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Unpublished Paper
Modernism Remodeled: Branding the Image of Modernism in Dwell Magazine, 2000–2010
Master's Thesis (2010)
  • Lauren L. Gallow, University of California - Santa Barbara
Dwell magazine is not a magazine and it is not about architecture. Often grouped in the shelter magazine category, Dwell describes itself as being somewhere between an architecture trade publication and a consumer shelter magazine, pulling successfully from both of these audiences to form its current circulation base of 341,000. Although the magazine has been the centerpiece of the company since its inception in October of 2000, the Dwell brand is composed of several other outlets, including an extensive website; Dwell on Design, the largest design show on the west coast; a Dwell television show; and even a line of Dwell prefabricated houses. In an analysis of the ten-year history of the Dwell brand, this project primarily examines the editorial, design, and marketing evolution of Dwell magazine to show how the company has created and insistently promoted a lifestyle based on the stylistic and philosophical tenets of early twentieth-century modernism. Effectively branding modernism as the most relevant architectural style for our time, Dwell has positioned its magazine as a kind of guidebook for achieving the modernist lifestyle. In the pages of Dwell, a spectacularized image of modernism rules, where the appearance of a modern style is invested with a new level of cultural cachet, ultimately marketed by Dwell as a commodity available for purchase. This project explores why the Dwell brand of modernism holds such appeal, both for its magazine readership and the scores of other consumers buying modern-looking products, and consequently, to what new cultural uses the image of modernism is being put today.
Publication Date
December, 2010
Citation Information
Lauren L. Gallow. "Modernism Remodeled: Branding the Image of Modernism in Dwell Magazine, 2000–2010" Master's Thesis (2010)
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