Starchitects in Bohemia: An Exploration of Cultural Cities from the “Top-Down” and “Bottom-up”

Monday, 16 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Hyesun JEONG, University of Chicago, USA
Matt PATTERSON, University of Calgary, Canada
Urban scholars have devoted significant attention to the “cultural city”, a phenomenon in which urbanization is tied to the production and consumption of artistic products. The cultural sector is highly diverse, however, and less is known about how different types of culture relate to each other and the larger urban environment. In this paper, we compare two quintessential forms of culture-led urbanization that represent opposite ends on a spectrum: iconic architecture and neo-bohemia. While iconic architecture is a “top-down” approach to culture involving large budgets, elite “starchitects”, and powerful clients, neo-bohemias tend to be a “bottom-up” phenomena formed as individual artists gravitate toward particular neighborhoods, establishing arts scenes. Using a combination of neighborhood case studies and national-level quantitative analysis, we investigate the ecological relationship between these two phenomena. In doing so, we provide new insights into the geographic and social structure of the cultural city.