
In addition to his many book projects, Goldberger lectures widely around the country. He appears frequently on film and television to discuss these issues, and is now at work on a program on the architect Benjamin Latrobe for PBS. He serves on the jury for the Richard H. Driehaus Prize, the School's $200,000 award presented annually to honor the best in traditional architecture and urbanism.
A podcast of Paul Goldberger's lecture is available online.