PULLMAN, Wash.–The “Advertising Architecture” exhibition created by Washington State University architecture students in a fourth-year design studio last year is being shown at the American Institute of Architects National Gallery in Washington D.C. April 7 to May 30.
The 34 poster-sized advertisements, previously displayed in the Compton Union Gallery and Carpenter Hall Gallery on the WSU campus, use the vehicle of print media advertising to communicate values expressed through architecture.
For example, headlines, images and copy persuasively convey such values as architecture as a wise investment, integration of building and landscape, customized and individualized character, utilitarianism, and aesthetics.
Some of the headlines read: “Don’t be like the Joneses; COOPERATEINTERACT COMPROMISE; Nurture: As architects, we hold the environment in our hands; Just Because It’s Big, Doesn’t Mean It’s Good; Architecture doesn’t grow on trees — but it does have roots.”
The students used advertising techniques of clarity, simplicity, relevance and repetition to “sell” their ideas in the resulting powerful posters. Project director was professor Paul Hirzel; associated faculty were professors Sarah Reckon and Greg Kessler.
“Students developed more persuasive communication skills and gained a deeper understanding behind the edifice of architecture,” said Hirzel. “They discovered successful marketing of a product or an idea is improbable without an understanding of its inherent qualities,” said Hirzel.
“As every advertiser knows, free national exposure of their idea is an optimum marketing condition. To have professionals from throughout the world view theses students’ products in the AIA Gallery is a masterstroke of communication.”

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