The Representation of Star Architecture between Local and Global Identities

  • Uta LeconteEmail author


Many want to see architecture as an art that is autonomous, freely displaying its author’s ideas and creativity. On the contrary, this chapter considers star architecture as part of broader socio-economic and symbolic relationships and concentrates on the production of identities in the framework of globalisation since the late twentieth century. The question of how and why star architecture represents certain local and global identities and how it interacts with different players in its urban surroundings as well as with the world is examined. The representation of star architecture buildings in highly visible cities is often affected by the process of financialisation and the compression of time and space into hyperreal settings, connecting buildings as mere images. This chapter argues that social production of star architecture implies, in European cities in particular, the representation of both local and global identities for diverse and sometimes conflicting purposes.


Cultural theory Globalisation Star architecture Representation Identities Capitalism 


  1. Adam R (2012) The globalisation of modern architecture: the impact of politics, economics and social change on architecture and Urban Design since 1990. Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle upon TyneGoogle Scholar
  2. Alaily-Mattar N, Dreher J, Thierstein A (2018) Repositioning cities through star architecture: how does it work? J Urban Des 23(2):169–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bartmanski D, Alexander JC (2012) Materiality and meaning in social life: towards an iconic turn in cultural sociology. In: Bartmanski D (ed) Iconic power: materiality and meaning in social life. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  4. Baudrillard J (1981) Simulacra and simulation. The University of Michigan Press, MichiganGoogle Scholar
  5. Berger J (1972) Ways of seeing. Penguin Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Borden I, Rendell J (2000) Inter sections: architectural histories and critical theories. Routledge, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Castells M (2010) The network society. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Colomina B (2008) Media as modern architecture. In: Vidler A (ed) Architecture between spectacle and use. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, pp 58–76Google Scholar
  9. Deamer P (2014) Architecture and capitalism. 1845 to the present. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Debord G (1967) Society of the Spectacle. Black & Red, DetroitGoogle Scholar
  11. Delitz H (2011) Jenseits von Krise und Repräsentation. Zum Verhältnis von Architektur und Gesellschaft. In: ARCH+, Zeitschrift für Architektur und Städtebau, Nr. 204: Krise der Repräsentation, pp 22–26Google Scholar
  12. Friedmann J (2006) The World City hypothesis. In: Brenner I, Kell R (eds) The global cities reader. Routledge, London/New York, pp 67–72Google Scholar
  13. Goffman E (1963) Stigma. Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Simon & Schuster, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Groys B (2017) Towards a new universalism. In: e-flux Journal #86, (Accessed 20 Aug 2018)
  15. Hannerz U (1990) Cosmopolitans and locals in world culture. Theory Cult Soc 7(2–3):237–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harvey D (1990) The condition of postmodernity. Blackwell, Cambridge/OxfordGoogle Scholar
  17. Jameson F (1991) Postmodernism, or, the cultural logic of late capitalism. Duke University Press, DurhamGoogle Scholar
  18. Jencks C (1987) The language of PoMo architecture. Rizzoli, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. King AD (2004) Spaces of global cultures: architecture, urbanism, identity. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Klingman A (2007) Brandscapes. Architecture in the experience economy. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  21. Lefebvre H (1992) Rhythmanalysis: space, time and everyday life. Bloomsbury, London/New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Martin R (2016) Remarks on the production of representation. In: Andraos A (ed) The Arab City and representation. Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, GSAPP, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Palermo PC, Ponzini D (2015) Place-making and urban development: new challenges for contemporary planning and design. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Ponzini D, Nastasi M (2016) Starchitecture. Scenes, actors, and spectacles in contemporary cities. Monacelli Press, New York. [original edition 2011]Google Scholar
  25. Rivera LA (2008) Managing “spoiled” national identity: war, tourism, and memory in Croatia. Am Sociol Rev 73(4):613–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Robin E (2018) Performing real estate value (s): real estate developers, systems of expertise and the production of space. Geoforum, forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  27. Sassen S (2001) The global city. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New York/London/TokyoGoogle Scholar
  28. Saunders WS (ed) (2005) Commodification and spectacle in architecture: a Harvard Design Magazine reader. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  29. Scheppe W (2011) Realabstraktion und Fassade. Zur politischen Ökonomie der “Stadt der Gesellschaft”. In: ARCH+, Zeitschrift für Architektur und Städtebau, Nr. 204: Krise der Repräsentation, Oktober 2011, pp 8–18Google Scholar
  30. Sklair L (2017) The icon project: architecture, cities and capitalist globalization. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Spencer D (2016) The architecture of neoliberalism. Housman Books, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stierli M (2016) Architecture and visual culture: some remarks on an ongoing debate. J Vis Cult 15(3):311–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Till J (2008) Architecture and contingency. Field 1(1):120Google Scholar
  34. Trüby S (2014) Geldkulturen. Eine Einführung. In: Trüby S (ed) (2017) Absolute Architektur Beginner. Schriften 2004 – 2014. Fink, Paderborn, pp 56–66Google Scholar
  35. Yaneva A (2009) Making the social hold: towards an actor-network theory of design. Des Cult 1(3):273–288Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische Universität München, Department of ArchitectureMunichGermany

Personalised recommendations