Architects and Global Marketing – Buying and Selling in China


This essay will discuss the phenomenon of world-famous architects in the neoliberal age and their propagation within the Chinese market, focusing on the practice of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). This essay seeks to examine the mechanisms behind BIG’s global stardom. It outlines BIG’s rise to fame and entry into the Chinese architectural market. Taking the case of the Danish Pavilion, it then analyses specific marketing strategies BIG have adopted in advertising the Pavilion to Chinese audiences. It then discusses China’s peculiar market condition and extrapolates BIG’s common strategies for brand building. The essay argues that BIG’s success is underpinned by the use of visual communication for self-promotion, which appeals to wider audiences. Their success is also a testimony of pervasive consumerism. However, the Danish Pavilion does relate to history, culture, or society. The phenomenon of BIG’s architectural stardom is also worrying for the architecture industry and education, which remains historically embedded in the notion of the singular author and egocentrism.

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