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Vertical capitalism: Skyscrapers and organization

journal contribution
posted on 06.04.2016, 09:01 by Martin Parker
This paper employs the skyscraper to show how culture and economy are necessarily intertwined. I begin with the idea of the sublime, and then move on to consider representations of the tall building from the 1870s to the present day in order to illustrate what these artefacts are understood to ‘mean’. But skyscrapers are not merely symbols of modern organization, they are themselves forms of economic organizing and the second section of the paper notes the various ways in which the tall building, and the divisions of labour that enabled it, began by ‘making the land pay’ in cities with a burgeoning rental market for small firms. This shift involves partly displacing the architect and the corporation, and instead focussing on project organization and rental values. I conclude by suggesting that the term ‘organization’, because of its mutability, can provide a bridge between culturalist and economic representations.

History

Citation

Culture and Organization, 2015, 21 (3), pp. 217-234

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Management

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Culture and Organization

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles for Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism

issn

1475-9551

eissn

1477-2760

Acceptance date

13/09/2013

Copyright date

2013

Available date

06/04/2016

Publisher version

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14759551.2013.845566

Language

en

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