Will Wiles is the author of the novels, ‘Care of Wooden Floors’, ‘The Way Inn’ and, most recently ‘Plume’ (all published by Fourth Estate)

London’s most modern building looks to the future

The BT Tower floats above the city, a reminder of 1960s optimism and a faith in technology that is in short supply today

27 Mar 2024

The architects who have dreamt of impossible buildings

Aaron Betsky’s account of the wildest visions architecture has to offer is full of buildings that haunt the structures of the real world

26 Feb 2024

Lost in fantasy at the British Library

This impressive exhibition takes us through the very long history of a literary genre, but overlooks the part played by artists and illustrators

10 Nov 2023

Man about town – around modern London with Ian Nairn

A reissue of the architectural critic’s guide to new buildings in the capital is just as fresh as it was 60 years ago

24 Oct 2023

Genteel flats for genteel people

The mansion block has often reconciled Londoners who can’t afford actual mansions to the realities of apartment-living

11 Aug 2023

The Tower of Babel now owes more to Bruegel than the Bible

When we think of the biblical folly, it’s Pieter Breugel the Elder’s painting that first comes to mind – but artists and writers are still reimagining it today

28 Mar 2023
portrait of a man sitting on a chair in a warehouse space

Photographic memory – an interview with Thomas Demand

The artist who builds and photographs meticulous maquettes explains how the pleasure of tricking people plays second fiddle to his interest in reality

22 Mar 2023

The psychedelic ceramics of Redd Ekks

The Norwegian American’s trippy sculptures are cult classics in the making

7 Feb 2023

Constructive criticism and mid-century modernism

Eero Saarinen’s marriage to the publicist Aline Louchheim tells us a lot about how the architect made his name

30 Jan 2023

Scary storeys – ‘Horror in the Modernist Block’, reviewed

Contemporary artists explore the fearful side of modernist architecture at Ikon, but a real sense of menace may be missing

2 Dec 2022
View of Anthony Caro’s ‘River Song’ (2011–12) in NorthPark Center in Dallas, Texas, founded in 1965 by Raymond and Patsy Nasher.

The call of the shopping mall

In ‘Meet Me by the Fountain’, Alexandra Lange uncovers the surprisingly utopian origins of the modern mall and defends it from its critics

30 Aug 2022
View of the National Library of Brasil in Brasília, designed by Oscar Niemeyer and photographed by Iwan Baan for his publication ‘Brasília – Chandigarh: Living with Modernity’ (Lars Müller, 2010).

What photographs can and can’t tell us about buildings

Since the invention of the medium, photography has always had an ambiguous relationship with architecture

20 Jul 2022
The author Shirley Hughes photographed on 17 September 1982.

The deep humanity of Shirley Hughes animates every page of her work

The author of beloved books such as the ‘Alfie’ series and ‘Dogger’ simply knew how children look and act

4 Mar 2022
Digitising your VHS tapes can be a nightmare.

In ‘Archive 81’, restoring VHS tapes turns out to be a complete nightmare

In the Netflix series a film conservator is tasked with rescuing a set of videotapes from the 1990s. Will Wiles wonders what could possibly go wrong.

11 Feb 2022
Isamu Noguchi with study for Luminous Plastic Sculpture, 1943

Light years ahead – ‘Isamu Noguchi’ at the Barbican, reviewed

The familiarity of the designer’s most famous products has long obscured his more utopian side

21 Jan 2022
David Oyelowo and Jessica Plummer in ‘The Girl Before’.

Do minimalist architects make the best murderers? – ‘The Girl Before’, reviewed

A dislike of frills can signal much more sinister tendencies – or that’s what a BBC adaptation of J.P. Delaney’s thriller ‘The Girl Before’ would have us believe

7 Jan 2022
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy in Candyman (2021; dir. Nia DaCosta).

The Candyman is back – and this time he’s haunting the art world

The Chicago art scene turns out to be a suitably chilling setting for Nia DaCosta’s sequel to the cult horror film

23 Sep 2021
An image of the ‘Santa Cruz’ mountain on Mars, taken by Perseverance's Mastcam-Z in April 2021.

The Martian landscape is magical but mundane – though it would be a mistake to start taking it for granted

Mars has never seemed closer, with rovers spamming us with photos from its surface

28 May 2021
Requiem for a dream: a shuttered Debenhams on Oxford Street, March 2021.

Shutting up shop: an elegy for the department store dream

These vast, bustling buildings were once emblems of city life – but they’ve been in decline for years and the pandemic has only hastened their demise

29 Mar 2021
Market crash: does anybody mourn the death of VHS?

Video in demand? The nostalgic appeal of VHS

Videos have become relics of a bygone era – but they are attracting a new following, glitches and all

27 Feb 2021
Selfie harm: rioters in the US Capitol rotunda on January 2021.

The invasion of the Capitol fulfilled a warning from history – and will haunt us for years to come

The inauguration of Joe Biden as president marks a new chapter, but it won’t wipe out the ugly scenes of the storming of Congress

20 Jan 2021
Crawley Edge Boatshed, Perth, WA, Australia, c. 1930s. Photographed by James Wong

How to see the world like Wes Anderson

All the world’s a set for the director’s films, according to an enjoyably idiosyncratic travel guide

3 Dec 2020
Langlands & Bell in the Library-Dining Room with Grand Tour (2020). Photo: Gareth Gardner

‘They show where the bodies are buried’ – Langlands & Bell at the Soane, reviewed

The duo’s wry installations uncover the realities architecture often hides – and examine how buildings can manipulate people

9 Nov 2020
The Humvees of Call of Duty.

What does it mean to regard video games as works of art?

A long-running debate has been revived by a court ruling that the realism of ‘Call of Duty’ makes it a work of art

6 May 2020