Image: Dr. Georg Lippsmeier (by Nedjat Sulejman-Pasic, 1975) with a humorous speech bubble giving a fictive, but typical, impression of one of his many travel accounts. © courtesy of Kiran Mukerji

Many architectural histories focus on particular buildings, well-known oeuvres or individually commissioned designs, without engaging how built environments are simultaneously products of transactional thinking and financialized property. Architects are regularly portrayed as independent masterminds, more akin to artists in ateliers rather than entrepreneurs involved in profit-making ventures at a variety of scales. with this special collection, we aim to correct this myopic view by investigating architects as commercially-oriented practitioners whose activities are strongly tied to property developers, private investors and construction companies.

The contributions to this special collection embed entrepreneurial architects more firmly into the narrative of modern architectural history. By doing so, we hope to broaden the perspective on the agencies and mechanisms through which the diffusion of architectural typologies and property mechanisms occur. Throughout the modern period architects and the firms for which they worked travelled the world to propose revolutionary ideas and learn about new developments elsewhere, leading us to posit that the transnational circulation of architectural and planning knowledge seems more frequently driven by economic expansion than philanthropic mindsets or intellectual hunger.

Guest Editors

Monika Motylinska, Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space, Erkner Tim Verlaan, University of Amsterdam

Research Article


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