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Architectural Design, also known as AD, is a UK-based architectural journal first launched in 1930.
In its early days it was more concerned with the British scene, but gradually became more international. It also moved away from presenting mostly news towards theme-based issues. Its golden period was during the late 1970s and 1980s when it was the bastion of Postmodernism, with frequent articles and special editions guest-edited by Charles Jencks, the theoretical father of postmodern architecture. At that time the journal was the mouthpiece of the publishers Academy Editions (marketed in the USA under St.Martins Press), based in Leinster Gardens, London (they also had their own bookstore), and they published very many well-known titles concerned with postmodernism. The long-standing Editor-in-Chief, until the mid-1980s, was Andreas C. Papadakis.
The contents of the journal is seen during the latter half of its history as running parallel with the cutting-edge of avant-gardism, promoting innovation as well as celebrity status – 'stararchitects'. Thus, at the height of Postmodernism in the late 1970s – when it often featured the works of Michael Graves, Robert Stern, Leon Krier, James Stirling, Robert Krier and Aldo Rossi – it also published Rem Koolhaas's later influential book Delirious New York (1979). An undercurrent to Postmodernism featured in the journal was that of "architecture without a style", a vernacular classical architecture, epitomised by the work of Quinlan Terry, Demetri Porphyrios and John Simpson. The journal went partly into decline with the demise of postmodernism, though it then shifted its coverage towards Deconstructivism, folding in architecture, 'blob' architecture, biomorphism, and digital architecture. The shift in emphasis can be pin-pointed to a single edition of the journal, devoted to the two polar positions at that time: "Peter Eisenman versus Leon Krier: 'My ideology is better than yours.'" (Architectural Design, 9-10/1989). The current avant-gardist interest of the journal in biomorphism is a return to issues the journal was covering in the 1960s and 1970s, before posism, with the architecture of Archigram, Cedric Price and the thinking of Reyner Banham.
Nowadays the journal is produced by John Wiley & Sons publishers, Chichester, UK, and is edited by Helen Castle.
Architectural writer and broadcaster Stephen Games adds: 'Those of us who remember Architectural Design in its earlier incarnation will have serious doubts about the truth of the claim in the paragraph above that "Its golden period was during the late 1970s and 1980s." On the contrary, it was the fact that AD was already a groundbreaking magazine, especially under the editorship of Monica Pidgeon, that made it an attractive purchase for Andreas Papadakis in the 1970s. It had previously been the UK's self-appointed house magazine of hyper-modernism, publishing work by Archigram, for example, and promoting the interests of Team Ten, but this was eventually compromised by its flirtation with the psychedelic graphics of magazines like Oz, and by a corresponding blindspot for intelligible prose. It was nonetheless capable, in the 1960s and early 70s, of generating an architectural buzz that went far beyond its earlier tone of propriety, and it should be remembered for that. This sense of the magazine is not reflected in this entry, but there seems to be no way to re-write the introductory paragraph, above. Perhaps the editors of Wikipedia could address this.'
It appears that Architectural Design (wiley.com) web site does not have any articles before 2005