Money plays a paradoxical role in the creation of architecture. Formless itself, money is a fundamental form giver. At all scales, and across the ages, architecture is a product of the financial environment in which it is conceived, for better or worse. Yet despite its ubiquity, money is often disregarded as a factor in conceptual design and is persistently avoided by architectural academia as a serious field of inquiry. It is time to break these habits. In the contemporary world, in which economies are increasingly connected, architects must creatively harness the financial logics behind architecture in order to contribute meaningfully to the development of the built environment.
This issue of Perspecta—the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal in America—examines the ways in which money intersects with architectural discourse, design practice, and urban form, in order to encourage a productive relationship between money and the discipline. Contributions from a diverse group of scholars, practitioners, and artists create a dialogue about money’s ambiguous position in architecture, reflecting on topics that range from the aesthetics of austerity to the underwriting of large-scale art projects to the economic implications of building information modeling.
Phil Bernstein—Money, Value, Architects, Building
Mark Foster Gage—Rot Munching Architects
Robert A.M. Stern—Interview
Vivian Loftness—The Cost of Building Trash
Mira Locher—Buying Brand-Name Buildings for Rural Revitalization in Japan: The Case of Kengo Kuma’s Hiroshige Ando Museum
Michelangelo Sabatino—Arthur Erickson: Money, Media, and Canadian Architecture
Hasty Johnson and Jerry Lea—Interview
Jay Wickersham and Christopher Milford—Richardson’s Death, Ames’s Money, and the Birth of the Modern Architectural Firm
Elisabetta Terragni—What’s on the Face of a Coin?
Kevin D. Gray—A Value Proposition
Charles Holland—"Architect: Will Crit for Coffee" The Economics of Architecture
Peter Eisenman—Eating Publicity: Architecture in the Age of Media
AOC—Paranormal Activity: Archi-Spectral Reflections on the Aesthetics of Austerity
Cesar Pelli and Fred Clarke—Interview
Naomi R. Lamoreaux—Interview
Kazys Varnelis—The Architecture of Financialization
David Ross Scheer—The Price of a Paradigm
Brent Ryan and Lorena Bello—The Fiscal Topography of the Shrinking City
Andrew Waugh and Michael Green—Are We There Yet? A Call to Action for Innovation Investment
Todd Reisz—Doha: The Post-Accumulation City
Mario Carpo—Micro-Managing Messiness: Pricing, and the Costs of a Digital Non-Standard Society