Starchitecture Scenes, Actors, and Spectacles in Contemporary Cities written by Davide Ponzini and Michele Nastasi asks the questions: How and why do spectacular buildings get commissioned and procured? What are their visible urban effects? What can urban planners, architects, and policymakers learn in order to engage in more successful citymaking?
In recent years, media and critical attention has been lavished on famous architects, and the contributions of their designs to the branding of cities. The post-“Bilbao effect” global landscape is one where cities compete for the highest-profile skyscrapers, cultural projects, and high-profile developments designed by star architects whom even casual readers know by first name: Frank Gehry, Bjarke Ingels, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas. Far less is known about the decision-making processes behind these projects and their subsequent urban effects.