Here’s an idea that has been bouncing around a while. The Dallas Morning News anounced today that it will partner with the University of Texas at Arlington to hire an architecture critic who will also double as a faculty member for the university. I first heard of this model back in, oh, 2010, when the idea was for the DMN to partner with Southern Methodist University to bring in an art critic that would be shared between the paper and the university’s classroom. Now the attention is on architecture:
At The News, the individual selected will write about local, national and international developments in design, urbanism and environmental development. At the university, the nontenured professor will serve as a research fellow at the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, conducting and publishing longer-term research. The appointee will generally teach one course in each of the fall and spring semesters.
This is great news, of course. We need more intelligent voices engaged in every facet of Dallas life. But like I said, we’ve heard this plan before. I also heard from sources at SMU that a few people were contacted for the art critic/faculty position, but they declined to accept. This may all come down to money, and the UTA position is hitched to a fellowship position at the new David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture. But it also may come down to the fact that Dallas might be a more exciting place to be for someone accomplished as an architectural thinker (Museum Tower controversy, arch-stars, urbanism) versus someone accomplished in art (you leave NY or LA for too long and they tend to forget your name). I really hope it works out, but until someone is actually named to the position, this is very much a “wait and see.”