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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Book Review: Mark No. 27

Mark No. 27
Mark Magazine, 2010
Paperback, 268 pages



Previously I've featured a couple reviews of issues of Mark Magazine, a Dutch publication that comes out six times a year. The latest, No. 27, follows the same basic format started with No. 17: A Notice Board with images and brief descriptions on new projects is followed by a Cross Section, where completed buildings receive longer copy, but not as much depth as the Long Section, the main beef of the issue with articles on buildings, exhibitions, designers, cities, etc.; Viewpoint focuses on individual architects or firms and the Service Area concludes each issue, with a potpourri of books, products and materials. The more issues of Mark that I see, the more I gravitate to the Long Section and Service Area.

Number 27's Long Section includes coverage of Peter Eisenman's in-progress City of Culture in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where two buildings are complete; a piece on the house gracing the cover by Michael Maltzan; an interview with playwright and architect Moshe Safdie's son, Oren Safdie; a meta-narrative of sorts on Paolo Soleri's Arcosanti; and a by-the-numbers look at the Shanghai Expo, among other articles. The Service Area has an unguarded interview with Michael Sorkin and a couple technical pieces on slump glass in REX's Vakko Fashion Center and Byoung-soo Cho's concrete curtain. Like other issues, the focus is on experimentation, innovation, and eye-catching images. The inclusion of Eisenman, Sorkin and Soleri alongside much younger practitioners and thinkers gives the issue a good mix, even if women don't seem to be represented, at least overtly, in these pages. But what makes this and other issues of Mark worthwhile is the quality of the writing. With most of the projects found elsewhere, both online and in print, it's the interviews, commentaries, reviews -- and most importantly, the perspectives of each -- that publishers need to rely on for making their product worth buying.

4 comments:

  1. i think the lack of women in Mark (and generally in publications) should be a concern, but the greatest problem with Mark lies in the section titles "Men of mark".

    That is absurd.

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  2. Yea, I forgot all about the "Men of Mark" label for the Viewpoint section. The first time I saw that I thought it meant "the people that put Mark together," but for what it really means the gender bias seems unnecessary.

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  3. This issue of Mark has been made available online (for free):

    http://mark.framemag.com/mark/free/magazine.html

    Not the easiest way to read a magazine but good for an extensive preview.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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