Justin K Lai, Yale School of Architecture, M.Arch I

2-16

Frame + Essence

February 23, 2017

“Marketing” is a term that all architects love to hate, simply because it rings associations of corporate, mainstream, sellout etc. However, it’s time we changed our perception of this in order to avoid insularity and irrelevancy. I would argue that a narrative is a self-reassuring fable that runs zero risk of failure, whereas marketing is the delivery of a narrative to an audience, and its receptiveness becomes a determining metric for its success and value. In a way, the former takes itself too seriously. It scoffs at the notion of being judged and measured against others, and perhaps that is why nobody outside of our discipline understand us — or why we have such a small audience. But what if we embraced the challenge of architecture that is marketable? One that aspires to reach a broader audience without sacrificing creative conviction and is simultaneously unafraid of public assessment. As far as I can tell, there is only one Danish firm that is tackling this and architects enjoying bashing them for it. Yet, instead of stepping up to the plate and proving that we beat them at their own game, we continue to construct narratives for our own little worlds that are slowly losing their grips on reality.