Make It Right: The Agency of Architecture in the Image

By Sanja Rodes.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
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

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 4, Issue 1, April 2014, pp.61-75. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 10, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 509.867KB)).

Sanja Rodes

PhD candidate, Griffith School of Environment, Planning and Architecture, Department of Architecture, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia

Sanja Rodes is a PhD candidate at Griffith School of Environment, Planning and Architecture at Griffith University in Gold Coast, Australia. She graduated at the University of Belgrade, School of Architecture in Serbia in 2009, and received a Master of Architecture degree. Her research interests lie in a cross-disciplinary analysis of the forces that shaped the architecture of the late 20th and 21st centuries with emphasis on the socio-political, psychological and cultural studies of the phenomena of globalization and mass media.