“Starchitect” as a Charismatic Figure

  • Hakan Sağlam
Keywords: Keywords: “Starchitect”, “starchitecture”, the role of the architect


The architect’s ability to create himself/herself within the current conditions of the world of architecture or his/her endeavors to embrace this world can be grounded through Vitruvius. When the personal acceptances or objections of the architect ultimately find a common area of practice and become socialized, the common grounds of the outcome such as uniformity of the established rules, comprehensibility and adoptability revive the existence of the language of architecture. This architectural language generally has nature which describes the mechanisms and interactions creating the outcome. In this way, perceiving the new networks and connections gets easier. It is known that almost in each field of art and science; the inputs creating the common language are also at the center of creative activity, as in architecture. This study aims to emphasize the status of the architect in which he/she located himself/herself and make himself/herself accepted inside the environment he/she strategically crates down the ages. The study tries to review the “star” degree which the architect addresses or addressed to the architect outside a chronological process and discuss the subject from today’s angle by emphasizing the essential milestones formed as part of a specific world perspective. In this sense, the social role of the architect, which is re-defined in each period, hence the development of architecture, is tried to be explained through the language of the architectural style. Today, written sources compose an important data accumulation in terms of benefiting from the historical references as part of the understanding of the architect/architecture and forming a pattern regarding the general architecture over the person who designed its codes and his/her outcome. A concept discussion regarding the role of the architect is tried to be sparked by referring to the historical background. The assigned role of the architect or the expectation changing over the ages results from the “architect identity” behind the style, rather than the style of the outcome. The architect has turned this identity into an instrument through which he/she can vocalize his/her own social role from the highest pitch. This transformation process is beyond a massive self-endeavor and can be possible as part of the desires of the meta political discourse. This process is individually seen as the understandability of the architect, rather than the architect's identity. Being able to understand this process will open the way for new pursuits through the visibility of the architect as an individual as well as the factors creating the architectural style.