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Why OMA is OMA and UnStudio Isn’t Just Studio: How Firms Got Their Names

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Witold Rybczynski over at Slate has sought to answer a question we’ve sat and wondered about: “Building a Brand: How Architecture Firms Name Themselves.” In the essay, he goes through the whole progression, from the start of the “profession as a business” to our current wacky named state of things. It’s an interesting read and we hope he follows up soon with how design firms got their name. Wait a minute. No we don’t. We want to pitch that as a book. Hands off! Here’s a little:

During the swinging ’60s, particularly in Europe, another naming fashion took hold. You read about these firms in Domus and Architectural Design: Archigram in London, Superstudio and Archizoom in Florence, Haus-Rucker-Co in Vienna. The trendy monikers made up for the fact that these fledgling firms created more drawings than actual buildings. Impatient to make a name for themselves, the young designers did the next best thing—they made up names, usually names that made them sound both arty and avant-garde.

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