commercialization, architecture, corporeal forms, empathic relationship, consumerism
Within the current conditions of our globalized society, market structures and logics have come to organize culture, economy, and politics in an increasingly interrelated manner. Contingent to this triangulation, architecture needs to be critical about its turn towards the market and the commercialization of its production. By performing as a brand that expands and evolves serially, architectural practice can maneuver commercial systems of exchange and act as a cultural agent that promotes deeper engagement with design. Corporeal forms that induce empathic relationships can serve as the architectural products necessary to fuel consumption practices that craft individualized disciplinary interaction. The empathic branding of serial bodily objects provides a viable means for building consumer audiences and nourishing design agency while critiquing and capitalizing off of architecture's commodification.
Characterized in part by a valorization of the free market and the birth of entrepreneurial self, advanced capitalist orders have reformatted the structure of civic and social practices such as architecture. With the rise of consumerism, exercises in identity and engagement have conformed to commodity flows, soliciting commercially-defined subjectivity. In turn, culture at large is now facilitated by the production-consumption binary derived from modern business practices, adhering to strategies such as marketing and manufacturing. Validated by this consumerist paradigm, the branded consumption and serial production of commercial products present a potential model for design practice that can operate within market ecologies as means of establishing a dialogic relationship with consumers within a curated cultural setting.
Detached from strict marriages to scale and material, forms serve as appropriate architectural commodities as they allow for design to navigate throughout market economies freely. The forms apt for positive consumer relationships are bodies, or corporeal objects that invite viewing subjects to engage and create companionable relationships through their topological surfaces infused with biomorphic characteristics and autonomous vitality. These relationships are fueled by empathic tendencies that satisfies the emotional desires of consumption and encourages lasting commitment to product-forms. Satisfying commercial concerns of loyalty and architectural concerns of engagement, empathic bodily products serve as a keystone in the creation of architectural brand aimed at expanding the scope and depth design agency.
Mulich, Ian and Sanchez, Jose, "P.E.T.S.: Personal. Empathic. Topological. Series." (2019). Architecture Senior Theses. 449.
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