|Published online: April 10, 2014||$US5.00|
In 2007, the actor Brad Pitt and the architectural firms GRAFT and William McDonough & Partners commenced a project in the Lower Ninth Ward, a suburb of New Orleans. The idea was to build new houses for those residents who had lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina two years before. The Make It Right Foundation commissioned twenty-one architectural firms to design green, flood-resistant family houses. This paper aims to investigate how the reconstruction of the Lower Ninth Ward became an international media event and the type of problems it exposes in the domain of contemporary architecture. An attempt is also made to define and investigate the impact of a celebrity leading figure on both the designing and reconstruction processes, as well as possibly the new agency of image in architecture and architecture itself: architectural images as a recognizable media that are used as a tool for marketing and branding. Using the discourse analysis as a method of research, this paper explores the confluence of international attention and image consciousness, where the architectural image is used as a powerful tool of mass media in an attempt to communicate the altered representation of this New Orleans suburb.
|Keywords:||Image, Reconstruction, Media, Architecture, Iconicity, New Orleans, Make It Right, Brad Pitt|
PhD candidate, Griffith School of Environment, Planning and Architecture, Department of Architecture, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia