Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services


Sklair, Leslie (2012) Architecture. In: Ritzer, George, (ed.) The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK; Malden MA, USA. ISBN 9781405188241

Full text not available from this repository.

Identification Number: 10.1002/9780470670590.wbeog029


Architecture, like most other industries and forms of artistic expression, has in recent decades been globalized both directly — in what has come to be known as global architecture — and indirectly, by the transnational migration of specific local or regional architectural forms. The spread of what is known as international modernism as an architectural style from its heartlands in Europe and North America to Latin America, Asia, and Africa in the forms of postmodernism and even supermodernism (Ibelings 1998) is the most visible manifestation of global architecture. If we date the era of globalization from the advent of the electronic revolution, notably transformations in the technological base and global scope of the electronic mass media and in general the means of production, distribution, and exchange, architecture can be considered as a relatively globalized industry. Electronic technologies have made possible a new international division of labor between architectural offices in developed and developing countries (Tombesi 2001). This has occurred to an extraordinary degree in China, the most vibrant architectural marketplace since the mid 1990s (see Chung et al. 2001; Campanella 2008). Most celebrated living architects readily accept that they could not have made their most famous buildings without the help of computer-aided design: for example, Norman Foster's Swiss Re (the Gherkin) in London, Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao, Cesar Pelli's Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and SOM's Jinmao Tower in Shanghai. All of these buildings are commonly labeled global icons in the sense that they combine fame outside their host countries with distinctive symbolic-aesthetic significance (Sklair 2006). It is a feature of architecture in the global era that the drivers of iconicity tend to be in the corporate and/or consumerist sectors, whereas iconic buildings of pre-global eras tended to be driven by the state and/or religious institutions (like the Houses of Parliament, the White House, the great gothic cathedrals, the Parthenon, the Taj Mahal, and the Pyramids).

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Divisions: Sociology
LSE Human Rights
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2013 10:48
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2024 23:14

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item