'Starchitect': Making Use of an Overused Term

As much as architects and critics may hate the term, "we are going to be stuck with 'starchitect' until everybody with a keyboard agrees to retire it," says Guy Horton. So how can architects - star or not - make the term work for them?

"We can suggest as architect, Stephan Jaklitsch did in a recent letter, that we banish [the word 'starchitect'] to the waste bin of history. But then another term will crop up to take its place. Like it or not, the way things are, popular culture needs to find a way to communicate the concept of the celebrity as manifested in the context of architecture," says Horton. 

As long as the buzzword is with us, how can architects benefit from the buzz?

"The more architects can communicate their actual value to the general public the more they will be able to establish and maintain realistic fee structures. 'Starchitect' as a term can thus have its value in drawing attention to contemporary architecture and making people more aware of it, but architects themselves must wrestle the term back under their control and use it to their advantage. "

"In a sense, all architects may assert a redefined 'starchitect'-ness in the marketplace. Take the position and own the term," he urges. "We are stuck with it anyway, so we might as well put it to good use."


Full Story: The Indicator: Starchitect, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Portmanteau

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