Book Review: When Eero Met His Match by Eva Hagberg
PIN-UP Magazine
Issue 34 / Spring/Summer 2023 

In When Eero Met His Match, scholar and Columbia GSAPP professor Eva Hagberg posits that the role Louchheim created for herself at ESA shaped the contours of modern architectural public relations. The invention of PR as a profession is generally credited to Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud’s who, in the 1920s and 30s, drew upon his uncle’s theories of the subconscious to nudge American opinion on behalf of his corporate clients. Bernays saw that, along with advertising, PR could trigger emotions and desire in order to influence the public’s mindset. Perhaps it’s no wonder a lover and a PR agent might be the same person.

Hagberg’s book is, among other things, a primer on how PR works in architecture. As she explains, Hagberg herself worked as an architectural publicist for many years, a profession she fell into, had success in, and felt shame about. Moving between the contemporary and the historical, the author touches on the business of architectural media, the golden era of glossy magazines, the gender dynamics of public relations, professional relationships and their blurry boundaries, and the psychological yearnings of fame — as a way to stave off death. But Hagberg mostly writes about Aline, who she refers to by her first name, conferring intimacy between writer and subject, and by extension, reader.
︎ 2024