Internationally renowned architects have been at center stage in public debates, not only with reference to designing esthetically striking artifacts, but also for urban regeneration programs and city branding. Since the 1990s urban policy-makers and stakeholders have apparently been competing in collecting spectacular or branded buildings such as museums, corporate skyscrapers or luxury residential towers and hotels.
For different reasons this has recently attracted the attention of architecture, planning and geography scholars as well, though we still have limited understanding about the urban implications of most critical issues of starchitecture.
Drawing on concrete case studies in different cities of the world – such as New York, Barcelona, Milan, Abu Dhabi, Singapore – this lecture concentrates on the spectacularization of architecture and the built environment, the roles of star architects and financial interests in urban policy-making and the circulation of similar branded buildings and master plans.
Davide Ponzini will argue that – despite what mainstream narratives say – starchitecture is often used by urban policy-makers, local and transnational coalitions in order to drive political consensus, maximize media exposure and cover economic and real estate interests, potentially inducing paradoxical and even perverse urban effects.
Public Lecture organized by Prof Dr Peter Ache - Urban Futures Lab
Wednesday 14 January 2015