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Old Posted Jun 30, 2010, 3:16 PM
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How Branding Can Lead To Healthier Architecture

How Branding Can Lead To Healthier Architecture

June 29, 2010

Read More: http://www.psfk.com/2010/06/how-bran...hitecture.html

PSFK sat down with Anna Klingmann for a conversation covering trends in architecture as they pertain to sustainability and health. Her agency, Klingmann, specializes in a niche area where architecture meets branding. Her book Brandscapes: Architecture in the Experience Economy demonstrates her vision both in the fields of architecture and marketing.


How did Klingmann as an agency come about?

It started while I was still teaching. For the past 10-15 years, I have been focusing on academic research which was geared towards writing Brandscapes and the intersection of branding and architecture. I always wanted to apply these principles, so the book is not of academic nature. In exploring this intersection, we began with resort work and now urban masterplanning projects in the Middle East (i.e. Oman, Saudi Arabia, and The United Arab Emirates).

How does this trend compare in different regions?

It’s a global trend. It was really big in New York around 2006 when branding for individual properties exploded with the Richard Meier Towers, and then extended to the Jean Nouvels. Suddenly there was a new trend where accommodation in the classical sense was no longer enough.

Before that, New York was almost anti-design [i.e. individual designer]. The only designed building was really Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum and the rest is all design by committee. Developers began working with branding agencies when the demand for high-end apartments went up. The architect’s program and design came to be involved (sometimes in pre-development) with branding agencies that tailor the property’s identity and its positioning in the market. They were turning apartment buildings into destinations. This was both about creating and responding to a particular lifestyle.

Can you envision a branded building for lower income housing? Or is it reserved for the rich only?

It’s not really a matter of money. A brand is something that brings out the identity of a particular place. How do you take the potential residing in a particular place or culture and how do you use architecture in conjunction with urban design to express the culture in a way that leads people to identify with it. You can see why it’s necessary, particularly in lower income housing, to nurture that sense of belonging.

I always distinguish between identity and image. Image is something ‘put on’, the idea is to make something identical. Image in architecture is a pre-meditated image, transplanted in a way that disregards the context of the building. So if you really want to establish a brand, it has to come from the latent qualities already there and use architecture to bring it together.

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