Architecture as a Global System: Scavengers, Tribes, Warlords and Megafirms by Peter Raisbeck

Architecture as a Global System

B117 Theatre,
Glyn Davis Building,
Parkville Campus,
University of Melbourne


In light of the emerging COVID-19 situation and continuing policy statements from the State and Federal Government, the University of Melbourne is adopting a series of changes to reduce rates of infection in the community.

The health and wellbeing of our community is of paramount importance. Therefore, all University events have been postponed or cancelled from midnight, Tuesday 17 March, including the Architecture as a Global System Book Launch.

The University will continue to follow expert health advice and will continue to make decisions about its activities which are in the best interests of the health, safety and wellbeing of the entire University community.

Thank you for your understanding as we endeavour to keep our community members safe during this uncertain time.

Since the 1980’s the architectural profession across the world has been driven by globalisation. The factors shaping this globalisation include neo-liberal economics, digital transformation and the rise of social media against the background of the profession’s entrenched labour practices. In describing architecture as a global system, this book outlines how globalisation has shaped architecture and explores the degree to which architecture remains a distinct field of knowledge.

The book identifies four categories of architects in this global system: scavengers, tribes, warlords and megafirms. By employing this institutional-logics approach, the author looks beyond the surface spectacle of iconic projects, celebrity architects and cycles of urban focused media outrage. From this perspective, the book illuminates the archipelagos and outposts of disciplinary knowledge that architectural actors traverse and highlights the frontiers at which architectural knowledge is both created and eroded.

The author argues that to retain their future agency, architects must understand the contours and ecologies of practice that constitute this global system of architectural production. This book provides a clear-sighted analysis to suggest the points that need reconfiguring in this global system so that architects may yet shape and order the future of cities.

This event is part of Melbourne Design Week