Real Estate Fiction. Branding Industries and the Construction of Global Urban Imaginaries
Embargo bis 2024-02-18
- Doctoral Thesis
This thesis examines the role of real estate branding industries in design, mediation and globalisation of the built environment. The ‘entrepreneurial shift’ in urban governance, underway since the 1970s, accompanied by the globalisation of financial and real estate markets, has created conditions for the emergence of industries specialised in branding nations, places, cities and large-scale urban projects. Occupying the position of an intermediary who communicates with all the stakeholders involved in the project-making, the role of a real estate branding expert has grown in relevance over time, corresponding to that of an architect and urbanist. With communication preceding rather than succeeding architectural and urban design in the era of global circulation of capital, goods, information and people—storytelling and language have become design domains running in parallel with that of planning, while branding strategists themselves took over the development of architectural aspects of real estate projects, thus blurring the boundaries between the scopes of work of the two professions. The importance of the curated and total brand concept, followed by self-referentiality of branding industries had gradually led to the creation of new fictional urban typologies, such as ‘smart cities,’ ‘Live, Work and Play’ developments or ‘lifestyle communities,’ existing mainly at the level of a branding language, detached from the actual real estate 'product’ on the ground. With place-specific, but still standardised campaigns, real estate branding agencies have, thus, helped perpetuate globalisation of built environment on the one hand, but also collective urban imaginaries on the other. Organised around the case of Belgrade Waterfront, a large-scale urban development conceived in the real estate–nationalism nexus of the post-socialist Serbia, and Europolis, its preceding, yet never-built urban vision of the 1990s Serbian Government under the regime of Slobodan Milošević, the thesis frames the two projects as designs of their branding strategists, and not their architects and urban planners. Proposing to view Belgrade Waterfront’s built architecture as only one segment of a wider ‘brandscape’ of its respective political party, the project’s global developer and their branding team, the thesis positions architecture and branding as intertwined design fields. Based on the archival research, media analysis and almost twenty interviews conducted both with the stakeholders involved in the Belgrade Waterfront project’s development, as well as representatives of global agencies specialising in real estate branding and storytelling, the thesis outlines the expanding scope of work and growing power of this expertise in the making of contemporary cities. Mehr anzeigen
Externe LinksPrintexemplar via ETH-Bibliothek suchen
Themaarchitecture; real estate; urban planning; urban studies; branding; media studies; globalisation
Organisationseinheit03588 - Ursprung, Philip / Ursprung, Philip
AnmerkungenThis publication is an outcome of the SNF-funded project 'Conflicting Identities. Politics of Representation and Counterculture in Yugoslavia during the Cold War.'