The nexus between architecturally exceptional projects and the city is the focus of this special session. Ever since the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao (GMB), designed by Frank Gehry, opened its doors in 1997, the promise of duplicating or copying the transformative effects generated by architecturally exceptional projects has been travelling in the worlds of planners, city authorities, real estate promoters and scientific observers alike. With ‘exceptional’ we mean that the architecture involves the innovative use of materials, the exceptional arrangement of volumes and/or the signature of an architect of international professional acclaim. Such projects are usually costly; they are time consuming endeavors frequently involving political risks and controversies.
While some go so far as to argue that “magnet cities” (Haynes and Langley, 2014) and “phoenix cities” (Power et al., 2010) have been able to counteract urban decline by using exceptional architectural projects that “hard brand a city” (Evans, 2005), trigger “architourism” (Ockman, 2015) and “architainment” (Fernández-Galiano, 2005), others have questioned the “Bilbao formula” altogether (Franklin, 2016) and called for a more differentiated approach to analyze how architecturally exceptional projects ‘work’ (Alaily-Mattar et al. 2019, forthcoming). The central concern of this special session is that more research involving new perspectives is needed in order to analyze the effectiveness of architecturally exceptional urban projects. Possible paper topics and themes can include, but are not limited to:
_ Theories, concepts and research methods for researching the role of architecture in urban transformation, place marketing, city branding and the politics of representation
_ Advanced qualitative and quantitative methods, e.g. digital methods and tools
_ The nexus between architecturally exceptional projects, tourism and social media
_ Case studies of the processes accompanying the commissioning of architecturally exceptional projects, particularly policy frameworks and spatial visions
_ Investigations of case studies throughout the world, particularly, presentations that unpack inter-dependencies between actor networks, the realization of architecturally exceptional projects and urban transformation
_ Ex-post investigations of the actual socio-economic effects triggered by architecturally exceptional projects
_ The historical evolution of the use of star architecture projects as an instrument of urban planning
Our ambition is to collect papers for a special issue at a peer reviewed journal. The last special session that we organized at AAG resulted in a special issue at the Journal of Urban Design.
We invite you to join us at this session by (1) Registering for the annual meeting of the AAG; (2) Submitting an abstract and (3) Providing us with your program identification number (PIN), so that we can add you to our session. For further information, please contact Dr. Nadia Alaily-Mattar, E-mail: N.Alailyemail@example.com
|Presenter||Nadia Alaily-Mattar*, Munich University of Technology, The problematization of ‘star architecture’ in architecture research||15|
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