Quaderns 2011 – 2016

D'arquitectura i urbanisme

Publicació del Col·legi d'arquitectes de Catalunya

Architectural strategies (Marketing, Icon, Politics, Masses, Developer, the no.1) | Eduard Sancho Pou

Maquetación 1


This book studies the strategies used by architects to secure commissions, sell projects and erect buildings. Although their modus operandi might seem to be mere marketing techniques, the economic conditions in each stage of a project that determines the final result cannot be overlooked.
Selling strategies are not taught in school, since it has traditionally been considered that architects cannot market themselves. Nor are they discussed among practicing professionals, since no one is willing to reveal his recipes for success. Therefore, there is no specific bibliography in this area, although architects have always been excellent salesmen for ideas.

California is a place for opportunities where results matter more than theory. Everyone working there uses strategies to secure profits. Most of the architects in the study were born or developed their careers in the area: Gehry (who lives in Santa Monica), Gensler (who lives in San Francisco), Ma (who is dean of USC), Jerde (who works in L.A.), Koolhaas (who created Amo on the basis of a project for the Universal Building in L.A.), Jobs (who founded Apple and worked in Cupertino) and Page and Brin (the founders of Google in Palo Alto).
The inclusion of software architects in the list of building architects may come as a surprise; however the change undergone by architecture justifies it. Nowadays, corporations do not commission buildings to represent them, but rather strategies to improve their brands, efficiency and sales. Offering these is also the work of today’s architects.

Nowadays architects are designing fewer buildings and focusing on designing strategies. Let’s begin to study them. We shall discover how they work and where can they take us. We are certainly going to need them to convince society that we can still be useful.


Eduard Sancho Pou is the head of an architecture studio where he combines his work as an architect with his strategic consultancy activities. In the past, he was the director of Barcelona Centre Arquitectura, where he organized architecture exhibitions, colloquia, and conferences attended by international architects. He has also been an architectural consultant with the Swiss multinational Holcim, for the announcement of the Holcim Architectural Awards. Sancho Pou holds a doctorate (cum laude) from the Polytechnic University of Barcelona. He is currently a member of Cercle d´Arquitectura Research Group (UPC) and teaches to Phd students at the same university.

More info: Graham Foundation and arquia/próxima

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Quaderns d'arquitectura i urbanisme is the journal of the Association of Architects of Catalonia