H-Net: The Rent of Form

Review of The Rent of Form by Pedro Fiori Arantes

A critique of prominent architects’ approach to digitally driven design and labor practices over the past two decades

The book under review is a translation and revision of the original Arquitetura na Era Digital-Financeira: Desenho, Canteiro e Renda da Forma, written by Pedro Fiori Arantes in Portuguese and published in 2010 by the press of the Universidad de Sao Paulo, Brazil. The original book is an adaptation of Arantes’s PhD dissertation of the same title completed in 2010 at the Universidad de Sao Paulo. The reworked English translation brings the publication up to date as a timely book, although most of the projects mentioned in it already have been in existence more than ten years. Yet the topic is still current in the field of architecture since the commoditization of images of architecture has continued to proliferate. The elitism and monopoly of the so-called star-architects in the discipline have also increased, with the search for the “wow effect” masquerading as architectural innovation. 


Read the whole review.