JSTOR Daily on the ongoing race to build the tallest building in the world

For JSTOR Daily, Ashley Gardini traced the history of people building the tallest skyscrapers in the world:

[…] So why are we still interested in the world’s tallest building? Why do developers and architects still compete for this claim?

Philosopher and business ethics scholar Christopher Michaelson explores the role and implications of building the world’s tallest skyscraper, looking at both the economic and cultural reasons a country or corporation may want to take on such a project. He writes that as a building type, “the skyscraper stands as a particular and compelling symbol of contemporary power and values,” particularly because “its technological possibility dates back only as far as the dawn of modern industrialization.” Furthermore, his research shows that constructing the world’s tallest building tends to be an aspirational pursuit in countries wishing to project a level of economic success that they have yet to achieve.

Currently, the tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 828m tall. Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is hoping to be taller but it’s still under construction. Maybe the sky isn’t the limit after all?

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