The Icon Project: Architecture, Cities, and Capitalist Globalization

Oxford Univ. Mar. 2017. 336p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780190464189. $34.95. ARCH
Sklair (The Transnational Capitalist Class; Globalization: Capitalism and Its Alternatives) has retired from teaching sociology at the London School of Economics, specializing in the transnational capitalist class, which has long met annually in Davos, Switzerland, and tends to dominate global social organization. Like Bernie Sanders, the author is by no means supportive of the overarching interests of this class. Sklair understands that universal consumption is unsustainable and undemocratic, leading to environmental apocalypse, and he encourages societies that are more functionalist and emancipatory. This book stems from an early realization in the author's career of "the universality of iconic architecture," namely modern architecture. It contains a well-studied global sociological survey of contemporary design over the past 100 years, beginning with great individuals such as Frank Lloyd Wright and ending with the architectural firm Gensler, responsible for the Gensler Building in Shanghai, China—the tallest and arguably most beautiful office building on the planet. Sociologically, the author clarifies the development of modern architecture, putting it in "relief."
VERDICT Recommended for larger academic and public libraries with strong interests in sociology and architecture.

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