"Soules's excellent book makes sense of the capitalist forces we all feel but cannot always name... Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin arms architects and the general public with an essential understanding of how capitalism makes property. Required reading for those who think tomorrow can be different from today."— Jack Self, coeditor of Real Estates: Life Without Debt In Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin, Matthew Soules issues an indictment of how finance capitalism dramatically alters not only architectural forms but also the very nature of our cities and societies. We rarely consider architecture to be an important factor in contemporary economic and political debates, yet sparsely occupied ultra-thin "pencil towers" develop in our cities, functioning as speculative wealth storage for the superrich, and cavernous "iceberg" homes extend architectural assets many stories below street level. Meanwhile, communities around the globe are blighted by zombie and ghost urbanism, marked by unoccupied neighborhoods and abandoned housing developments. Learn how the use of architecture as an investment tool has accelerated in recent years, heightening inequality and contributing to worldwide financial instability: • See how investment imperatives shape what and how we build, changing the very structure of our communities • Delve into high-profile projects, like the luxury apartments of architect Rafael Viñoly's 432 Park Avenue • Understand the convergence of technology, finance, and spirituality, which together are configuring the financialized walls within which we eat, sleep, and work Includes dozens of photos and drawings of architectural phenomena that have changed the way we live. Essential reading for anyone interested in architecture, design, economics, and understanding the way our world is formed.
Please note: This is a companion version & not the original book. Sample Book Insights: #1 Architecture and capitalism have always been linked, but the ascent of finance capitalism since 1980 has uniquely implicated architecture because built space is a preferred operating medium of finance. #2 The FIRE economy is the term used to describe the economic ecology connecting landowners, banks, insurance companies, mortgage brokers, investment brokers, real estate developers, and so on. The role that real estate plays in finance capitalism is as integral and longstanding as finance capitalism is to capitalism itself. #3 One of the keys to understanding the important role that real estate plays in finance capitalism is the relationship between rent and fictitious capital. When land is traded, it becomes a special type of commodity that can secure a stream of rent for the owner. #4 Housing is a critical aspect of finance capitalism, as it is the primary way individuals and households are financialized. The rise of housing prices and debt has been increasing globally since the 1980s.
There are two themes: Indigenous reconciliation and environmental resilience. The purpose is to inform and inspire action – to quicken the pace of reconciliation and lessen the pace of global warming. The chapters, loosely held together by personal experience, may be read in any order like a magazine or a blog.