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TextsContemporary Cultural Texts and Critical Approaches$
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Peter Childs

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748620432

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620432.001.0001

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Building: Shopping in Utopia

Building: Shopping in Utopia

Approach: Spatial Criticism

(p.21) Chapter 2 Building: Shopping in Utopia

Peter Childs

Edinburgh University Press

Malls have many features that can be analysed separately (from their opening hours to their security arrangements), but it is the design of the buildings themselves that attracts most attention, and particularly their spatio-temporal dimensions. Which is to say that the function of shopping mall architecture is usually thought to be to organise consumers’ movement through and perception of space in a world that would seek to be free of time. In a commodified culture, the shopping mall is there to provide everything the consumer needs materially but also spiritually: the marketing of love, fate, happiness, sexual attraction, community and personality all takes place in the mall. Though thought of as an exemplary expression of postmodern culture, the mall has its modern predecessors in the outdoor shopping centres that were a notable product of modernity: during the era Le Corbusier (1887–1965) decided the house was a machine for living in, the centre emerged as a machine for shopping in.

Keywords:   Spatial Criticism, shopping malls, cultural geography

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