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Having been mediatised and monetised by the mass market, today’s great design minds find themselves superficially represented in the public domain. Taking the Pritzker Prize award system as its point of departure, Starchitect Souvenirs examines the relationship between famous ‘star-architects’ and tourist culture, and the (mis)translation of innovative design intent into oversimplified consumer content. The show is designed as a series of souvenir displays featuring purchasable products: mugs, t-shirts, postcards and other novelty bric-a-brac. These items face the same dilemma of popularisation as the architects they represent. Caught in the clash between genuine cultural production and blatant tourist appeal, the shamelessly marketable manifestation of each ‘bespoke’ object undermines its own cultural value.

 

This exhibition raises more questions than it answers, and so we should in today’s age of unreserved consumerism:

 

  • When did respected legends of the architectural craft become profitable trends?
  • Has nouveau become novelty?
  • Are we cultural tourists buying into the architecture-as-attraction phenomena- perhaps even unwitting accomplices in the devaluation of architectural practice?

 

 

Biography

Amelyn is a Melbourne-based researcher-designer of architecture and urbanism, with a particular interest in critical practice and consumer behaviours. She is a self-professed flâneur and avid writer whose work has recently been published in various architecture media. She hopes her work will continue to spark discussion and enable reflection beyond the bounds of traditional practice.

LoopHole Starchitect Loop- Meyers Place LoopHole Starchitect Loop- Meyers Place

LoopHole Starchitect Loop- Meyers Place

 

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