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January 22, 2022


The successor architectural firm to that created by the deceased designer Zaha Hadid has paid $16,000,000 to use her name.

When a design is made – of a home, or anything else – when does the designer mean more than the actual act of creation itself? When the “Brand” becomes more important than the human. That is especially true when the human is dead. “Branding” is an new/old mantra: Old in advertising, newly powerful in the internet age when it comes to design, when “key words” and “rankings” begat work.

Homes have been “Branded, too. They have been “typed” since Big Real Estate started selling homes after World War 2 – “Colonial”, “Contemporary, “Arts & Crafts”, Victorian, now “Net-Zero”. The commodification of the human is, well, dehumanizing. What is more human than the home? When we “Brand” them, we dehumanize the home.

Style over substance reduces the joys of creative effervescence into type and pattern. Name over style reduces product to “Brand” perhaps the most hideous outcome ever derived from the illicit mating of ego and aesthetics – profit over humanity.. 

When “Who” is creating becomes a “Brand” it no longer matters “How” or “Why”: “What you did is “Who” you are… 

So buying a name, a “Brand” simply extends inhumanity beyond the grave. Architecture is no different from Nike: the juggernaut of the “Brand” is immortal, as long as you pay for it. Let us discuss this on HOME PAGE this week.

Joining us is one of the creators and editor of the Common Edge Collaborative and former Executive Editor at Metropolitan Home Magazine, Martin Pedersen, Boston Architect Jeremiah Eck, writer and co-founder of The Congress of Residential Architecture, and Rhode Island architect David Andreozzi who was the director of the AIA’s Custom Residential Architect Network.

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