Starchitect is a blend of two words and their definitions to create a new word.
The Starchitect (star –a architect) describes architects who have obtained celebrity status and fame within the community of architecture as well as become known amongst the general population. This fame is often a result of architecture which is avant-guard, extremely creative, provocative, the charismatic or intense nature of the architect him or herself, and their unique work that pushes the envelope of modern architecture to the next level.
Since fame is dependent on the media and is designated by others – the starchitect is therefore a fleeting or permanent designation out of the control of the architect. Sometimes this term is meant derogatorily and some architects have an opinion about it, such as Frank Gehry who stated in his interview with The Independent called Frank Gehry: ‘Don’t call me a starchitect’
“I don’t know who invented that f—ing word ‘starchitect’. In fact a journalist invented it, I think. I am not a ‘star-chitect’, I am an ar-chitect…”
Some well known starchitecture:
Some of the most well known starchitects include:
Is the ‘starchitect’ a new phenomenon or were architect’s historically famous and the media and pop culture packaged and ‘branded’ the architect in a way similar to movie celebrities to further romanticize the profession or popularize architecture again?