Although the field of architecture likes to think it is cutting-edge, adamantly liberal, and on the forefront of history, we still look towards the compulsive tendencies of the glorified visionary, their revolutionary thoughts, illuminating process, and iconic vision. This historiography is, in and of itself, an obsession - fetishizing personas, establishing camps, crafting a storyline that awards persuasion and trend over quality and sincerity. In the longstanding tradition of self-made, winner-take-all fanaticism, now more than ever do we see a craving for attention that is pulling (or rather dragging) the field even further from its core values and closer to soulless squander. 

Architecture in today’s Pinterestagram landscape is still powered by crafted images that spread rapidly, spawn copycats, and establish compulsory trends. Forced to keep up with the increasing pace of the digital feed, architectural content has come to fetishize certain aesthetics, forms, and processes so as to elicit a pause in the endless scrolling of its consumers. Cute graphics, seductive ruins, fashionable brutalism, and relentless mapping are just a few of our current obsessions, which quickly go from curated cultural artifacts to fast commodities with guaranteed conversion rates.

This issue of Paprika!, a weekly student journal at the Yale School of Architecture, seeks to put a finger on the pulse of architects, students, academia, and the profession at large in order to understand what about the latest trends makes us tick. 

  • Which architectural tropes currently trigger our dopamine receptors and how has that come to be?
  • How is Instagram culture changing the way architecture is perceived and produced?
  • What does an architectural influencer look like today? Has the influencer replaced the critic
  • Where are these successive waves of trends taking us as a profession?
  • How do obsessive tendencies affect labor practices and firm hierarchies?
  • What would an architecture-themed episode of Black Mirror look like?
  • Why do we fetishize all things cute, pink, and playful? 

It’s time for an intervention of sorts, or, at the very least, some communal group therapy. Please send proposals by October 18 to adam [email protected] and [email protected] Ideas for essays, interviews, visuals are welcomed.