Building as Sign: Architecture in the Image Economy

By Richard Brook.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The use of the term ‘brand’ has become prevalent, its permeation, from a consumer context, simply acting as an indicator of where to make a purchase, into a socio-spatial domain, that can define, streets, districts and cities, is one indicator that western cities have ultimately arrived at a consumptive juncture. The term is applied without being hindered by scale; a city may have a brand or be branded as successfully as a neighbourhood, a shop or a consumable object. The notion of brand that is critical here rests within an ostensibly objectified condition, that of the ‘sign’, though it is acknowledged that branding does not always assume physical properties. Brand image is part of the city’s super-organism and the strength of a brand can allow subtle gestures to imply its presence.

Keywords: Image, Brand, Identity, Architecture, Facadism, Kaleidoscopic Urbanism

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.67-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.142MB).

Richard Brook

Senior Lecturer, Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, Lancashire, UK

Richard has a background in creative media and is a qualified architect. His research interests follow two streams, historical and theoretical, though both are bound by an interest in policy. The ‘control’ exerted in creative disciplines that involve the built environment often reduce the ‘designer’ to the role of ‘mediator’. It is within the policy and regulatory constraints that the wonderful, weird and bastardised versions of our cities emerge. Richard is interested in the unseen forces that shape the image of our cities and has pursued Masters level enquiry into this subject area, with particular focus on the role of the branded environment.