What of the relationship between architecture and market economy, or between architectural practice and the practices of capitalism?
The differentiation on the view according to which the distinction between spiritual and material evolved as an opposition to capitalism, into a distinction between intellect and arts to the characteristics of the capitalistic society, constitutes the main approach of this study.
Although the initial incentives came up from the observation of the phenomenon according to which today’s architects utilize mechanisms that are used in modern marketing, eventually this study extends in a larger framework examining the connection between architecture and the productive mechanisms from the beginning of the century and the early modernism, until today’s reality of the branding.
The starting point of this study is the example of the collaboration between German architect Peter Behrens and AEG (a company of electrical products for which Behrens designed the corporate identity) ,while are being examined the relations that were developed between architecture and the world of business in beginnings of the twentieth century .In addition this study presents the ambitions and the aims of the businessmen ,through this collaboration, which were the increase of sales and production .Architecture’s engagement with the world of mass production led architects to an involvement with the new for that period domain of advertising .
The above collaboration determined deeply the relationship between modern architects and industry’s fundamental supporters ,advertising and media .The influence of advertising and marketing on modern architecture and mainly on architectural practice ,is presented thought the example of Le Corbusier and his engagement with the word of advertising and modern media .As Beatriz Colomina cites the existence of architecture as a representation in the modern media (together with its traditional substance ,that of built space) delimits a new stage for the architectural production. Thought the pages of magazines and publications architecture is consumed from the large public of middle class.
According to this tradition contemporary architects are extremely familiar with the design of advertisements and the production of images ,while they are able to manipulate the media in an era (post industrial),where the model of mass production has been replaced from marketing and brand development. In this new economical environment where the promotion of the products is more important from the products them selves, more and more architectural firms use and at the same time give shape to the new marketing practices, while they design environments that affect the behavior of the consumers, advertisements and branding, exploiting and at the same time affirming the deep relationship that has been developed between architecture and the new economy based on consumption.
The example of the collaboration between Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Prada, one of the main representatives of the fashion industry, is the last part of this study, where the market is the main ideology and the architect proposes new consumption formulas thought an architecture that functions as a mechanism for the renewal and the evolution of the brand.