Architects “Getting Real”

On Present-Day Professional Fictions

Authored by: Arindam Dutta

The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138917569
eBook ISBN: 9781315688947
Adobe ISBN:


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The concept-metaphor “design” has acquired both popular and epistemological provenance today, connoting a shift in the way individuals, firms, and academia know and do things. For people who title themselves “designers,” this implies an imperative to style aesthetic speculation after modes of financial speculation, displaying a new “pragmatic” or opportunistic outlook on their profession. Taking up key case studies in global real estate investment, this essay argues that notwithstanding this newfound spirit of acquiescence, such opportunism means little in terms of the shifting flows of flexible capital and investment. The rise of design paradoxically augurs the eclipse of the designer.

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