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Brandscapes: Architecture in the Experience Economy [Hardcover]

by Anna Klingmann
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 13, 2007 0262113031 978-0262113038

In the twenty-first century, we must learn to look at cities not as skylines but as brandscapes and at buildings not as objects but as advertisements and destinations. In the experience economy, experience itself has become the product: we're no longer consuming objects but sensations, even lifestyles. In the new environment of brandscapes, buildings are not about where we work and live but who we imagine ourselves to be. In Brandscapes, Anna Klingmann looks critically at the controversial practice of branding by examining its benefits, and considering the damage it may do. Klingmann argues that architecture can use the concepts and methods of branding--not as a quick-and-easy selling tool for architects but as a strategic tool for economic and cultural transformation. Branding in architecture means the expression of identity, whether of an enterprise or a city; New York, Bilbao, and Shanghai have used architecture to enhance their images, generate economic growth, and elevate their positions in the global village. Klingmann looks at different kinds of brandscaping today, from Disneyland, Las Vegas, and Times Square--prototypes and case studies in branding--to Prada's superstar-architect-designed shopping epicenters and the banalities of Niketown. But beyond outlining the status quo, Klingmann also alerts us to the dangers of brandscapes. By favoring the creation of signature buildings over more comprehensive urban interventions and by severing their identity from the complexity of the social fabric, Klingmann argues, today's brandscapes have, in many cases, resulted in a culture of the copy. As experiences become more and more commodified, and the global landscape progressively more homogenized, it falls to architects to infuse an ever more aseptic landscape with meaningful transformations. How can architects use branding as a means to differentiate places from the inside out--and not, as current development practices seem to dictate, from the outside in? When architecture brings together ecology, economics, and social well-being to help people and places regain self-sufficiency, writes Klingmann, it can be a catalyst for cultural and economic transformation.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The principle behind this book is that buildings aren't just buildings, but rather iconic symbols that reflect who we are as people, cities and economies-in that sense, they represent a "brand" of sorts. Carrying that logic several steps short of its logical conclusion, architect and writer Klingmann looks at the "brandscapes" that cityscapes have become: "As a strategic tool for eliciting a relevant experience, architecture has an immediate impact on social relations and economic transactions... What counts in a building is not so much how it looks but how it comes to life for people." The problem with these and other statements throughout is that they come off as either vague or self-evident (perhaps as a result of her immersion in the subject-she's the founder of a New York agency "for architecture and brand building"). There is no doubt that Klingmann has passion and knowledge to spare, and that the general idea behind the book is valid, but esoteric, faux-academic writing ("The equation of Experience = Drama + Diversity + Detail can be discerned in the Parthenon almost as clearly as it can in contemporary commercial structures") too often substitutes for well-developed argument and clear-headed analysis. 100 illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"As Anna Klingmann shows in this well-researched, and well-written book, brand and experience management are at the forefront of contemporary architectural theory and practice. Indeed, viewing buildings and architects as brands that provide experiences can provide a new and fresh perspective for the entire field of architecture. This insightful book provides a much-needed critical perspective on this emerging trend." Bernd Schmitt , author, Experiential Marketing and Customer Experience Management

"Heir to the heraldry of ancient kingdoms, today"s experience economies attempt to link the caprice of themed environments with thoroughly rationalized market strategies. As various strata of space making become increasingly reliant on psychic signaling as symbolic capital, the architecture profession indulges in another of its perennial crises about authenticity and meaning that never existed. Klingmann"s Brandscapes allows us to eavesdrop on this soul-searching, but she also whispers, in aside, "Where"s the tragedy?" Indeed, she argues that commodified desire may only give designers more precise and penetrating control over business plans and urban politics now under the affable spell of brand longing."Keller Easterling , Associate Professor, Yale University School of Architecture

" Brandscapes bravely argues for a public architecture to re-create delight, challenging designers to bring together the wow factor of consumer culture and people"s desire to belong. Klingmann makes us realize that good architecture can be both commercial and thematic -- and forces us to rethink the legacy of modernism for an unstable age."Sharon Zukin , author, The Cultures of Cities

" Brandscapes is the first architecture book that takes the Experience Economy as its premise to show architectsand by extension designers, engineers, and indeed all experience stagershow to create places that are authentic, meaningful, and engaging. If placemaking means anything to you, read Anna Klingman"s far-reaching book and apply its path-breaking principles." B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore , coauthors, The Experience Economy and Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want

"In the endlessly recombinant formats spawned by globalization, the meaning of architecture is forced to negotiate a slippery territory between identity, representation, and branding. With a rigorously jaundiced eye, Anna Klingmann unpacks this new place, offering a fascinating tour of both its perils and its possibilities."Michael Sorkin

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 378 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (July 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262113031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262113038
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anna Klingmann, M.Arch. PhD. is principal of Klingmann Architects & Brand Consultants, a multidisciplinary architecture and branding firm in New York. Klingmann Architects & Brand Consultants has been recognized as a leader in the design of complex, international, large-scale mixed-use destinations--always with a strong focus on sustainability and the local heritage. KABC's strategists and planners work globally on a broad range of projects, from new urban districts and retail to corporate campuses, resorts, public parks and residential communities.

A German native, Anna Klingmann received her Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute in New York with Honors and her Masters Degree in Urban Development from the Architectural Association in London. She received her PhD. summa cum laude in branding and architecture from the University of Arts in Berlin. She began her career in New York where she worked for commercial architectural offices. Later she moved to London, where she worked for the internationally renowned architects Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas. Since 1997, she held assistant professorships at Cornell University, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania, and has taught at the Architectural Association in London, the ETH in Zurich, the University of Arts in Berlin, the University of Florida, the Bauhaus Foundation, and University of Texas at Austin. Inspired by the potential of architecture to connect commerce, culture, and community, she founded Klingmann Architects & Brand Consultants in 2001.

Her projects have been published in many international journals and magazines including: Arch Magazine, Istoe Independe, Real Estate Weekly, Fast Company, AD Magazine, Daidalos, Architectural Record, The Age, and Architecture Aujourdhui among many others. She has written academic articles on her BRANDISM® principles, an innovative approach to merging architecture and branding, which have appeared in numerous publications such as Face Magazine, Archithese, The Architectural Theory Review, Detail Magazine, Thresholds, Arch+, among others.

Today, clients around the world seek out Anna Klingmann's advice and opinions on creating unique and sustainable mixed-use destinations. She is a frequent, invited speaker at conferences in the United States and abroad, where her talks explore how architecture can be strategically employed to create imaginative places that truly engage customers and create memories in them.

Her book Brandscapes: Architecture in the Experience Economy, (MIT Press 2007), illustrates cutting-edge ideas how architecture can effectively brand mixed-use destinations, residential communities, and retail environments.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ! September 15, 2007
The topic of this book is extremely entertaining. As any reader can
imagine from the title, it's about landscapes as byproduct of branding.
Well known recent projects in the US (few Europe) by star architects are
analyzed in the context of city branding, museum branding, and corporate

Branding has been out there for long time, but what's particularly
interesting in recent phenomena (gist of this book) is that the
architecture (or formation of its process) is used as a vehicle to
branding. Klingmann was able to pull together diverse discipline groups
and abundant resources to make that claim.

Another major voice in the book is about "Experience Economy." Basically,
how product developers and brand strategists have evolved their nature of
products and point of advertisement into consumer based satisfaction.
That in mind, Klingmann pulls together solid evidence of the
architectural role.

Good books tend to be either extremely informative or imaginative.
Reading the book, I had pleasure of doing the latter. Branding, in my
mind, at the basic level comes down to "art of seduction" or "art of
persuasion", dealing the issues of contemporaneity. There are probably
gazillion different veils to seduce, Klingmann's book does not focus on
one particular way of seducing. The real strength of the book, hence is,
its open-endedness to imagination.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening study on branding April 27, 2009
The mall where you shop, the coffee shop where you take your breaks, the museum that you visit - wherever you go, you are walking through a "brandscape," or branded world. Anna Klingmann describes this aesthetic experience in her eye-opening study of branding in all its forms, with a special focus on architecture. Offering a unique perspective, Klingmann breaks down the strategy behind well-known brands such as Disney, Apple and Starbucks. She also parses the experiences that brandmakers create everywhere from cruise ships to casinos to that "urban entertainment district" where you might have suffered your latest attack of brand overload. Klingmann's text meanders at times, yet her trenchant analysis is rewarding. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone seeking a perceptive analysis of branding strategies - with an unusual recognition of how architecture and landmarks serve to generate a brand image.
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