NOTES TOWARDS A THEORY OF THE VERY TALL BUILDING: VERTICAL ARCHITECTURE AND CAPITAL, 1973—PRESENT

Mariano Gomez Luque

This project studies the complex intersections between vertical architecture and capital, seeking to trace how this relation has unfolded during the last four decades — the age of The Very Tall Building. The research proceeds in three steps: first, by focusing on the entanglements between very tall buildings and finance; second, by examining the relationship between very tall buildings and the urban (or capital spatialized); third, by reflecting on the possible links between very tall buildings and a post-capitalist future. Moving through the circuits of financial abstraction, planetary urbanization, and the utopian/dystopian imaginaries of late capitalism, the thesis mobilizes architectural and design discourses vis-à-vis political economy, critical urban theory, and science fiction studies in order to unravel the dynamics that shape the design logics at play in the production of contemporary vertical architectural space, and to speculate about its possible future paths.

Planned outcome:  doctoral dissertation, Harvard GSD

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